Prof. Caress Schenk joined the Political Science and International Relations faculty at Nazarbayev University in 2011 as an Assistant Professor specializing in comparative politics, national identity, immigration control, and Eurasian politics. She is a member of the PONARS network and has received research funding from the American Councils for International Education, the Fulbright Scholar Program, and Nazarbayev University. Her book Why Control Immigration? Strategic Uses of Migration Management in Russia (University of Toronto Press) argues that migration politics in Russia illustrate how politics and patronage function throughout the political system.

Prof. Schenk also has book chapters and articles published in The Oxford Handbook of Migration Crises, Russia Before and After Crimea: Nationalism and Identity 2010-2017 (Edinburgh University Press), Demokratizatisya, Europe-Asia Studies, and Nationalities Papers. Prof. Schenk’s research has looked at federal vs. regional-level management of migration in Russia, government and civil society responses to migration, migration agency and rights related to corruption and informal practices, labor migration in the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union, and how migration control demonstrates state capacity. Prof. Schenk has also worked on INGO contract projects related to human trafficking and labor slavery in Russia and Kazakhstan.


Courses taught at NU:

PLS 120 Introduction to Comparative Politics

PLS 331 Nationalism and Multiethnic Governance

PLS 431 Politics and Governance of the Russian Federation

PLS 446/546 The Politics of Immigration Control

PLS 540 Core Seminar in Comparative Politics


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Selected publications:

Russian Immigration Control: Symbol Over Substance” PONARS Policy Memo No. 518. 2018.

Anti-migrant, but not nationalist: Pursuing statist legitimacy through immigration discourse and policy.” In Russia Before and After Crimea: Nationalism and Identity, 2010-2017, edited by Pål Kolstø and Helge Blakkisrud. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. 2018.

Labour Migration in the Eurasian Economic Union” in Migration and the Ukraine Crisis, Agnieszka Pikulicka-Wilczewska and Greta Uehling, eds., E-International Relations Publishing. 2017.

Assessing the Depth of Foreign Policy Commitment through Russia’s Migration Policy” Demokratizatsiya, 24 (4) pp. 475-499. 2016.

Labor Migration in the Eurasian Union: Will Freedom of Movement Trump Domestic Controls?” PONARS Policy Memo No. 378. 2015.

Controlling Immigration Manually: Lessons from Moscow (Russia)” Europe-Asia Studies, 65 (7) pp. 1444-1465. 2013.

Nationalism in the Russian media: content analysis of newspaper coverage surrounding conflict in Stavropol, 24 May-7 June 2007” Nationalities Papers, 40 (5) pp. 783-805. 2012.

Open Borders, Closed Minds Russia's Changing Migration Policies: Liberalization or Xenophobia?” Demokratizatsiya, 18 (2) pp. 101-121. 2010.