A New Look at the Economics of Mobility: The Causes and Costs of Transnationalism

Nancy L. Green (Professor of History at EHESS)

17 April 2019, 17:00-18:30, Refectory, Badia Fiesolana

The politics of immigration and the history of (social and political) citizenship are important ways of examining how the state defines the Other. However, beyond the cultural implications of inclusion and exclusion, it is time to take another look at the history of the economics of migration. While the discourse on migration today emphasizes otherness, the economic factors of mobility have been forgotten. Yet the supply and demand of labor have historically underpinned movement, and immigrants have always been a bellwether of the political economy and historically important additions to national economies: industrial workers yesterday (more men), workers in the service and care industries today (more women). A new economics of mobility needs to re-examine (gendered) labor markets while understanding the choices and costs of migration to individuals, families, and states, from the family economy to the cost of credit to the “business” of migration (the intermediaries along the route), the costs of closure to the state (walls are expensive!), and the subcontracting of detention. Finally, the literal costs of citizenship can also be explored in a period in which citizenship is increasingly “for sale.” Martin Ruhs will introduce the lecture and Alessandro Bonvini will chair the lecture, in the frame of the Max Weber Programme.

Benoit Vaillot

Doctorant en histoire Arche EA 3400 (Université de Strasbourg) / PhD Researcher (European University Institute, Florence). Coordinateur du séminaire doctoral « Nationalism Working Group » hébergé à l'Institut Universitaire Européen.

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