International Migration and Global Justice: Non-National Spaces, Migration Assemblages and the ‘Neoliberal Paradox'

Thursday, July 13, 2017
Gilbert Scott Building - Room 132 (University of Glasgow)
Fiona Adamson , School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of Lon
Understandings of global justice are intimately bound up with questions of international migration and mobility. Communitarians (e.g. Walzer, Miller) emphasize the sovereign state as the locus of justice, whereas cosmopolitans place greater emphasis on individual rights and global distributive justice (e.g. Carens). In this paper, I argue that both perspectives suffer from a “methodological nationalist” bias that ignore the importance of “non-national” spaces as important sites for theorizing global migration. Such spaces include global cities, international refugee camps and migration detention centers, the high seas, and cyberspace. Together, these suggest that “the global” is composed of a patchwork of both national and non-national spaces, often existing side-by-side or in close proximity. A key theoretical challenge is to clarify the relationship between “national” and “non-national” spaces, and what this relationship means for conceptions of ethical migration policies. This constitutes a “neoliberal paradox” – in which non-national spaces of exception exist in a milieu of connected global networks and processes that are nevertheless situated in a broader context defined by enduring state-level barriers to global mobility.
  • CES_GlobalJusticeNeoliberal Paradox.pdf (215.4 kB)