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Palgrave Macmillan

Territory, Migration and the Evolution of the International System

ISBN 9780230391284
Publication Date September 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series Palgrave Studies in International Relations

Contemporary international migration makes border controls, bounded citizenship, and sovereign jurisdictions appear increasingly outdated. These policy tools are poor responses to a world characterized by cross-border mobility, transnational interconnections and global diaspora. Are there viable alternatives to this system of territorial and exclusive states?

This book takes a historical trajectory, exploring governments' use of different territorial strategies to manage migration at specific moments during the evolution of the international system, from centralization in Renaissance Italy and expansion under the British Empire to the integration of the European Union. Vigneswaran shows how under each of these regimes, political thinkers and rulers draw upon a 'mental map' – a specific way of imagining political space - to devise their systems of jurisdiction, belonging and immigration control. Using evidence of territorial variation and reform, this book looks to the future of migration regimes beyond the territorially exclusive state.

Darshan Vigneswaran is Assistant Professor at the Centre for Urban Studies, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands and a Senior Researcher at the African Centre for Migration and Society, WITS University, South Africa. He has held fellowships at Oxford University, UK and the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Germany. He is the co-editor of Slavery, Migration and Contemporary Bondage in Africa (2012) and currently studies migration control, state development and policing in India and South Africa.

Preface: The Queue Jumping Analogy
1. Introduction
2. Migration and Mental Maps
3. Centralization in the Italian City-State
4. Expansion of the British Empire
5. Integrating Europe
6. Projecting Territorial Change
Epilogue: Theory From the South


"With globalisation established as a process that shrinks the space-time continuum and increases social density, the task before us is to normalise the sometimes bewildering outcomes by means of historical work. Vigneswaran does that for migration."- Iver Neumann, Montague Burton Professor of IR, London School of Economics, UK
"Vigneswaran demonstrates adroitly how imagined cartographies produce territorial control of mobility. He delivers on the radical opening premise that while human migration transforms political space, political systems remain inept in responding to migration. He contextualizes contemporary border enforcement with alternative historical narratives of state territoriality. The book offers thoughtful and far-reaching analysis of European history to posit mental maps as 'radical simplifications' of space designed to control. Vigneswaran moves daringly beyond critique to ask how future systems of governance might actually work. This is an essential, lively, and illuminating read for anyone interested in political geography, mobility and territoriality." - Alison Mountz, Balsillie School of International Affairs, Canada
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