Man is an animal suspended in webs of significance that he himself has spun...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Flophouse Citizenship & International Migration Reading List

One of the worst days of my life was when I realized that one lifetime would not be enough to read all the books I wanted to read and to research all the topics I wanted so desperately to learn more about.

However, having realized this, I strengthened my resolve to make the best use of the limited time available to me.  I am blessed with good friends who are willing to recommend books to me (and willing to put up with my rather argumentative nature) and I have learned to carefully read the bibliographies of recommended books in search of other authors, themes, thoughts, and arguments.  Tracing the evolution of ideas is one of the most stimulating of occupations.  Sharing those ideas with others is pure bliss.

With that in mind, I assembled a short reading list of some of the sources I've been using.  I hope you find them as useful and interesting as I did.  I plan to add more since I am far from satisfied with my efforts to date.  If you have others to recommend, please, please do so via e-mail or the comments section.


International Migration in the Age of Crisis and Globalization by Andres Solimano (2010).
This is a very well-written, well-argued book.  The author is ambitious and confronts some of the most difficult topics around migration:  Why is International Migration Such a Contentious Issue?  Are Goods and Capital More Important then People?  Don't Always 'Blame' the North, and so on.

International Migration, Remittances and the Brain Drain edited by Caglar Ozden and Maurice Schiff  for the World Bank (2006)  This book contains a number of very interesting essays about the economic impact of remittances and brain drain/gain.  The editors point out that the potential for economic benefit for all parties (individuals and sending and receiving countries)  is substantial but policy decisions need to be made carefully (we are talking about people after all).

Gender and International Migration in Europe by Eleonore Kofman, Annie Phizacklea, Parvati Raghuram and Rosemary Sales (2000).  If you are looking for some empirical evidence (as I was) for how migration, immigration policy and citizenship rights have different outcomes and impacts for women, this is a good place to start.

International Migration and Citizenship Today by Niklaus Steiner (2009).  A very fine book on the political, economic and cultural impact of immigration.  He frames the discussion around two essential questions:  What Criteria to Admit Migrants?  and What Criteria to Grant Citizenship?

Citizenship Today: Global Perspectives and Practices edited by T. Alexander Aleinikoff and Douglas Klusmeyer (2001).  This was one of the best books I read on the topic of citizenship with essays by Patrick Weil, Karen Knop and Richard T. Ford, among many others.   I particularly enjoyed (and will discuss in a future post)  Ford's contribution called "City-States and Citizenship" which was, for me, a real revelation.

The Politics of Citizenship in Europe by Marc Morje Howard (2009).  A really fine study of the citizenship policies of the oldest member-states of the EU.  Read this book to really grasp how citizenship laws have changed over time and the reasons why.

Qu'est-ce qu'un Fran├žais? by Patrick Weil (2002).  Mr. Weil spent over 8 years in the archives researching this book and it is fascinating.  France has been something of a test lab for just about every combination of jus soli and jus sanguinis citizenship possible.  Everything has been tried and tried again.  I read the book in French but it is also available in the usual places in English.

Aliens in Medieval Law:  the Origins of Modern Citizenship by Keechang Kim ((2000).  I've been meaning to write a post about this book since it has a very original take on the historical roots of modern citizenship.  I recommend it highly.

Let Them In:  the Case for Open Borders by Jason L. Riley (2008)  The author makes a very radical argument for simply opening the doors and letting people move where they wish.

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