Tuesday, October 27, 2009
American Culture (Haven Hall)
Professor David Fitzgerald (PhD, UCLA, 2005) is Assistant Professor of Sociology and Field Research Director at the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California, San Diego. He is coming to the University of Michigan to discuss, "Citizenship à la Carte: Emigration and the Sovereign State" - People, goods, and ideas are on the move across international borders. Many scholars surveying the speed and volume of these movements have argued that a new era of globalization is eroding the sovereignty of the nation-state. Scholars of transnationalism in particular argue that countries of emigration have become “deterritorialized” as the members of the nation spread beyond the territorial borders of the state. This paper argues that far from undermining the sovereignty of nation-states, efforts by governments of migrant source countries to institutionally embrace their citizens and co-ethnics abroad highlight the robustness of the nation-state system based on the Westphalian principle of territorial sovereignty. Indeed, Westphalian sovereignty at the turn of the twenty-first century is strengthening in ways that causes source country governments to renegotiate the terms of the social contract between emigrants and the sending state. This new social contract emphasizes voluntaristic ties, a menu of options for expressing membership, an emphasis on rights over obligations, and the legitimacy of plural legal and affective national affiliations.