[2017/04/06] ISA International Guest Lecture: Godfrey Baldacchino - The Politics of Mobility: Notes from a Not-So-Small Non-Island
Godfrey Baldacchino (University of Malta, Malta): "The Politics of Mobility: Notes from a Not-So-Small Non-Island"
Thursday, 6. April 2017, 4 PM
ÖAW, Institut für Sozialanthropologie
A-1020 Wien, Hollandstrasse 11-14
The globalisation wave and its accompanying euphoria have ground to a halt. The Single European Act and
the deals of the World Trade Organisation of the late 20th-century represent, with the advantage of hindsight,
the epitome of neo-liberalism and internationalization. Now, however, mobility politics are selective, driven
by the pursuit of talent and investment. Meanwhile the world‘s community of states refuses to recognise the
moral or legal category of „environmental refugees“, fearing a deluge of applicants claiming rights of asylum.
The media mainly focuses on the „small four“ – the Maldives, Tuvalu, Marshalls and Kiribati – supported by a
very vocal Alliance of Small Island States. But one large state – Bangladesh – is the most serious contender for
a massive exodus triggered by climate change with as many as 100 million departing from its estuarine coastal
plains. This presentation will explore the sharp contrast and contradictions of immigrant investor programmes
and undocumented migrant strategies. These offer lessons on the differential discourse used and the presumed
humanitarian and ethical underpinnings of social policy.