IIAS Publications Series Edited Volumes

Transnational Flows and Permissive Polities: Ethnographies of Human Mobilities in Asia

Barak KalirMalini Sur

Transnational Flows and Permissive Polities examines how legality and other sources of authority intersect in the regulation of human mobility. The book focuses on the ethnographic exploration of the experiences and views of mobile subjects in the vast and rapidly changing continent of Asia. The contributors analyze tensions between the letter of the law and social legitimation, territorial boundaries and commodity flows, state practices and migrant subjectivities, and labour brokerage and national and international organizations. This volume offers key insights for students of globalization and transnationality and policy relevance for development practitioners, governments, and NGOs.

Barak Kalir is assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at the University of Amsterdam. He is Co-Director of the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies, and Director of the Master Programme in Contemporary Asian Studies.

Malini Sur received her PhD from the University of Amsterdam in 2012 and is a fellow at the University of Toronto in Fall 2012.

"By foregrounding the negotiations that lie at the intersection of competing political and social authorities, this volume radically transforms conventional meanings of sovereignty. By separating legality from order, rules from rule, legitimacy from power, and, illegality from crime, we encounter gendered and national state effects that take shape in startling and counter-intuitive ways. The complex relation of human movement to subjectivity becomes the common axis for fine-grained empirical essays that range across Asia, from the Persian Gulf to India, from Israel to China." - Itty Abraham, National University of Singapore

"Transnational Flows and Permissive Polities is a must-read volume exploring the subtle connections among human mobility, uneven state regulations, and complex transnational practices that enrich and challenge relationships and identities in ways rarely imagined." - David Kyle, Executive Director of the Gifford Center for Population Studies and Associate Professor of Sociology at UC Davis