Mobility Makes States

9780812247114: Hardback
Release Date: 5th May 2015

10 illus.

Dimensions: 152 x 229

Number of Pages: 312

University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.

Mobility Makes States

Migration and Power in Africa

In Mobility Makes States, political scientists, historians, sociologists, and anthropologists examine the role of mobility in shaping how states are formed and how they behave. Focusing on links between power and migration across sub-Saharan Africa, the book explores how and why states have sought to harness movements towards their own ends.

Hardback / £56.00

Human mobility has long played a foundational role in producing state territories, resources, and hierarchies. When people move within and across national boundaries, they create both challenges and opportunities. In Mobility Makes States, chapters written by historians, political scientists, sociologists, and anthropologists explore different patterns of mobility in sub-Saharan Africa and how African states have sought to harness these movements toward their own ends.

While border control and intercontinental migration policies remain important topics of study, Mobility Makes States demonstrates that immigration control is best understood alongside parallel efforts by states in Africa to promote both long-distance and everyday movements. The contributors challenge the image of a fixed and static state that is concerned only with stopping foreign migrants at its border, and show that the politics of mobility takes place across a wide range of locations, including colonial hinterlands, workplaces, camps, foreign countries, and city streets. They examine short-term and circular migrations, everyday commuting and urban expansion, forced migrations, emigrations, diasporic communities, and the mobility of gatekeepers and officers of the state who push and pull migrant populations in different directions. Through the experiences and trajectories of migration in sub-Saharan Africa, this empirically rich volume sheds new light on larger global patterns and state making processes.

Contributors: Eric Allina, Oliver Bakewell, Pamila Gupta, Nauja Kleist, Loren B. Landau, Joel Quirk, Benedetta Rossi, Filipa Ribeiro da Silva, Simon Turner, Darshan Vigneswaran.

Chapter 1. Mobility Makes States
—Joel Quirk and Darshan Vigneswaran

Chapter 2. Portuguese Empire Building and Human Mobility in São Tomé and Angola, 1400s-1700s
—Filipa Ribeiro da Silva
Chapter 3. "Captive to Civilization": Law, Labor, and Violence in Colonial Mozambique
—Eric Allina
Chapter 4. Victims, Saviors, and Suspects: Channeling Mobility in Postgenocide Rwanda
—Simon Turner
Chapter 5. Channeling Mobility Across a Segregated Johannesburg
—Darshan Vigneswaran
Chapter 6. Policy Spectacles: Promoting Migration-Development Scenarios in Ghana
—Nauja Kleist

Chapter 7. Kinetocracy: The Government of Mobility at the Desert's Edge
—Benedetta Rossi
Chapter 8. Decolonization and (Dis)Possession in Lusophone Africa
—Pamila Gupta
Chapter 9. Moving from War to Peace in the Zambia-Angola Borderlands
—Oliver Bakewell
Chapter 10. Recognition, Solidarity, and the Power of Mobility in Africa's Urban Estuaries
—Loren B. Landau

List of Contributors

Darshan Vigneswaran is Codirector of the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies and Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at University of Amsterdam, as well as a Senior Researcher at the African Centre for Migration and Society at the University of the Witwatersrand. Joel Quirk is Associate Professor of Political Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand. He is author of The Anti-Slavery Project: From the Slave Trade to Human Trafficking, also available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.

"'Mobility makes states, and states make mobility': that is the bold claim made by the editors of this fine volume. Eschewing the tendency to view states solely as agents that prevent mobility, the book focuses on the ways in which states promote and channel human movement for their own purposes. The book reminds us that states may do very different things in different contexts, and that they should not necessarily be judged by a putatively normative European experience. This volume is a major contribution to thinking both about human mobility and about African society and politics that should be read by anyone interested in either."—John Torpey, Graduate Center, City University of New York

"With its theoretically compelling frame, this well-integrated, empirically rich set of essays helps us understand that human mobility is (and has been) not just something states must manage and contain but a key force that shapes (and has shaped) states' most central features. Countering the persistent but misleading image of the state as exercising power over a static and stationary population, this book shows how human mobility shapes, among other things, a state's spatial features, its strategies for accumulating power and managing resources, and the kinds of national and international political, social and economic actors with which it allies. In our era of mind-boggling population displacements, this innovative book offers crucial new tools for thinking about the complex phenomenon of human mobility."—Lidwien Kapteijns, Wellesley College