New Book: Kristin Surak- The Golden Passport: Global Mobility for Millionaires

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The Golden Passport: Global Mobility for Millionaires (Harvard University Press) 

By Kristin Surak


Citizenship has become a hot commodity.  Now over a dozen countries allow wealthy individuals to naturalize in exchange for a set donation or investment, and more than 50,000 people use such citizenship by investment programs acquire “golden passports” each year. If the sale of citizenship has grabbed headlines, much less is known about the geopolitical powerplays that define this global market. We typically think of citizenship as a status that secures rights within a country. However, the value of citizenship by investment usually hinges on the rights that citizenship secures outside the country, including visa-free access and business opportunities. This grants third countries and supra-national powers substantial influence over how other states admit new members. Drawing on six years of fieldwork in sixteen countries and a new dataset, The Golden Passport: Global Mobility for Millionaires (Harvard University Press) lays bare the operation of the global market in golden passports, focusing on the geopolitical powerplays that both define and disrupt these global flows. Traveling the world of elitie mobility challenges us to reconsider our basic assumptions about citizenship, inequality, and globalization.

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