In this paper, I argue that if migration scholars set aside their methodological nationalism, transnational migration studies can contribute to social theories that elucidate the mutual constitution of the global, national and local. Migration scholarship can provide a global perspective on power that explains the relationship between the contemporary contradictory narratives about migrants that either demonizes them or celebrates them. Migration rather than discussed as either good or bad can be discussed as part of broader transnational processes within which nation-states are enmeshed and to which they contribute. This paper is a revised version of the Keynote Lecture, Centre for Migration, Policy and Society annual conference, Theorizing Key Migration Debates, St Anne’s College, Woodstock Road, Oxford University, 30 June – 1 July 2008. It is forthcoming as “A Global Perspective on Transnational Migration: Theorizing Migration without Methodological Nationalism” in Transnationalism and Diaspora, Thomas Faist and Rainer Bauboeck (eds.) University of Amsterdam and IMISCOE.
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