Theodoros Rakopoulos
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The world according to jus pecuniae
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The introduction discusses empirical and conceptual issues, showcasing the book’s main contributions. On the empirical front, the intro explains what a golden passport means, how jus pecuniae (the right of money) creates a citizenship that lies beyond ancestry and territory, and how golden passports rely on global inequality and elite mobility. Regarding the conceptual domain, the chapter provides an anthropology of passports as artefacts of power, as well as a problematisation of how these documents correspond to nationhood, mobility and citizenship, as well as the nuances among these themes. Further, the chapter discusses the foundational notion of political community and how passports articulate with it – as well as examines how Karl Polanyi’s vision on the expansion of the market into the social realm finds in golden passports a creeping example. The chapter proposes that in order to advance the anthropology of the state we need a serious rendering of the sociohistorical makings of property rights and politics in the societies we study. It concludes that while scholars have noted that citizenship is not an equaliser but a culprit of economic and political inequality, they have only focused on citizenship inequality, when class and other forms of social inequality should also be part of the conversation. What is more, as we lack ethnographies that develop this conceptual fact, this book’s analysis of national passport’s commodification contributes a unique insight into understanding global processes of inequity.

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