What does expatriate mean? Who gets described as an expatriate rather than a migrant? And why do such distinctions matter? Following the expatriate explores these questions by tracing the postcolonial genealogy of the category expatriate from mid-twentieth-century decolonisation to current debates about migration, and examining the current stakes of debates about expatriates. As the book shows, the question of who is an expatriate was as hotly debated in 1961 as it is today. Back then, as now, it was entangled in the racialised, classed and gendered politics of migration and mobility. Combining ethnographic and historical research, the book discusses uses of the expatriate across academic literature, corporate management and international development practice, personal memory projects, and urban diaspora spaces in The Hague and Nairobi. It tells situated stories about the category’s making and remaking, its contestation and the lived experience of those labelled expatriate. By attending to racialised, gendered and classed struggles over who is an expatriate, the book shows that migration categories are at the heart of how intersecting material and symbolic social inequalities are enacted today. Any project for social justice thus needs to dissect and dismantle categories like the expatriate, and the book offers innovative analytical and methodological strategies to advance this project.
book offers a critical reading of internationalhumanresourcemanagement literature, explores the work and institutional history of the Expatriate Archive Centre in The Hague, and studies the historical and contemporary making of expatriates in Nairobi, Kenya . In doing so, it traces the category's postcolonial history and presence from mid-twentieth-century political decolonisation to today's politics of migration.
The book shows the expatriate to be a malleable and mobile category, of shifting meaning and
migrations is the aim of internationalhumanresourcemanagement (IHRM) studies. IHRM research is conventionally said to have emerged as an academic field in the 1980s, centrally in response to intensifying globalisation. This chapter instead shows that a vibrant debate on the type of labour migrant now thought of as the ‘traditional expatriate’ already existed in the 1960s and 1970s. However, what is now the ‘traditional expatriate’ was at the time called a ‘new breed of expatriate’. Tracing the emergence of this ‘new breed’, the chapter shows that, then as now, IHRM
Chapter 7 discusses recent debates in international human resource management (IHRM) literature on alternatives to the ‘traditional expatriate’, particularly ‘self-initiated expatriates’, ‘inpatriates’ and ‘migrants’. The chapter interrogates these new categories of IHRM literature and notes a ‘selective flexibility’ that stretches the category expatriate in ways that reproduce the inequalities that already underwrote the ‘traditional expatriate’. Still, power and inequality are frequently evaded in seemingly technical debates about the proper boundaries of analytical categories. The chapter then traces how migration studies turned to study expatriates as high-powered corporate migrants within a framework of (highly) skilled migration. This expatriate, the chapter argues, stands in marked contrast to the usual migrant in migration studies. The chapter finds that much research on migration collectively, if inadvertently, helps to reproduce popular imaginations of migrants as the global racialised poor, and thus actively participates in postcolonial governance through migration. From this vantage point, methodological nationalism can be understood as a racialised technology of governance with an imperial genealogy. Finally, the chapter examines the relationship of IHRM and migration studies, their mutual disregard and shared silences. The chapter argues that colonial aphasia not only shapes their quite closely aligned ‘typical’ expatriates and migrants, but underwrites their very academic disconnection and division of labour – i.e. colonial aphasia is at work in the very constitution of the two fields as separate fields.
From studying expatriates to studying the category expatriate
Expatriates are primarily researched in internationalhumanresourcemanagement (IHRM) literature and migration studies, two well-established and diverse yet largely separate academic fields. IHRM literature has studied organisational migrants under the rubric of the expatriate since at least the 1960s. Given this historical depth and its volume of publications, IHRM can be seen as the main academic field producing knowledge on expatriates. The principal focus is
, securing its claims to essentialism by vague and varying measures.
This chapter has analytically linked the staffing of colonial administration and national civil services, British international development aid and the making of migration. Chapter 3 brings into the fold the study of internationalhumanresourcemanagement. Neither development nor multinational business in their current form would be possible without mobilities of people, practices, policies, categories and discourses that share colonial genealogies across the public/private sector