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.
play an important yet underexplored role in fashioning the category expatriate.
Today, migration scholarship on privilegedmigration, including those labelled expatriates, is thus a burgeoning and diverse field and includes a debate on the term expatriate. In her research on US Americans in Europe, Klekowski von Koppenfels ( 2014 :139) notes that the very act of calling someone an expatriate is already part of the ‘widespread social hierarchization of migrants’ (see also O’Reilly 2000 ; Croucher 2012 ; Kunz 2020a ). This is echoed in heated
Privileged family migration, differential inclusion and shifting geographies of belonging
This chapter discusses the case of a family – a married couple and their two children – who emigrated from Germany in the mid-1990s and have lived in various countries since. It interrogates their migration trajectory and how migration was productive of social mobility in ways more often associated with less privilegedmigration; it also explores family members’ shifting modalities of belonging and accordant narratives of identity, making sense of these dynamics by mobilising the concept of ‘differential inclusion’ (Mezzadra and Neilson, 2012
enthusiastically embraces the label, as evidenced by Koutonin's ( 2015 ) article cited above, and the many people who pointed me to it to articulate their discomfort with the racialised uses of expatriate. Critical scholarship on privilegedmigration, as well as heated debates waged in news and social media, have addressed the racialised and classed politics of the category expatriate, and might be partly responsible for its decreased use and replacement with alternative labels such as ‘internationals’ ( Chapter 5 ). However, while highlighting the category's ongoing enlistment
. The white middle-class man has been reproduced as the prototype of the skilled migrant, knowledge migrant or global talent, which further helps create professional labour markets and privilegedmigration routes that are structurally easier to access for those with Western citizenship and credentials. Materially and discursively, the normativity of whiteness-as-management is reproduced (Roediger and Esch 2012 ). Corporate work and management hierarchies, HR policies and corporate discourses of culture remain key spaces for the reproduction of racialised and gendered
privileged, predominantly white, ‘expatriate’ (Fechter, 2005 ; Farrer, 2010 ; Leonard, 2010b ; Walsh, 2018 ; Leonard and Walsh, 2019 ) or ‘lifestyle’ (Scott, 2004 , 2006 ; Oliver and O’Reilly, 2010 ; Benson, 2011 ; Korpela, 2014 ; Benson and O’Reilly, 2016 ) migrant populations. Although there are clear synergies between these varying forms of privilegedmigration, the equivalence of French and English imperial histories and combined membership of the European Union (until 2020) afford the French in London a somewhat different status than, for example
the space of ambiguity opened up by a practically unworkable definition of the expatriate as a temporary resident abroad. The expatriate emerges from these texts as implicitly reconfirmed in its association with white and middle-class privilegedmigration. The next section examines the political effects of such inadvertent recuperation.
Expat impressions of The Hague : the city, the nation and its temporary migrants
Curating expatriate history: Expat impressions of The Hague