Return: Nationalizing Transnational Mobility in Asia

edited by Biao Xiang, Brenda S. A. Yeoh and Mika Toyota
Duke University Press, 2013
Cloth: 978-0-8223-5516-8, Paper: 978-0-8223-5531-1, eISBN: 978-0-8223-7747-4, OA eISBN: 9781478090984

Since the late 1990s, Asian nations have increasingly encouraged, facilitated, or demanded the return of emigrants. In this interdisciplinary collection, distinguished scholars from countries around the world explore the changing relations between nation-states and transnational mobility. Taking into account illegally trafficked migrants, deportees, temporary laborers on short-term contracts, and highly skilled émigrés, the contributors argue that the figure of the returnee energizes and redefines nationalism in an era of increasingly fluid and indeterminate national sovereignty. They acknowledge the diversity, complexity, and instability of reverse migration, while emphasizing its discursive, policy, and political significance at a moment when the tensions between state power and transnational subjects are particularly visible. Taken together, the essays foreground Asia as a useful site for rethinking the intersections of migration, sovereignty, and nationalism.

Contributors. Sylvia Cowan, Johan Lindquist, Melody Chia-wen Lu, Koji Sasaki, Shin Hyunjoon, Mariko Asano Tamanoi, Mika Toyota, Carol Upadhya, Wang Cangbai, Xiang Biao, Brenda S. A. Yeoh


Xiang Biao is University Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Oxford. He is the author of Global "Body Shopping": An Indian Labor System in the Information Technology Industry.

Brenda S. A. Yeoh is Professor in Geography at the National University of Singapore. She is a coeditor of The Cultural Politics of Talent Migration in East Asia.

Mika Toyota is Associate Professor in the College of Tourism at Rikkyo University. She and Yeoh are coeditors of Migration and Health in Asia.

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