10 Jan 2018

Sociologist Peggy Levitt: nations don't end at their borders

"We live in a mobile world: one in seven people in the world is a migrant. Some are international migrants, some are forced migrants, others emigrate of their own free will, some with great success, others not so much."

Christine Tragler
Christine Tragler Der Standard, Austria
Source: Der Standard
Sociologist Peggy Levitt: nations don't end at their borders - NewsMavens
Monument in Vienna. Wikicommons

Why this story matters:

women's issues, migration

Sociologist Peggy Levitt, a migration researcher, believes we should create institutions that facilitate transnational social protection. This could work in Europe, she says, with health care or education.

The U.S. researcher has studied museums around the world and compared their approaches in dealing with migration, which she discusses in an interview with derStandard (linked below). She also presents her current research project, in which she deals with global citizenship. 

"We like to see the world as a closed organization of nation states, but I think we need to have a different kind of conversation about nations -- because nations don't end at their national borders."

"We live in a mobile world: one in seven people in the world is a migrant," she says. "Some are international migrants, others are migrants in their own country, some are forced migrants, others emigrate of their own free will, some with great success, others not so much."

"We are all global citizens, whether we like it or not, and the question is: what is our common cultural foundation?"

For anyone who wants to learn about migration from a new perspective, her research is a must-read.

Details from the story:

  • Peggy Levitt is a professor of sociology at Wellesley College, Massachusetts, and a senior research fellow at Harvard University, Massachusetts.
  • Her most recent book, "Artifacts and Allegiances: How Museums Put the Nation and the World on Display" was published by University of California Press in 2015.
  • She was recently at a conference of the Academy of Sciences and a lecture for the House of History in Vienna.
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