Democratic representation in mobile societies
Title: Democratic representation in mobile societies
Author: BAUBÖCK, Rainer
Citation: Anna TRIANDAFYLLIDOU (ed.), Multicultural governance in a mobile world, Edinburgh : Edinburgh University Press, 2017, pp. 283-306
Series/Number: [Global Governance Programme]; [Cultural Pluralism]
ISBN: 9781474428231; 9781474428248; 9781474428255; 9781474428262
Multiculturalism and transnationalism have transformed the traditional assimilationist and statist perspectives of immigrant integration studies. Yet these progressive approaches have not fully addressed the new challenges raised by the ‘mobility turn’. In highly mobile societies, the distinction between cultural majority and minorities, which is the starting point for multiculturalism, and the distinction between migrants, receiving and destination societies, which is still maintained in a transnational perspective, become increasingly blurred. Once these categories can no longer be distinguished, the normative case for differentiated multicultural and transnational citizenship becomes weaker too. The second part of the paper applies this line of thought to democratic representation issues. It identifies three challenges of mobility: representing temporary migrants; bridging cleavages between mobile and sedentary populations; and organizing democratic representation in hypermobile societies with sedentary minorities, each of which assume a different degree of societal transformation through mobility. The chapter concludes that it would be wrong to replace the methodological nationalism and statism that has prevailed in the multicultural citizenship literature with an equally biased ‘methodological migrantism’ that privileges a mobility perspective over that of territorially structured democracy. We should instead try to find institutional solutions which combine both perspectives and, where this is impossible, at least try to switch back and forth between them.
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