IES Migrations Series: Exiles in the 21st century: The New ‘Population Law’ of Absolute Capitalism
From Pamela Hunsinger
In AY 2017-2018, the Institute for European Studies launched the IES Migrations Series which conceptualizes the migration of not only people, but also images, words, ideas, technologies, objects, information, and food.
Continuing into AY 2020-2021, the series aims to unpack the historical and contemporary relevance of migration in writing global histories and understanding the present, as well as to put Europe in its global context. It critically acknowledges European countries’ role in the history of modernization and colonization of other countries within and outside Europe and disclosed the region’s character as an immigrant continent and diaspora of various peoples.
Exiles in the 21st century: The New ‘Population Law’ of Absolute Capitalism:
Clearly the 21st century will be marked by the increasingly large number of exiles, i.e. uprooted and displaced people who find themselves “erring” within or between states and continents, suffering extreme hardship or facing elimination, and creating imminent “pressure” on states and societies, with moral, economic and political dimensions. This can be addressed from totally antithetic standpoints, leading to a polarization of attitudes with unpredictable results, on which the future of our institutions may well depend. While the origins of the exilic process are complex, and the statutes under which the errands themselves are categorized for administrative and ideological reasons are multiple, a neo-Marxist perspective may try and bring some clarification through the investigation of the “population law” that characterizes contemporary neo-liberal or “absolute” capitalism. The talk wanted to describe and assess the value of this possibility.
Presenter: Étienne Balibar (Kingston University London, Columbia University)