The Asia Lecture 2012
Celebrating 10 years of the York Centre for Asian Research (2002-2012)
The Intermediary Trap: International Labour Recruitment, Transnational Governance and State-Citizen Relations in China
Dr. Xiang Biao ~ University Lecturer in Social Anthropology ~ University of Oxford
5 November 2012 | 2:30pm to 5pm | 519 York Research Tower | York University
Based on long-term field research spanning Japan, Singapore, South Korea and multiple locations in northeast China, this presentation traces how transnationally-linked commercial labor recruiters gain a dominant position in cultivating, facilitating and controlling migration. These intermediaries render themselves indispensable both for migrating workers and for the states seeking to make order from migration. The intermediary trap is thus more dynamic and complex than a simple “capture” by identifiable interest groups and is deeply implicated in changing state-citizen relations in China. Rooted in Chinese and other Asian states’ agenda to liberalize socioeconomic life without compromising sovereign power, the intermediary trap may become a worldwide phenomenon with the resurgence of state power alongside a continuing neoliberal hegemony beyond Asia.
Dr. Xiang Biao is University Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Oxford. He has conducted extensive field research on migration and social change in China, India and Australia. His work includes ethnographic studies of migrant communities in Beijing (Transcending Boundaries, Brill, 2005) and Indian migrant professionals (Global Body Shopping, Princeton, 2007). His forthcoming book (Making Order from Transnational Mobility, Princeton) is the result of four years of field research in China, Japan, South Korea and Singapore, and examines the transnational governance of labor mobility in East Asia.
Reception will begin at 2:30pm to be followed by the Lecture at 3pm.
All are welcome!
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