Jonathan Bach, M. Scott Solomon
June 27, 2008
This paper examines global labor migration as a process that is both fundamentally transnational and the target of concentrated state appropriation. Building on a growing body of empirical research on state transformation due to processes of economic globalization, the first part of the paper takes the case of the Philippines as an example of a state re-territorialization strategy to create a migrant export sector for the primary purpose of generating external finance through remittances. The second part focuses on the increasing demand for political representation from workers abroad, specifically through access to the home ballot. We argue that the transnational migrant worker shapes new articulations of belonging and political membership, and that the formalization of trans-nationalism among migrants points to new, centralized institutional mechanisms through which nation-states with large migrant populations manage, channel, and forge political action and subjectivity.