Illegal but licit: transnational flows and permissive politics in Asia
Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Transnational flows are regularly studied in the social sciences ‘from above’, focusing on the power of states to regulate,
facilitate or hinder the movement of people across borders. The research project ‘Illegal but Licit’, while sharing with other
studies an emphasis on the changing role of states in shaping transnational flows, ventured into the exploration of these
flows by prioritizing two important points of departure. First, the project treated the state, however important, as just
one source of authority among many, to which mobile subjects potentially heed. Second, the project championed ethnographic
methods for getting at a better understanding of the aggregated ‘big picture’ of state authorities and transnational flows.
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