Imperial migration states

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


In the past decade, theorising about migration policy has rapidly included more states beyond Western Europe or North America. Expanding the temporal and geographical range of conventional cases destabilises reification of the nation-state and challenges Eurocentric conceptions of sovereignty. By reexamining British settler colonies, alongside the United States, I develop an Imperial Migration State concept to characterise macro-historical shifts as built upon a scaffolding of race and racism. Analysing transitions from imperial to postcolonial polities, furthermore, sheds light on how countries continue to use ostensibly non-racist yet discriminatory restrictions in their exclusionary immigration policies. Efforts to excise racist underpinnings in immigration policies require a more subtle understanding of where and when innovations emerged, and then whether or why such policies diffuse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)578-596
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2024


  • Anglosphere
  • Migration
  • decolonisation
  • imperialism
  • racism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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