Mobile Citizenship: Spatial Privilege and the Transnational Lifestyles of Senior Citizens, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Mobile Citizenship

Spatial Privilege and the Transnational Lifestyles of Senior Citizens, 1st Edition

By Margit Fauser


240 pages | 7 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138606401
pub: 2020-07-09
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Mobile Citizenship addresses the crucial question of how mobility reconfigures citizenship. Engaging with debates on transnationalism, citizenship and lifestyle migration, the book draws on ethnographic research and interview material collected among retired lifestyle migrants moving south from Germany to Turkey to explore the practices and narratives of these privileged migrants. Revealing the ways in which these migrants relate to their old homes and to their new places, the author examines the social, political and spatial dimensions of citizenship and belonging and argues that citizenship is key to understanding the privileges of transnational lifestyles. By taking up discussions emanating from studies on other privileged lifestyle migrations around social welfare and wellbeing, social participation and affective belonging, as well as class and racialized privileges, the book exposes particular comparative value and showcases similarities and differences across this emerging type of migration. Mobile Citizenship thus shows how citizenship allows for mobility, resources and privilege, yet is also replete with limitations and ambivalences. The book brings together perspectives on citizenship, space and privilege and will appeal to social scientists with interests in lifestyle migration and citizenship and their interconnections with global and social inequalities.


"People’s increasing spatial mobility across national borders raises questions about citizenship as an institution anchored in a singular, territorialized, national jurisdiction. Fauser’s Mobile Citizenship makes a significant, nuanced contribution to scholarly debates on this topic. Through her detailed study of German retirement-lifestyle migrants in Turkey, Fauser carefully analyzes how the interaction of citizenship status, rights, practices, and affective belonging in different localities engenders and reinforces social inequalities transnationally. She argues that rights and access to resources are embedded in an unequal global citizenship hierarchy. At the top of this hierarchy is the citizenship of affluent countries from the global north. While abroad, northern citizens, regardless of their class position at home, are imbued with and empowered by the privileges associated with their national states of origin. Mobile Citizenship convincingly shows how the spatial privilege of migrants from the global north who reside in the global south is transforming bounded understandings of citizenship. Citizenship can no longer be seen as belonging to a singular, territorialized national state. Instead, it has become an institution that is portable, mobile, and multiple. Fauser argues against received Marshallian conceptions, exploring how contemporary transnational citizenship helps reproduce local, national, and global inequalities. This book should be mandatory reading for graduate students, as well as established scholars interested in the study of citizenship, its future, and its theoretical and practical implications in a transnational context." - Luis Eduardo Guarnizo, University of California, Davis, USA

"Among several other works, Margit Fauser’s book is the most comprehensive work that is concerned with the emigration of German retirees and their transnational lifestyles in Alanya, a Mediterranean city in the eastern part of the Turkish riviera. Driving from the notion of 'mobile citizenship', Fauser adds 'spatial rights' to the conventional layers of rights of citizenship such as civil, political and social rights. Based on a long period of fieldwork, her book explores the condition of contemporary 'mobile citizenship' as well as the changing configurations of citizenship resulting from spatial mobility. This book also offers a great insight about the life style migration practices of German retirees who have reversed classical migration routes in terms of purpose and direction. I would like to welcome this book for many of its qualities, among many others, especially for its successful portrayal of the ways in which active and reflexive German retirees enact mobile citizenship by means of unequal power geographies and resources." - Ayhan Kaya, Istanbul Bilgi University, Turkey

Table of Contents

Series Editor’s Preface

Introduction - Transnational Lifestyles and Mobile Citizenship

Part 1: Citizenship, Space and Ageing

1. Citizenship in the Age of Mobility

2. Reverse Spatialities

3. Locating Retirement Lifestyle Migration  

Part 2: Privileges of Citizenship

4. Citizenship, Welfare, and Well-Being across Borders 

5. Transnational Lifestyles, Citizenship Practices, and Local Belonging

Part 3: Mobile Citizenship in Insecure Times 

6. Paradise Lost?

7. Conclusion 

About the Author

Margit Fauser is Professor in Migration, Transculturality and Internationalisation at Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences, Germany. She is the author of Migrants and Cities, the co-author of Transnational Migration and the co-editor of The Migration-Development Nexus.

About the Series

Studies in Migration and Diaspora

Studies in Migration and Diaspora

Series now in its 20th year

Studies in Migration and Diaspora is a series designed to showcase the interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary nature of research in this important field. Volumes in the series cover local, national and global issues and engage with both historical and contemporary events. The books will appeal to scholars, students and all those engaged in the study of migration and diaspora. Amongst the topics covered are minority ethnic relations, transnational movements and the cultural, social and political implications of moving from 'over there', to 'over here'.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General