Migrants and Citizens
newborn 50pc 1800-750

50% of your lifetime income is determined by just one variable: your citizenship

When it comes to inequality, birthplace is destiny. In 2012, researchers at the World Bank determined that no less than 50% of our lifetime income is determined by the country we live in — which, for 97% of us, is also the country we were born in. It’s a citizenship lottery – and those of us lucky enough to be born in wealthy states are automatic winners.


Immigration and Inequality: The Courage of Convictions

  This first appeared at Open Democracy In May 2014, the victory of UKIP (the UK Independence Party) in topping European Election polls was marred only by its evident failure to make inroads in London: its candidates there secured… Read More

low skilled california migration

Why “low skilled” migrants can be “good” migrants too

Pantomime season began early this week, set to the beat of a calypso drum. And part of the soap-opera drama of UK immigration politics – all dodgy peerages and unpaid bills this week – surely stems from the… Read More

From Far Away

One of the reasons why I’ve struggled to write in the past few months is that this has been a year of transitions. A transatlantic, transcontinental move form London to San Francisco, and a career shift from full-time… Read More

Collier, Refugees and The Point of No Return

 Paul Collier’s Exodus: Immigration and Multicultursim in the 21st century has quickly gathered headlines and attention in the months since it’s been published. Two pages in The Economist; 8 in the New Statesman (and a front cover). Op-eds… Read More


A piece written for Edinburgh University’s Global Justice Academy Blog The counsul banged the table and said, “If you’ve got no passport you’re officially dead”: But we are still alive, my dear, but we are still alive. Refugee… Read More


The World Needs to Plan for long-term Syria Refugee Crisis

(First published at The Conversation) A new city rises up in the Jordanian desert. Zaatari is now “home” – at last count – to 144,000 Syrians. The numbers are scarcely credible. One million child refugees; two million exiles in total;… Read More

The Citizenship Market

(First published at Democracy in Africa) Citizenship is an artifice. It’s a delicate political construction aiming to weave private freedom and public governance into social cohesion. At its most lofty, we can talk about citizenship as the foundation… Read More

On Outsourcing

The idea that Britain is “overcrowded” is an oft-repeated mantra for those who want to see massive reductions in the numbers of immigrants arriving in the UK.  Now, Julian Brazier – the MP for my home town, Canterbury… Read More

Stuck on repeat: Cameron on immigration

 If you repeat something often enough, people start to believe it’s true.  Just so with David Cameron’s latest comments yesterday that  ‘this open and welcoming economy’ must cut legal aid and other benefits for foreign nationals to avoid… Read More

An M.Sc. in Markets

 I’ll get to the humanitarianism and migration later this week, I promise.  But tonight, a post on my other favourite mobility: social mobility. And Oxbridge. And the British Higher Education system.   A combination guaranteed to make blood boil… Read More

Protection vs protectionism: debating Australia’s migration policies

In the past week, the Australian government has announced new plans to resume “offshore processing” of asylum-seekers who arrive by sea. This blog is a response to this article written by Amanda Vanstone, who was once Australian Minister… Read More