Sunday, February 19, 2017

This is what happens when nation-states affirm their sovereignty

I know of academics that are reconsidering travelling to the US for fear of immigration officers. Police raids go after undocumented migrants, sometimes including those that entered as children and that were protected by Obama period legislation. There are rumours of police agents asking for your smartphone password in the airport to check your whatsapp chats. EU nationals living in Britain worry about their future in the UK. Today The Observer reports about these citizens living in an uncertain legal limbo: "EU nationals say that to obtain permanent residency cards they have to complete an 85-page form requiring huge files of documentation, including P60s for five years, historical utility bills and a diary of all the occasions they have left the country since settling in the UK. Some have received letters inviting them to prepare to leave the country after failing to tick a box on a form." In another article, they report about an orchestra leaving Britain because a clampdown on immigration: "The European Union Baroque Orchestra has been based in Oxfordshire since 1985, but will give its last UK concert in its current form at St John’s Smith Square, London, on 19 May, before moving to Antwerp. The critically acclaimed orchestra, described last month as “brilliant” and “the blooming excitement of youth” by Radio 3’s Sean Rafferty, auditions about 100 students a year, including young British musicians, and chooses between 20 and 25 for intensive training and performance. Alumni have gone on to fill posts in major baroque orchestras around the world." Meanwhile, I just watched an interview with Dutch politician Geert Wilders, favourite to be the first party in the next Parliament, speaking, in the name of freedom, democracy, and the people, about voting for him to stop the wave of Muslim Africans that will swallow his country if nothing is done. I don't know what Dani Rodrik is thinking about when he proposes to solve his famous trilemma by affirming the sovereignty of the nation-states. It looks more like a dilemma today, because globalization is already out of the bottle: freedom or nation-state.

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