Mobilising (global) democracy: a political reading of mobility between universal rights and the mob

Aradau, Claudia and Huysmans, Jef (2009). Mobilising (global) democracy: a political reading of mobility between universal rights and the mob. Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 37(3) pp. 583–604.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0305829809103234

Abstract

This article argues that a political reading of mobility is instrumental for understanding the role of democracy within globalised structures of power. Relegated to a socio-economic background that prompts new engagements with democracy, mobility has been neglected as a condition of possibility and as a form of political democratic practice. Drawing on Georg Simmel's sociology of money, we show that practices of mobility become democratic moments in relation to structures of power that are constituted across the territorial circumscription of national states. Understood as a particular form of sociality, mobility can work upon structures of power through universal rights and the politics of the 'mob'. In this sense, practices of mobility are also democratic inscriptions of equality.

Keywords: democracy, mass politics, migration, mobility, rights, Simmel

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