Cover image for Guests and aliens
Guests and aliens
Sassen, Saskia.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : New Press : Distributed by W.W. Norton, [1999]

Physical Description:
xxi, 202 pages ; 24 cm
General Note:
"Originally published in Germany, c1996"--T.p. verso.
Format :


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JV6021 .S27 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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The author suggests that the American experience represents only one phase in a long history of global border crossing. She describes the relative normality of the pursuit of work across borders during the emergence of the European nation-states and explains the economic and political mass migrations of Italians and Eastern European Jews during the 19th and early 20th centuries. She also discusses the dislocations - particularly those after World War II - that have engendered the refugee concept. Using these examples, the author explores the causes of immigration that have resulted either in nations welcoming incomers as guests or disparaging them as aliens.

Author Notes

Sakia Sassen is Professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

While University of Chicago sociologist Sassen's scholarly study focuses on migrations within Europe, it holds valuable lessons for the debate on U.S. immigration policy. She painstakingly dismantles the myth that Europe is not a continent of immigrants by documenting a forgotten history of refugee flows, mass labor migrations and movements of religious and political asylum seekers over the last three centuries. She makes the case that immigrants and migrant workers have played an indispensable role in the building of Europe's cities and infrastructure, as well as the development of culture. Sassen (The Global City, etc.) shows how convulsive population movementsÄthe mass exodus precipitated by Balkan wars and the Ottoman Empire's break-up; the emigration of 2.5 million Eastern European Jews between 1880 and 1914; millions of displaced persons on the move in two world warsÄdrove Western European nations to try to stem immigration and refugee flows. Countering the popular misconception of immigration as a gigantic invasion or an irreversible deluge, Sassen argues that migrations are highly selective, structured processes: only certain people leave, a flux conditioned by relations between sending and receiving countries; moreover, there is considerable return migration. She outlines an enlightened approach to an overarching immigration policy for Europe and the U.S., one rooted in recognition of the globalization of economic activity and the need for immigrants' civil rights and full integration into the societies to which they migrate. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Introductionp. xiii
1. Introductionp. 1
2. 1800p. 7
3. After 1848p. 33
4. Nations and Migrations: Germany, France, Italyp. 51
5. The State and the Foreignerp. 77
6. Patterns, Rights, Regulationsp. 99
7. Making Immigration Policy Todayp. 133
Appendix. Tables, Immigrants and Asylum Seekers 1960-1996p. 159
Bibliographyp. 171
Indexp. 197