Ali Bhagat, "Governing the Displaced: Race and Ambivalence in Global Capitalism" (Cornell UP, 2024)


Governing the Displaced: Race and Ambivalence in Global Capitalism (Cornell UP, 2024) answers a straightforward question: how are refugees governed under capitalism in this moment of heightened global displacement? To answer this question, Ali Bhagat takes a dual case study approach to explore three dimensions of refugee survival in Paris and Nairobi: shelter, work, and political belonging. Bhagat's book makes sense of a global refugee regime along the contradictory fault lines of passive humanitarianism, violent exclusion, and organized abandonment in the European Union and East Africa. The book highlights the interrelated and overlapping features of refugee governance and survival in these seemingly disparate places. In its intersectional engagement with theories of racial capitalism with respect to right-wing populism, labor politics, and the everyday forms of exclusion, the book is a timely and necessary contribution to the field of migration studies and to political economy.

Ali Bhagat is a PhD in Political Studies (Queen's University) and works largely on the topic of global displacement in relation to racial capitalism. As an international political economist, he is interested in the intersections of race, class, and sexuality and has worked on issues pertaining to LGBTQ+ refugees in particular. His work is based in qualitative methods drawing from interviews, policy analysis, and other ethnographic techniques. Ali’s work cuts across the everyday political economy of housing, work, finance, and political belonging.

Lamis Abdelaaty is an associate professor of political science at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. She is the author of Discrimination and Delegation: Explaining State Responses to Refugees (Oxford University Press, 2021). Email her comments at

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Lamis Abdelaaty

Dr. Lamis Abdelaaty is Associate Professor of Political Science at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University, and Senior Research Associate at the Campbell Public Affairs Institute. Her book, Discrimination and Delegation: Explaining State Responses to Refugees, was published by Oxford University Press in 2021. Email her at
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