Kristin SurakOct 24, 2023
From the Invention of the Passport to the Golden Passport
A Discussion with Kristin Surak
New Books Network 2023
In this episode of International Horizons, RBI director John Torpey interviews Kristin Surak, professor at the London School of Economics, about her new book, The Golden Passport: Global Mobility for Millionaires (Harvard University Press, 2023). The conversation starts with the contrast of Torpey’s The Invention of the Passport (Cambridge UP, 2018) and the “golden passport,” which reflects how, in the past three decades, many countries have opened avenues for the wealthy to buy passports and citizenship (aka “citizenship by investment”). Surak discusses the creation of this market and the reasons why some countries are opening these opportunities. Despite not necessarily being attractive citizenship destinations in themselves, there is a hierarchy of citizenships whereby some countries like Turkey can be a citizenship option for citizens with less attractive citizenships such as Syria, Afghanistan or Iraq. Finally, the author delves into the political economy of citizenship for small countries and how it has become a source of revenue for a number of struggling small countries.
International Horizons is a podcast of the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies that brings scholarly expertise to bear on our understanding of international issues. John Torpey, the host of the podcast and director of the Ralph Bunche Institute, holds conversations with prominent scholars and figures in state-of-the-art international issues in our weekly episodes.