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Emeritus College to sponsor virtual ‘Golden Passports: Global Mobility for Millionaires’ presentation on March 20


Kristin Surak, associate professor of Political Sociology at the London School of Economics, will deliver a virtual talk on “Golden Passports: Global Mobility for Millionaires” on Wednesday, March 20 from 10-11:30 a.m. The Clemson Emeritus College invites all to participate in person at the Emeritus College Seminar Room or watch via Zoom by contacting emerituscollege@clemson.edu for the Zoom link. Kristin Surak is the daughter of John Surak, Clemson University professor emeritus of Applied Economics and Statistics.

Presentation Summary

Citizenship has become a hot commodity.  Now over a dozen countries allow wealthy individuals to naturalize in exchange for a set donation or investment, and more than 50,000 people use such citizenship by investment programs to acquire “golden passports” each year.  Through six years of fieldwork on four continents, Kristin Surak discovered how the initially dubious sale of passports has transformed into a full-blown citizenship industry that thrives on global inequalities. A groundbreaking study of a contentious practice that has become popular among the nouveaux riches, The Golden Passport takes readers from the details of the application process to the geopolitical hydraulics of the citizenship industry. It’s a business that thrives on uncertainty and imbalances of power between big, globalized economies and tiny states desperate for investment. In between are the fascinating stories of buyers, brokers, and sellers, all ready to profit from the citizenship trade.

About Kristin Surak

Kristin Surak is Associate Professor of Political Sociology at the London School of Economics and the author of The Golden Passport: Global Mobility for Millionaires (Harvard University Press 2023). She is a leading expert on elite mobility, international migration, nationalism, and Japanese politics, whose research has been translated into half-dozen languages.  In addition to publishing in major academic journals, she also writes regularly for popular outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, London Review of Books, the Guardian, and the New Statesman. 

For more information, contact the Emeritus College at emerituscollege@clemson.edu.