Living in two countries: Transnational living as an alternative to migration

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Carling, Jørgen; Marta Bivand Erdal & Cathrine Talleraas (2021) Living in two countries: Transnational living as an alternative to migration, Population, Space and Place 27(5): e2471.

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​After three decades of scholarship, transnationalism remains understood as connections between people who have migrated and people who remain in the country of origin. Such ties are important and prevalent. But perhaps a radical extension of transnationalism is also warranted: There are people who are neither ‘migrants’ nor ‘non-migrants’ but lead transnational lives that evade these categories. In such cases, transnationalism is not a consequence of migration, but rather a fundamental challenge to it. This article connects the established literature on transnationalism with this potentially significant perspective. We draw on the phrase ‘living in two countries’, which incorporates the tensions and contradictions that transnational living entails. Drawing upon diverse empirical data, we ask how we might identify lives that span two countries and, how such lives are differentiated, and why they are significant even if they are rare.

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