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Laurier Prof. Kim Rygiel wins distinguished book award for Globalizing Citizenship
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Kim Rygiel, an assistant professor in Wilfrid Laurier University’s Political Science Department and a faculty member at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, is this year’s co-winner of the International Studies Association’s 2011 ENMISA Distinguished Book Award for Globalizing Citizenship (UBC Press).
The ENMISA (Ethnicity, Nationalism and Migration section of the International Studies Association) award recognizes the best book published within a two-year period that examines the international politics of ethnicity, nationalism or migration. Globalizing Citizenship explores how the events of 9-11 and its aftermath enhanced tensions between the global capitalist system and the territorial nation-state.
“The book was motivated by a concern over the numerous changes implemented by governments in response to fighting a ‘war on terror,’” said Rygiel. She explores how industrialized countries have turned toward citizenship discourses and policies such as border controls, travel and detention policy, and security technologies such as risk profiling, as a way of enhancing security while at the same time enabling a certain mobility of some people while restricting that of others.
The new policies have serious repercussions for many groups of people who became the targets of more restrictive border controls and who have experienced increased racism as a result, for example: persons of Middle Eastern origin and/or Muslim religious or cultural background, irregular migrants and refugees, and more generally, persons of color. Governments and policy-makers continue to struggle to govern populations and manage cross-border traffic without building new barriers to trade and commerce.
Rygiel hopes the book will challenge readers to think more deeply about issues of security, surveillance, mobility rights and border and travel policies.
“I am reminded through my teaching that many students have grown up in this more securitized environment without having a strong sense of a pre-9-11 history,” she said. “I think it is incumbent upon scholars and teachers to document the change we have lived and the historic specificity of this period.”
Rygiel was presented with the 2011 ENMISA Distinguished Book Award at the annual International Studies Association Convention, one of the largest conventions for scholars in international relations. The event was held in Montreal in March.
“It was a very nice surprise to receive the award and to know that others who have read the book share similar concerns,” said Rygiel.