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School of Geography

Centre for the Study of Migration Annual Lecture

8 March 2017

Time: 6:00 - 7:30pm
Venue: Arts Two Lecture Theatre, Mile End Campus

Transnational Social Protection: Setting the Agenda

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Professor Peggy Levitt

This year’s lecture will be given by Professor Peggy Levitt (Wellesley College)

How are people on the move protected and provided for in the contemporary global context? Have institutional sources of social welfare begun to cross borders to meet the needs of individuals who live transnational lives?

Social welfare has long been considered something which states provide to its citizens. Yet today 220 million people live in a country in which they do not hold citizenship. In this talk, I will propose a transnational social protection (TSP) research agenda designed to map the kinds of protections which exist for people on the move, determine how these protections travel across borders, and analyse variations in access to these protections. I will define TSP; introduce the heuristic tool of a ‘resource environment’ to map and analyse variations in TSP over time, through space, and across individuals; and provide empirical examples demonstrating the centrality of TSP for scholars of states, social welfare, development, and migration.

Peggy Levitt is Chair of the sociology department and the Luella LaMer Slaner Professor in Latin American Studies at Wellesley College and co-Director of Harvard University’s Transnational Studies Initiative. Her most recent book, Artifacts and Allegiances: How Museums Put the Nation and the World on Display, was published by the University of California Press in July 2015 (more info on

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