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tv   Book Discussion on The Cosmopolites  CSPAN  December 13, 2015 2:11pm-2:52pm EST

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wall. tv. >> next up a the talk about the economics of global citizenship. her book is the cosmopolis. [applause]. >> thank you and hello. not every author event has a standing room only crowd, so thank you and thank you for book court for making a such a wonderful event. just a few words, we have started a new publishing adventure at columbia university. all of the books is called columbia global reports we published six books per year. they look look like this, each one is like an issue of a
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quarterly, and there is only story in every issue. they have the same size in uniform design. each book is about one aspect of globalization. so in the aggregate, we will publish a new can look at our website which is columbia global reports and see what we are up to. we are looking about the book publishing business, one of the things we have learned is that each book, even though we all have globalization it means many different things to many different people. the launch of our first book which was about the secondary mortgage market was not in brooklyn. lotta people in suits and ties and then this is more appropriate to this book. to tell you a little more, has
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anyone ever heard of william ackman? so significant only that if you people have. he is is the hero to american youth evidently. the come up when you get home, he is a bad boy wall street investor. we have people camped out at the steps of the library for half a day just to be in the same room with him. she is one of the panelists at the event. as i say this is a different mitt niche. it is the against the day job is editor but she is a prolific to the point of ubiquitous young journalist involves in a bunch of magazines publishing widely, including new inquiry dissent. new york times in new york
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magazine london review books. she has two columbia degrees. she is one of the first authors and the only debut author in the first season. that way we're going to operate this event is that she's going to read from the book briefly, then i will ask her questions for a while and then we'll take audience questions for while. so come on up. [applause]. hi everyone thanks for coming. i think he just called y'all sisters. [laughter] >> you'll know a little book by mark called what was the hipster? so i teach a course called evidence and inference which is
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about using techniques rigorously as a generalist. one of the questions is, what if there is a category that everyone in the category must deny they are in the category in order for them to be in the category. what you do with that? so she spent a lot of time on that question. i know not to, and i also i also have two sons in their 20s, so i note never to tell anyone they are hipster to their face, only behind their back. [laughter] >> is that okay? thank you for coming. there's a bunch of you i don't know what to do with myself, this is great. people from all people from all over the world, all over the city, thank you so much. going to keep the reader very short. but i'll set it up before i read so so you know what is going on. a big part of the book is about how a small island nation sold
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citizenship in bulk to state people. except it was not sold individually to the state people there government bought it for them. super weird. this whole scheme began when businessmen based in kuwait went to commodes and started to lobby their very small and very dysfunctional government to pass a law allowing for the sale of citizenship. the first time i tried it did not work, it was voted against it and the christmas said this was a travesty why would we do such a thing. so they needed something to sweeten the deal. so i will tell you how they sweeten the deal. >> on october tenth, 200811 officials from the comal islands made their way from the respective villages in the airport not far from the capital. on the runway runway overlooking the indian ocean a
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private planes waited. the road that led them there was the longest, was up and down the west side of the island lined with pineapple, bread, fruit and pineapple trees but also potholes and piles of trash. they supplied the world with a lot of on. it was a tropical climate and it created a unique experience. one part part garbage, the other part chanel number five. the balmy day on the other side of the world the bankers were scrambling to -- the representatives on the way to the airport had money in their minds too but not the abstract time that shows up on. their country was completely broken had been that way as long as it could remember. the camorra's annual gross domestic it products per capita
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was 740-$740 per year. the country was negotiating with the ims for debt relief. 45% of the population live below the poverty line. still today up a structure is dismal. running water is a rarity. even the parliamentary and building lacks some of the basic amenities. when politicians complain complain they have no power, they mean it literally. electricity in the ribs that are equipped with it only ran for several several hours at a time, that is on a good day. only 6% have access to electricity at all. at the middle island is closer to 50 percent, on the smallest island only 20% of people can turn on lights at night. the reason behind the trip to kuwait was economic. earlier that year the government had received a proposal from
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visiting error businessmen. what if they started to sell citizenship to race funds? there there's a great need for passports in the middle east both from wealthy individuals to make traveling and working abroad easier. arabic's or without a name for people who have been denied citizenship from the start. some countries in the region were even went to pay good money businessmen claims. all the clients would have to do is pass a law law allowing for this type of transaction. the president at the time and his vice president were intrigued. this is money they could use to fix the roads, take out out the trash, by feel, and build infrastructure. a destitute country could not afford to be high-minded about a piece of paper. bigger states cannot be chooser
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states. the parliamentary did not see it that way. they offer they said was not selling citizenship to complete strangers selling their country soul? they rejected contending it would be auctioning off their nationality. two months later, the air businessmen offered to put together a fact-finding mission. all-expenses-paid. conveniently it was scheduled to take place ahead of the parliament. six of the vocal opponents were invited. the vice president of the parliament at the time let the delegation. he teaches at a local university, he was a committed member of opposition. he lives in a rundown house with a tin roof at the center of the capital with his wife and baby. his car parked car parked outside of his home was broken
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when he went there and he had to had the means to repair it. the secretary general was delegate who agree to take the trip despite of the project. is one of the most recent model, he saw that trip is a civic duty and was ready to absorb the information he could and report back. the president of the parliamentary finance commission went along because he believed in opening up to the rest of the world. in our country we have a ticking time bomb he told me. we have university that turns out unemployed young people and over the years if they don't find work it will explode. is one of the representatives on the ticket that did not hold the position in the parliament at the time. he was hired as a translator because he speaks arabic and french. he was a nervous man, easily intimidated.
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sweating profusely under pressure. he wanted to to publicize the trip but they said no. they thought many people would be obtaining nationality might have controversy he was trying his best. also present was a dignified older gentleman who served for minister of foreign affairs and would go on several trips. the businessmen made so much knows about the proposal they dangled all sorts of promises in front of them. we wanted to see for ourselves. the men did not have to wait in line for hours to check their bags as is customary at the airport, even when there are only a dozen people. even with four people working at the counter. they didn't have to go through security or pass-through control sweating the large that was taken up residence in the corners. they simply boarded the plane, made themselves comfortable and took off. it was amazing what money could do. as the plane i'm tired the men
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had an aerial view of their country. it's hilly slopes that grow year-round in the organic soil. at the center was one of the world's largest active all candles. it is an island paradise from above, every bit it's pretty which attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists a year. yet on the ground, this natural beauty has gotten nowhere. most people have not heard of it. those who have cannot quite believe it is a poverty nation. the country's country's most distinguishing features a series of post independent, often perpetuated by missionary. violence nickname and international circle is cuckoo land. what is it about kumar is that made it rank among the poorest nation in the world? they wondered what they're doing
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wrong. [applause]. >> so i'm going to ask a few questions, before too long i will go to questions from you when we signed up to write this book, we have a very short short turnaround time for book publishing company. city year something like that? you had been poking at the subject for a while and magazine stories, what was the magnetic extraction of all the stuff too? >> for me,. >> we have a clip-on mic so that is a third mic. but it tracked him initially is
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a group with three passports, never felt particularly bound to any of them. >> what were they just out of curiosity. >> swiss, canadian, and iran. the people a group with a couple of who are in the room, for many of us there is a disconnect of where you're from and where you live and what soccer team he supported. there is just no comparison between the documents are in the first place. size of in the back of the my mind. i've some scuffles of immigration in the country. it all worked out well but not without a lot of sweat and lawyers. size thinking about this in one day i was invited to a conference call the global citizenship and i had a mass
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e-mail. i clicked on it and i thought it was a un think but it was people who wanted to buy passport. that's it for me i thought if you can buy citizenship and its legal and countries will sell it, what is this all mean? i was reading about it in reporting on it, what really clinched it for me of this notion of global citizen was when why he didn't want to pay french taxes. he did say i don't want to pay french taxes, he, he said i'm a citizen of the world. that was it. >> before we get to the larger implication of this, if you could talk a little bit about how you pick the sites that you went to as a reporter, holland y? part of it is implied in what
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you just said. just touch on where you and what you found. >> a year ago i was in kuwait which turns to the quick turnaround of the book. so i have traveled a bunch to go to these conferences for citizenship buying, to london, but for this book in particular i started at one of these conferences and then i went to kuwait because i heard a rumor, that point i was just a rumor that that kuwait was going to bike more in citizenship for its stateless people. crazy thing happened when i got there. >> i just stop you. why do do they want to do this instead of just conferring kuwaiti citizenship? >> it's a good question. kuwaiti citizenship means getting benefits, it's expensive and it's politically iffy to
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give lots of new people citizenship because you do not how they are going to vote. you don't know what they're going to do. so the kuwaitis in general general in the gulf country, i think bahrain is in the exception but most do not like to extend to full citizens. the price of oil just else i guess that makes sense. anyway i went to equate because i heard a rumor about this. a couple of days after i arrived a minister made very public statement about the plans to go ahead. i was reporting that in kuwait learning what to do. then i went to the kumar o's which travis reasons was a big draw as they were the providers of passports. >> in the caribbean like. >> and then in february i tragically spent two weeks in the caribbean, it was terrible. [laughter] the caribbean countries were pioneers in the market because
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they were among the first to openly sell their citizenship to rich outsiders for their money. >> so you mention there's it to version, maybe more than two versions. one is global citizenship for poor folks, one is it for rich folks. you talked about the former are ready but if you could expand because it's not the same for everybody. >> i think that rich people if you have enough money you can be a global citizen if you want to. you can keep a late passports, you can have houses in different countries. you can educate your kids abroad, hide your money, you name you name it. you can plan borders for money. it's easier and easier to do. if your poor person, i think the global aspect your life might be less voluntary.
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you may be what they call an economic migrant, you might be forced to leave your home or where you grew up and spent most your life just to make a living. you're not pressure to take a client passport, you never know what your government is going to make you take. you might be from the country from the philippines were tons of women go abroad to work as housekeepers or nurses, or nannies. that is just part of the economy of that country. >> so as we say in the academy there's two ways to talk about these things. one is normative and one is descriptive. normative is what should be, descriptive is what is. let's start with descriptive and work our way to normative. descriptively, how big of a phenomenon is this. other more global citizen poor folk or more rich folk friday? >> i don't know the answer to
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that. the rich people spent $2 billion in 2014 which is a lot of money. that's not even counting the amount of money invested in the u.s. to establish residence. that's just a lot of money. as for the poor folks, it is probably more because if you look at it in economic terms it constitutes a huge chunk of third world economy. that's like best guess. poor people are more affected by this and ways they do not want to be. >> is what you're saying about a world to calm? one is always hearing on the conference circuit that we live in increasingly global interconnected world that financial system and the information system, the internet and the human migration system have obliterated borders are big
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problems in the world like global warming and terrorism. so is this the beginning of a process where nations will become relatively unimportant? >> i think people were say nations will become less important after the world wars after the un was established but that didn't happen. some not hopeful. it would be nice if there's nationalism in the world. i. i think this borderless world is over born. i think it's only borderless if you're wealthy enough to afford it. >> or poor enough to be forced into it. yeah but you then have to scale the walls to make a living. >> so now let's make a way over to the normative side. is it good to feel like you are a citizen of a nation or is it
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unlimited? i can't speak to the letter because i don't know what it's like to be provincial. >> is a fifth generation louisiana i know what it like to be limited. let me tell you. you mentioned in the book many years ago there is an essay that you had to school called the man without a country. you can tell what it is little bit. >> man without countries like a oral fable he decides to leave and his punishment is to be stuck on a boat, sealing the world for the rest of his days.
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he comes to regret his decision deeply. this is framed at the time in 1864 as an ultimate moral failing and a terrible form of retribution for not being patriotic enough. i don't think that kind of moralizing takes place today. a lot of people choose to live on boats or choose to have an itinerant life. so, i don't know know. >> shouldn't one, the point of that essay as you say it is a fable of the worst thing that could happen to is not to have a strong sense of national identification. you're sort of doomed. sit fair to say that is still true, or have we gotten beyond that? >> i think we are getting beyond it.
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think people are finding new ways to identify themselves. the problem remains that people do not identify strongly with the place or a system that has a government where you pay taxes, how do you redistribute, you can't really do that on a global scale just yet. you cannot rely entirely to do that and then you end up with people who are opt out entirely. >> so in a certain way when you decide to be or may to be a global citizen what is really happening is your leaving the structures of the welfare state and going into a libertarian either paradise or hell depending on who you are right? with stripping away all the things that go citizenship. >> yeah, rather than your opting out instead of thinking of yourself as more inclusive community i guess.
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>> the level of consciousness, i gather from various conversations we have had and what you just said that you really do not feel like i am in and ask, film the blank of a nation. i find it hard to understand what that on feels like. now, i am colorblind so whenever i tell people i'm colorblind they say zero what color does this look like to? if you think about it, you have to say i just can't tell you because what i see and what you see are different. so you may not be able to answer the question but i'll try it anyway. what does it feel like not to feel in my country whatever this might be? >> does anyone else want to answer that question for me? what does it i think there is a famous what is it feel to be a
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back? no one knows what it feels to be a bat? >> to ever sit around wondering what it would be like to feel like there's a country that is my country. >> okay so the best i can do to answer question is when people watch competitive sports and they are very invested in the state of one of the teams, i don't know what that's like but it seems pretty awesome. >> finally, before you go to audience questions, on the other side of the ledger if you talk about benedict anderson a little that you talked about. >> yes he is still alive, he is an academic scholar of the books and talks about and i'm totally oversimplifying it, talked about how the idea of nationalism and
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the nationstate is formed and that's your language, culture, education and literature. and that's can fade throughout these forms. his main thesis is that there's not anything in the nation that is construction it is imagined. it's imagined by people. that is this idea that we are all part of a community in this nation is what ultimately drives people to die for their country. it's a very powerful force. >> but the implication is if nations are constructed they could be deconstructed one day. so as i read him can imagine a time when people would not feel identified, we do not seem to be there yet. let's take your question. should. should i be giving everybody a mic?
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okay. okay i will just point to people. >> thank you and congratulations i miss working with you. so my dutch husband had to give up his dutch nationality when he became an american citizen which in turn help me get my green card. and in a year and half i had to apply for u.s. citizenship. anyway, were in the same universe. but that law that the dutch government passed many think also the laws of former harper passed giving the government the ability to street canadians of their citizenship. i'm just wondering under the course of your research, it's for developed countries to do
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this do you think we will see more of this elimination of dual citizenship and for various political and economic reasons? >> i think you're going to see more for security reasons. the u.k. past allow that allows them to strip people of their citizenship if they are dual nationals so they and if they are suspected of terrorism. that actually brings up something fascinating because the islamic state does not consider it self a national movement. it's beyond existing borders. countries such as the u.k. and canada have legislation that can outstrip islamic state fighters of their citizenship. when you have nationstates and we do not want you come on the other hand you have these isis guys who are burning their passports on youtube and say we do not want them either. so you have these two concepts of an imagined community.
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you can say that isis is pre-national, they are hardly progressive and forward thinking. the caliphate is certainly nothing new. but they have dueling conceptions of what it means to be part of a community. [inaudible] not. [inaudible] >> what seems to be compelling and odd as people have been talking about your book the assumption that the global citizen may be the privileged or the stateless. the underprivileged. therefore, undoing the structure of the state, where surely that kind of the would be more. that which could be transgressed or removed is upheld.
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if you been confused at the assumption that your findings have proven and on doing. >> it is a theoretical undoing, or an intellectual one. it challenges the concept but in practice it's not going anywhere. >> i'm going to ask my question. i'm curious whether any consequences. >> yes, that is the big downside. i guess one thing you have going for you is your stateless is you cannot get reported because you do not have the appropriate documentation to cross borders get on planes. when you are a come orient orient citizen you are legally a foreigner in the country in the country you have been for generations. the book actually talks about
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telling the story about a camorra in citizenship was deported to thailand. you should read it. [laughter] >> is wondering this intersects at all with extra nationstates and free trade zones? >> yet free trade zones are popping up. i don't think they have any bearing on the citizenship of the people in that state, but certainly as tax havens and his business havens. it's not a surprise this is popping up at the same time as citizenship is also for sale. it's a form of leasing sovereignty. >> he spoke about the two types of people were getting the global citizen, the wealthy
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people and libertarians who are buying passports for their own individual purposes. then the poor people, how does that work? you have all these workers who are imported from thailand, the philippines, and bangladesh, and their treated miserably and underpaid. but they do come from a place. they do have these origins in the bangladesh and philippines, and wherever. how do these people, how can they be told to get a passport. >> because it's a separate group. they are are not what we call migrant workers. there people who were native to that part of the world the families were there for generations and for whatever reason did not sign up when the
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nations were formed. they're also people who immigrate illegally and for other reasons are stateless. but essentially they did not sign up when they should have. it is separate separate group from the migrant workers. >> that brings up the question of indigenous people. i'm wondering if in your research you came across indigenous people as citizenship. i think it applies mark countries like this one. >> i did did not really dig into back, sorry. i know but the rights of the been doing, why thailand? >> in the camorra's there's an odd stipulation in their agreement, there are a lot of on stipulations to naturalize.
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that is they do not actually want them in their country. so the citizenship is paperthin. it comes with very few rights. >> we have time for one more question. >> i'm going to cheat masculine pre-question and then we'll go to our last. which is, to have a take on what is going on and when europe would go throughout your refugee crisis in light of the book? >> we hear so many awful stories about people risking their lives to get on these crappy little boats and we all know the narrative. we are not really thinking about how people from very wealthy people from the
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same country, like a very wealthy libyan can within a year be a full e citizen just because of the size of his or her wallet. no one is really talking about that. i think that's important to keep in mind. this real structural inequality in the laws of these individual nations. also in the system and our whole way of organizing how people can move around. >> was wondering what the advantage is for a wealthy person from a golf nation to take up citizenship in a small caribbean island. i understand why the kuwaitis did it but why wall wealthy person would take up citizenship in the u.s. but why a small island? >> one use of travel, it's much easier to travel on a passport than on the syrian one or saudi
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one. you can go to more countries without a visa. gonna go on vacation or do business, it's easier. there are tax advantages to being a citizen of these countries, although you do not really even need to be citizen to take advantage of the tax regime. i think the tax angle, at least for non- americans. nice speeches, can't complain. these places are pretty nice as well. and if you want to educate your kids abroad or just have another option. if your country is in trouble you have a haven. >> they say basically in this world the idea where the more passports except the better. you cannot be too rich, you can have too many national passports. >> think is so much. you will hang out for a while and sign books.
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[applause]. thank you so much for coming out. the book is available at the front register. if you want her to sign a copy of the book she will be up your signing copies. line up on the wall. the after party is going to be at the clover club. that's give her one big round of applause. [applause]. [inaudible] >> here's a look at some authors recently featured on book tvs,
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afterwards. our weekly interview program. two-time pulitzer prize winning journalist gilbert gaul, described the rise of big money in college football. roberta kaplan recalled her successful supreme court argument in favor of gay marriage. historian neil ferguson talked about the early life of henry kissinger, in the coming weeks on afterwards michael will report on the factors contributed to america's health and wellness gap. darcy olson, president president of the goldwater institute will take a critical look at the review. new medications must undergo to receive fda approval. also coming up, karl rove will discuss the importance of william mckinley's 1896 presidential campaign. this weekend, nurse and new york times columnist tresa brown will talk about the challenges patient space in the healthcare system. >> i really wanted readers to get a sense of how important nurses are to patient care and to give them a very tactile
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detailed, sense of that. reading the book seemed like a great way to do that. it also makes a great story, you meet these people at the beginning of the day and then at the end of the day you more or less find out how they did. but it lets people know what's the shift is really like and everything that goes into it. >> afterwards airs on book to be every saturday at 10:00 p.m. and sunday at 9:00 p.m. eastern. you can watch all previous afterwards programs on our website, book [inaudible]


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