© University of Augsburg

The social question has returned. However, the conflict between capital and labour alone is no longer the focus of attention, as it was in the 19th century and for much of the 20th century. The current transnational question is situated at the intersections of the global South and the global North and becomes particularly visible in global migratory movements of people seeking a better life or fleeing from unsustainable social, political, economic and ecological conditions. Whereas in the 19th century the social question was being negotiated along the lines of class, other heterogeneities such as legal status or citizenship, gender, ethnicity or religion are now increasingly finding their way into political debates. This raises questions about the respective political lines of conflict in the countries of emigration, transit and immigration. In his lecture, Thomas Faist argues that various paradoxes along the axes of economic demand for migration and socio-cultural desirability of migrants lead to unusual developments in the political sphere. He thus follows up on his recent book The Transnationalized Social Question, published by Oxford University Press.



The academic lectures of the Jakob-Fugger-Zentrum highlight new transnational research and approaches from different viewpoints. Featuring captivating speakers, the lectures offer a platform for discussion and stimulating exchange across disciplinary boundaries.

Thomas Faist (PhD, The Graduate Faculty, New School for Social Research) is Professor of the Sociology of Transnationality, Development and Migration at the University of Bielefeld. Prior to that, he established the study program Political Management at the Hochschule Bremen and worked in various research projects at the Center for Social Policy and the Institute for Intercultural and International Studies at the University of Bremen. Thomas Faist has held various visiting professorships abroad, including at the University of Toronto in Canada and the University of Malmö in Sweden. His work focuses on cross-border migration and mobility, citizenship, social policy and development sociology. He is currently heading research projects on the mobility of international students, the social positioning of migrants in Europe and on migration and inequalities in a German-American comparison.