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Parvathi Raman

This chapter analyses contemporary political struggles over mobility, and the production of racialised migration regimes. By discussing the story of Commonwealth migration to postwar Britain, I focus is on the intersection between race and labour migration. I compare postwar migration to the role of the border in ‘Brexit Britain’. I argue that mobility, fundamental to the human condition and central to the making of our modern world, has now become a deeply disputed political right. I suggest that, ultimately, there is not a migration ‘crisis’ in the contemporary world, but rather a more general crisis of liberal democracy, a political ideology that has produced a highly discriminatory, profitable and inhuman ‘migration industry’. In asking ‘who has the right to cross the border’, we also ask ourselves fundamental questions about political subjectivity and governance in the 21st century.