Studies is an important, interdisciplinary thread which runs through contemporary debates on globalization, citizenship, community studies, political geography and identity. It has always represented a significant component of ethnic, multicultural and racial studies but the last few years have seen a steady increase in separate / autonomous courses and modules as students, lecturers and researchers engage with the field. This proposal looks to pull together the central themes of the field; its approach is logical and the three main themes the authors identify are a useful hook upon which to hang the text. International relevance and marketability is obviously important; the inclusion of a US and a UK author with such sympathetic expertise will help to maximise the appeal of the project. The authors are aware of the need to balance the needs of different markets and their willingness to develop the proposal in response to the reviewers' comments is encouraging.
Few if any topics are more fundamental to the social sciences than international migration. We cannot usefully speak about a ‘society’ without knowing something about its membership and boundaries. That point has particular force in the contemporary period when most societies are defined in relation to nations: one usually thinks by default of British society or American society. Matters might be simpler if the membership of societies were fixed, static, and thus obvious and uncontested – if we all could easily know who counts as ‘British’, etc. But when societies experience immigration in non-trivial numbers (as virtually all countries now do) it becomes plain that societies are inevitably quite fluid and perhaps even chronically indistinct. The observation holds not just for social science ...