Home Rule

National Sovereignty and the Separation of Natives and Migrants

Home Rule

View details on the online book discussion to be held April 2, 2020 at 7:00pm EDT.
Book Pages: 384 Illustrations: Published: February 2020

Author: Nandita Sharma

Globalization and Neoliberalism, Postcolonial and Colonial Studies, Sociology > Social Theory

In Home Rule Nandita Sharma traces the historical formation and political separation of Natives and Migrants from the nineteenth century to the present to theorize the portrayal of Migrants as “colonial invaders.” The imperial-state category of Native, initially a mark of colonized status, has been revitalized in what Sharma terms the Postcolonial New World Order of nation-states. Under postcolonial rule, claims to autochthony—being the Native “people of a place”—are mobilized to define true national belonging. Consequently, Migrants—the quintessential “people out of place”—increasingly face exclusion, expulsion, or even extermination. This turn to autochthony has led to a hardening of nationalism(s). Criteria for political membership have shrunk, immigration controls have intensified, all while practices of expropriation and exploitation have expanded. Such politics exemplify the postcolonial politics of national sovereignty, a politics that Sharma sees as containing our dreams of decolonization. Home Rule rejects nationalisms and calls for the dissolution of the ruling categories of Native and Migrant so we can build a common, worldly place where our fundamental liberty to stay and move is realized.


“Nandita Sharma has taken on the most burning issues of our times and written about them with clarity, grace, and power. She shows us a path from an oppressive past to a radical, humane future based on a ‘mobile politics of solidarity.’ This brilliant, timely book is a must-read for scholars and activists alike.” — Marcus Rediker, University of Pittsburgh

Home Rule is a bold, ambitious book that advances an original, complex, and controversial argument about the social and political production of binary oppositions and antagonisms between indigenous ‘Natives’ and ‘Migrants’. Bristling with important and exciting ideas, it challenges us to interrogate some of the most pernicious complacencies of contemporary political discourse, providing an innovative, wide-ranging examination of the global politics of autochthony and a far-reaching reconsideration of the postcolonial world order.” — Nicholas De Genova, editor of The Borders of “Europe”: Autonomy of Migration, Tactics of Bordering

"Home Rule presents a challenge to critical literature on settler colonialism which perhaps too often allows claims to indigeneity to go unquestioned. ... In spite of the painful histories in Home Rule, Sharma maintains optimism. Instead of repeating the errors of the past, reinforcing the divisions and hierarchies of state citizenship and border regimes, Sharma proposes that we study, learn, and do better for the next political transformation." — Mat Cusick, Public Seminar

"Home Rule offers important arguments about how we understand the nature of othering across post-imperial contexts, especially in the face of global capitalism and continued faith in the nation state. Sharma’s rich analysis reminds us that there is more work to be done, particularly around alternative ways of understanding nationhood and sovereignty as seen and experienced by those most subject to discourses and practices of exclusion." — Laura Madokoro, Social History

"The major contribution of [Home Rule] is to establish the importance of the nationalist autochthonous discourses in formulating capitalist immigration policy, and to explain the racist and xenophobic ways they are used to determine who qualifies as a citizen versus who does not." — Comrade Motopu, libcom.org

"Sharma’s Home Rule will spark many fruitful conversations among scholars and graduate students interested in migration, nationalism, and postcolonial thought and is a particularly strong example of the way postcolonial ideas can provide a powerful interpretive approach to timely issues of great sociological concern." — Gregory J., Goalwin, Social Forces

"Aside from 2020's unforeseen circumstances, it is clear that Home Rule deals with the pressing issues of today's world, successfully historicizing the current, troubling characterization of migrants as colonial invaders and carefully contextualizing the intense disputes over national sovereignty in Israel-Palestine.… I would whole heartedly recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand more about the important history of migration or who wants a comprehensive overview of how the structures of imperialism have developed in today's postcolonial world."  — Zoë Miller, European Review of HIstory

"Taken in the round this is a stimulating and thought-provoking read, that seeks to challenge received perceptions and to articulate a different way to understand the role of national sovereignty within the changing global politics that structure our understandings of citizenship and immigration." — John Solomos, Ethnic and Racial Studies


Availability: In stock
Price: $29.95

Open Access

Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Nandita Sharma is Professor of Sociology at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa and author of Home Economics: Nationalism and the Making of ‘"Migrant Workers" in Canada.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments  ix
1. Home Rule: The National Politics of Separation  1
2. The Imperial Government of Mobility and Stasis  36
3. The National Government of Mobility and Stasis  62
4. The Jealousy of Nations: Globalizing National Constraints on Human Mobility  90
5. The Postcolonial New World Order and the Containment of Decolonization  117
6. Developing the Postcolonial New World Order  142
7. Global Lockdown: Postcolonial Expansion of National Citizenship and Immigration Controls  163
8. National Autochthonies and the Making of Postcolonial National-Natives  205
9. Postseparation: Struggles for a Decolonized Commons  268
Notes  285
Bibliography  299
Index 347
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

Rights and licensing
Additional InformationBack to Top