I just came back from a hectic 10 days in the US, presenting my new book at 5 universities – it was a very intense, yet very satisfying, trip. It seems that the election of President Trump has perhaps made US academics somewhat more modest, reflective and open to knowledge and insights from other nations. These elections – and those in other countries including the very recent one in Austria – demonstrate my argument that we do not live in a global era, but rather in the era of bordered globalization, in which the intense and complex interrelations between global forces and persistent geo-political borders shape every aspect of our lives, including the familial.

The first stop was AU Washington College of Law, where a special book launch event was organized. I focused on Chapter 3 of the book dealing with the growing difficulties in coordinating familial expectations, with prenups as a possible, yet undesirable, solution; and on Chapter 5, which offers the concept of familial citizenship and looks at the right of family members to live in the same country. This visit was a particularly special one for me, as I am an LL.M alumna of the AUWCL, and it was wonderful to return as a professor presenting her latest work, just published by the prestigious CUP.

The next stop was a conference at Cornell Law School on the Ethics of the Market, where I argued for a reversed moral perspective in relation to parental remittances and child labor, discussed in Chapter 6. While the International community usually ignores the former and perceives the latter as an absolute evil, I argue that, from a family law perspective, parental immigration puts children left-behind at risk, while child labor should be tolerated as a necessity in certain circumstances.

After a weekend in beautiful Ithaca (which I spent grading papers …), I presented in the faculty seminar at the nearby Syracuse University College of Law. We had a vibrant discussion over inter-country adoption and unaccompanied minors reaching the Global North, raising legal questions and dilemmas around parental neglect and guardianship. Next, I spent two days in Boston, presenting at the faculty seminar of the Boston University School of Law and at the Weatherhead Initiative on Gender Inequality workshop, at Harvard University. Interestingly, BU law faculty members were particularly interested in the last chapter of the book, which looks at the issue of care in old age and investigates the familial socio-legal realities arising when the elderly are cared-for by migrant workers. At Harvard, the discussion included not only the centrality of gender in the analysis of legalized families in the era of bordered globalization, but also the importance of creating intellectual and normative bridges between social scientists and legal scholars. As a scholar trained both in law and in sociology, I was especially gratified at the audience’s appreciation of the book as providing such a bridge.

Of course, now I am completely jetlagged, but cannot wait for the next “Mini Book-Tour” in February, which will include also the West Coast. In the meantime, I thank my American colleagues for their hospitality, generosity and curiosity!

Find out more about Legalized Families in the Era of Bordered Globalization here.

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