2nd Annual Academic Investment Migration Seminar: The State of the Investment Migration Field
Call For Papers

The convenors are seeking contributions to an international conference on the key legal and political developments in investment migration that will take place on Monday, 5 June 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland. The conference is co-organized by the Faculty of Law, University of Groningen and SOAS, University of London, and sponsored by the Investment Migration Council (Geneva).

CONVENORS: Prof. Dimitry Kochenov (Chair of EU Constitutional Law, Groningen; Chairman of the IMC)
Prof. Kristin Surak (Associate Professor of Politics, SOAS, University of London)

CONFERENCE THEME: Building on the success of the first Investment Migration Seminar in 2016, the convenors aim to bring together a multi-disciplinary group of scholars engaged with investment migration issues, including both citizenship and residence by investment.

The last decades saw a rapid rise around the world in migration regulation that enables the acquisition of citizenship or residence rights in exchange for a donation (as in Malta or St Kitts and Nevis) or an investment (as in the US, Latvia or Portugal). While not entirely new -- the famous International Court of Justice case of Nottebohm is an early example of citizenship by donation - these programs have reached enormous proportions in the years since the he Canadian Business Immigration Program began in 1978. As of 2015, roughly half of the countries in the world - 89 jurisdictions to be precise - have ius pecuniae or ius doni rules. While these are usually divided into citizenship and residence programmes, the line between the two is blurred: only 18 out of 89 require physical presence in the territory of the jurisdiction, while the majority, even if not distributing citizenship right away, allow for naturalization based on the years of investment residence. It is now clear that investment migration - understood as the acquisition of legal residence and, eventually, citizenship, in exchange for a donation or investment into the economy of the jurisdiction concerned - has assumed a place alongside other traditional modes of residence and citizenship acquisition. Nonetheless, scholars have largely ignored this global trend, a silence this conference aims to reverse by giving the rise of investment migration a meticulous scholarly treatment. It is unquestionable that the current trend raises countless issues, including the abuse of ius doni to get rid of stateless minorities (as seen in the deals between the UAE and the Comoros Islands), and the trade in de facto sub-standard citizenships (as in the case of the Kingdom of Tonga). It also raises questions about the costs and benefits of the migration flows generated, both for the countries concerned (does the UK really benefit from its investment residence scheme?) and the individuals acquiring residence and citizenship by pledging huge amounts to foreign jurisdictions. It is clear that investment migration can boost the economy. It is equally clear that it can become a vehicle of corruption and tax evasion. By looking at these and related issues, the second Investment Migration conference aims to establish a solid ground for the serious academic conversation on the issues of citizenship and residence by investment.

PAPER SUBMISSION PROCEDURE: The convenors seek abstracts of 500 words or less that deal with the theme of the conference. Proposals including an abstract, full contact details and institutional affiliation should be forwarded to the convenors' assistant, Ms Jacquelyn Veraldi at 2017investmentmigration@gmail.com by March 20, 2017. Scholars are kindly asked to indicate if they will need funding to attend the event. The convenors have a limited budget at their disposal to cover travel expenses of paper-givers. The selection of successful participants will be made by March 30.

Posted: 26 Jan 2017