CfP: 4th Annual Investment Migration Conference: International Mobility of the Wealthy and Global Inequality

June 3, 2019, Geneva

Building on the success of the Investment Migration Seminars in 2016, 2017 and 2018, the convenors are seeking contributions to an international conference on the key economic, political and legal developments on the mobility of the wealthy and global inequality that will take place on 3 June in Geneva, Switzerland.

The conference is co-organized by the Faculty of Law, University of Groningen (The Netherlands), and sponsored by the Investment Migration Council (Switzerland).

Prof. Dimitry Kochenov (Chair of EU Constitutional Law, Groningen; Chairman of the IMC)
Dr. Suryapratim Roy (Assistant Professor and Convenor of the Constitutional Governance and Social Change Research Group, School of Law, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland)

In the past and at present, wealthy individuals (the so-called High Net Worth Individuals HNWIs), have moved internationally in response to opportunities for profit and business abroad, geographic diversification and also because of perceived threats to their financial position and, eventually their physical integrity, in their home/residence country.

Historically, the development of industry and finance, often implied a degree of international mobility of the wealthy classes. For example, the financial empire built by the Rothschild family in the 19th century entailed frequent travel and residence of those at the helm of the family business. In turn, successful entrepreneurs such as Mellon, Vanderbilt, Carnegie, Rockefeller, and Soros, were born in Europe and migrated to the United States where their careers and fortunes (including philanthropic activities) received a big boost.

Other forms of migration of the rich may also reflect rent-seeking activities. Like other migrants the wealthy seek environments where they can work, invest, develop a family life, educate their children and enjoy a degree of legal and financial protection. Wealth can be accumulated as reward for real production and innovations but also can have it origins in opaque deals and illegal ways.

Unlike the case of low-skill and poor migrants, the wealthy face no real financial constraints to afford the costs of moving, included the fees charged by relocation companies that look after legal, real estate, financial and other dimensions involved in the migration of the rich.

The mobility of the wealthy has implications on several dimensions of policy interest such as (i) its impact on inequality within countries and between countries, (ii) links with the mobility of financial assets around the world, and (iii) the shape of migration regimes, including cash or investment for residence/citizenship schemes (investment migration programmes). This conference wishes to explore these issues in more detail bringing fresh thinking and new approaches on these important topics.

Among the scholars participating this year are:
– Peter Spiro, Charles R. Weiner Professor of Law, Co-Director, Institute for International Law and Public Policy, Temple University.
– Andres Solimano, President, International Center for Globalization and Development and External Director of DOC-RI Project on Mobility of the Wealthy and Global Inequality.
– John Torpey, Professor of Sociology and History, and Director of the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies at the Graduate Center, City university of New York.

ABSTRACTS: 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 by 30 March 2019. 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 April 7, 2019.