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Between 1870 and 1930 South America was the second largest recipient of migrants in the world only after the USA. Millions of Europeans emigrated notably to Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. How have countries with 200 years of history regulated the legal figure of the national and the foreigner through their constitutional, nationality and migration law? What lessons can other regions in the world learn from such experience over two centuries?

Event details of The Legal Construction of the Foreigner: Two Centuries of European Immigration in South America
Date 14 March 2019
Time 15:30 -17:00

Since the turn of the century, South American governments and regional organisations have adopted the world's most open discourse on migration and citizenship. At a time when restrictive choices were becoming increasingly predominant around the world, South American policymakers presented their discourse as being both an innovative and exceptional 'new paradigm' and part of a morally superior, avant-garde path in policymaking. This lecture provides a critical examination of the South American legal framework through a historical and comparative analysis. Diego Acosta uses this analysis to assess whether the laws are truly innovative and exceptional, as well as evaluating their feasibility, strengths and weaknesses. By analysing the legal construction of the national and the foreigner in ten South American countries during the last two centuries, he demonstrates how different citizenship and migration laws have functioned, as well as showing why states have opted for certain regulation choices, and the consequence of these choices for state- and nation-building in the continent. An invaluable insight for anyone interested in global migration and citizenship discussions.

About the speakers

Dr Diego Acosta is a leading international expert on European and international migration law. He is the author of more than 40 publications and his latest monograph (in print with Cambridge University Press) looks at the legal construction of the national and the foreigner in South America since independence in the early 19th century until today. He also currently participates as co-investigator in the ERC funded project Prospects for International Migration Governance (MIGPROSP) running 2014-2019. He has also been one of the authors of the proposal for a Model International Mobility Convention led by Columbia University in New York. Dr Acosta has also provided consultancy for various governments, international organisations, law firms, political parties and NGOs in the United States, Europe, Latin America and Africa.

Tesseltje de Lange is an expert on EU Migration Law, Senior Researcher and Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law, UvA.

This lecture is organized by CEDLA, ACES migration network and Law & Justice across borders - University of Amsterdam. You are warmly invited to stay for drinks afterwards.

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Roetersstraat 33, Amsterdam

Room 2.02 (2nd floor)