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American Ethnologist

A Clash of Vulnerabilities: Citizenship, Labor, and Expatriacy in the Cayman Islands

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Abstract

In this article, I examine the stalemates produced in the Cayman Islands, a major center for offshore finance and tourism, by globalizing processes that have encouraged the valorization of transnational mobility, commodification of labor, and exclusivity of citizenship. I argue that globalization takes form in the Cayman Islands through the channels carved out for it by local state interests and regulation that have defined citizenship as a terrain for competing entitlements between expatriate workers and enfranchised permanent residents. Caymanians struggling to retain local political control over their labor market only further its incorporation into the global economy while expatriates can find their exit from Cayman stymied by the localization of labor markets elsewhere, [citizenship, transnational, labor, offshore finance, tourism]

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