Negotiating the Borderscape: Statelessness, Migration, and Livelihoods in Northern Thailand

Amanda L. Flaim, Cornell University

This research will examine the impact of statelessness on migration patterns and livelihood outcomes among rural ethnicity communities in northern Thailand. Data are derived from an innovative and unique survey of over 300 highland minority villages located along the Burma border, an area characterized by extensive internal and international boundary making, both geographically and in terms of unequal provision of Thai citizenship. Employing multinomial logistic regression analysis to determine differential propensities to move given citizenship status as well as ethnicity, sex, marital status and other salient factors, the research will engage micro-level theories of migration as a household livelihood strategy with structural considerations of how state-mandated political categories of citizenship shape individual and family migration behavior. Findings will shed light on differential limitations of migration as a rural livelihood strategy as well as the growing importance—yet largely overlooked—consideration of legal status in studies of modern inequality.

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Presented in Session 120: Intersections Between Internal and International Migration