Foreign Relations & International Law

Chatter: The Global Citizenship Industry with Kristin Surak

David Priess, Kristin Surak
Thursday, February 8, 2024, 9:00 AM
What is the global citizenship industry?

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Some people call it "investor citizenship" while others label it a "passport for sale" scheme. Either way, the last few decades have seen the global citizenship industry grow and evolve in ways that both reflect and impact issues around national sovereignty, tax regimes, international business, and global inequities.

David Priess chatted about these and related issues with political sociologist and author Kristin Surak, whose recent book The Golden Passport takes a multidisciplinary look at global mobility for the wealthy and the complex system that has developed around it. They discussed the new "most powerful passport" rankings, the types of people who seek different citizenship through investment, Turkey's rise as a major Citizenship By Investment (CBI) player, the rise and fall of the program in Cyprus, how intermediary companies power the CBI system, the trailblazing CBI role of St. Kitts and Nevis, the challenges of European countries attempting to start and keep CBI programs, differing perceptions of CBI around the world, issues of equity and ethics, and the recent phenomena of digital nomads.

Among the works mentioned in this episode:

Chatter is a production of Lawfare and Goat Rodeo. This episode was produced and edited by Cara Shillenn of Goat Rodeo. Podcast theme by David Priess, featuring music created using Groovepad.

David Priess is Director of Intelligence at Bedrock Learning, Inc. and a Senior Fellow at the Michael V. Hayden Center for Intelligence, Policy, and International Security. He served during the Clinton and Bush 43 administrations as a CIA officer and has written two books: “The President’s Book of Secrets,” about the top-secret President’s Daily Brief, and "How To Get Rid of a President," describing the ways American presidents have left office.
Kristin Surak is Associate Professor of Political Sociology at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She is the author of "The Golden Passport: Global Mobility for Millionaires."

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