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Posts from ‘January, 2007’

What Do I Get Out of It?

Every day, the American leadership asks Sunnis and Shiites: isn’t it time to forego your petty loyalties and forge a new and powerful Iraqi nation? The benefits seem clear enough: personal safety and security; the possibility of economic reconstruction; an independent nation without meddling from Iran and Saudi Arabia, much less the US. In many [...]

Response to Comment

What do I get out of it? Collin’s comment and question: What motive or benefit do I have for going “expat” instead of, say American? Does something have to shift in my psyche to adopt the expat stance or can I be both? I often feel more patriotic when abroad, and now you’re suggesting I [...]

The Movie

No matter how interesting I find international tax codes and regulatory policies, I am not a fool: most people find them boring. Myth and tradition come from the media these days. What Expat Nation really needs is a blockbuster movie. Studio 60 recently had a brief storyline about a new series called “The Nations,” which [...]

Death and Taxes?

Death, maybe. Taxes — in the era of global tax havens, widespread fraud, and code complexity that even the enforcers can’t figure out – are anything but certain. As an American who is taxed on all his income, because of citizenship, I was surprised to find the vast array and variation of expat taxation. It [...]

Economic Affiliation

Among American immigrants today, the vast majority come for jobs or opportunity. Among expats overseas, a good fraction comes for opportunity, augmented by novelty and a variety of personal reasons. Many cities around the world are more international in their ethnic and cultural mix than they are representative of their homeland nations. Because residency is [...]


There is a research group at the London School of Economics called The Centre for the Study of Global Governance (see http://www.lse.ac.uk/Depts/global/researchgcswhatis.htm ): Global Civil Society is about understanding globalisation ‘from below,’ from the perspective of ordinary people. It is a highly contested concept, for which many meanings have been proposed but no agreed definition [...]

An Imagined Community?

In Steven Spielberg’s movie Munich, there is a scene where Avner, the Mossad agent and Ali, a Palestinian terrorist, discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in surprisingly candid and personal terms. Avner asks [and I paraphrase]: “Are the olive trees and the parched land really worth anything, after generations of wandering? You Palestinians can go anywhere. . [...]

Extrapolating Switzerland

If you have made it this far, you are probably wondering what hare-brained idea is behind this notion of “expats uniting.” After all, expats are a pretty fractious group, on the face of it. Maybe we can share a beer in Sanlitun, admire the locals, or show up for a World Cup broadcast, but that [...]

Expat Nation – The Blog

If you are already an expat, you know what it feels like to be on the front lines of the globalization transformation. Even if you have managed to live your entire life without leaving your homeland, you might have noticed that things are different – there are a lot more “foreigners”? around, for one. Different [...]