Passport rankings demonstrate that access to visa-free travel is highly stratified globally. How do states ascend these ranks? This talk introduces the concept of mobility diplomacy and argues that neither wealth nor political stability are sufficient conditions for unlocking visa-free travel. To be successful, developing countries must persuade highly developed countries—especially the European Union—that their citizens will not become migrants. The talk discusses the most successful case of mobility diplomacy—the United Arab Emirates—which became the world’s most powerful passport in 2018, and addresses the important role that visas and passports play in international negotiations.
Noora A. Lori, Associate Professor of International Relations, Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University
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