What is it about?

This article analyses how digital nomads and nation-states relate to one another. Specifically, it focuses on digital nomads' strategies to bypass the frictions nation-states impose upon them, such as high-costs of living, visa restrictions and taxation, while looking simultaneously at the special visa programmes created by 27 countries worldwide to attract this emerging niche of consumers.

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Why is it important?

The article contributes to understand how new mobility regimes are shaped according to neoliberal ideologies, often racialised and classist, that sort between self-reliant and abject travellers. At the same time, by focusing on the interaction between digital nomads and nation-states, the research shows how mobility regimes are not mere top-down systems of control, but rather frictional assemblages, where different degrees of privilege, precarity and power interplay to determine which movements are valuable or glamourous and which are stigmatised or blocked.


Writing this article with Jennie Germann Molz was a great pleasure, as we could bring together the ethnographic projects we have been conducting separately since 2015 with digital nomads travelling solo or with their families. It was interesting to compile a global database of countries' policies, as it progressively revealed striking similarities among nation-states' strategies to enhance their competitiveness and attract new resident consumers. We hope readers will find this article thought-provoking for thinking beyond privileged movement and migration as two separate phenomena. In the end, it is an article that argues for more equal politics.

Fabiola Mancinelli

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Moving with and against the state: digital nomads and frictional mobility regimes, Mobilities, May 2023, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/17450101.2023.2209825.
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