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Raoul Bianchi & Marcus L. Stephenson. Tourism and Citizenship: rights, freedoms and responsibilities in the global order.

Raoul Bianchi & Marcus L. Stephenson. Tourism and Citizenship: rights, freedoms and responsibilities in the global order. 2014. Abingdon, Routledge.

The book Tourism and Citizenship, authored by R. Bianchi and M. L Stephenson, explores the contradictions and fallacies of neo-liberal discourse, which encourages mobility and tourism as a means of peace-keeping. The six chapters that present this research articulate the double edge sword that is mobility in a world of sharp contrasts. At time when first world tourists explore the vast geographies of this world, peripheral migrants are scrutinized, immobilized, and monitored by existent technology. In this book, authors explore the ebbs and flows of mobility as well as its connection with globalization.

The first chapter examines the historical origin of tourism and imperial travel and the formation of political poles (i.e., the Cold-War), which leads the industry of travel to draw a geography of asymmetry. Against this backdrop, tourism not only serves to re-define the potentialities of citizenships but also enhanced nationalism in many senses. Tourism grew dramatically from 1960 to 1970, emerging as one of the leading industries of the world and paving the way for the accentuation of new material asymmetries within societies. Certainly, the role of tourism in local economies should not be exaggerated, nor should the promises of globalization be accepted as unquestionable truths. However, what Bianchi and Stephenson wish to examine is the extent to which tourism and globalization have contributed to the development of contrasting landscapes within tourist-receiving countries. Their goals are aimed to examining tourism as an ideological mechanism that creates different economic wealth in the world. The success of globalization consists in interrogating third world nations under the luxury goods posed by tourism consumption. This means that tourism not only seems to be a commercial activity, but also a political instrument that strengthens inequalities in peoples. At the time globalization opens the opportunities to travel for many richer citizens of first world, others are limited to be immobilized or penalized such as blue-collar workers or migrants. The tension generated by the economic disparity made apparent by tourism (particularly through visible displays of wealth by tourists) cements the resentments off of which discontent, agitation, and, ultimately, terrorism feed. The violence exerted against tourists worldwide points to the fallacy of "democratized mobility" for those who have no access to it. Those asymmetries generated by economy are enlarged in the meeting of local and tourists. Based on the resulted sentiment of resentment, local peripheral populations show hostility against first world travelers. The attacks perpetrated by terrorists against tourists are reminders that Bianchi and Stephenson add to the understanding of the political nature of tourism. Indeed, privileged travelers coming from the periphery cite "security" as a necessity in order to enjoy their sojourn. Why would local agents attack first-world tourists? The politics of tourism incite agitation, assert the authors, particularly given that the historical evolution of "citizenship" tended to include the ability to travel. The second chapter, in a similar vein, analyzes the configuration of the globalized elite on the foundation of the expansion of multiculturalism and "cosmopolitization." (1) This foundation created a new consciousness of what post-modern travel means, in which tourists are exploited by commercial forces that operate beyond the nation-state sovereignty.

The third chapter of the book delves into the connection between tourism and imperialism. Regarding world travel, the ideological discourse of empires entails making citizens believe not only that tourism offers a "world without boundaries" but also a stable political atmosphere for all nations. In perhaps the best chapter, Bianchi and Stephenson remind the reader that marketing and management disciplines have paid the attention to those aspects of nations that can be commoditized (i.e., and sold to tourists) while ignoring others. Chapter four unravels the contradictions and fallacies of a "double-oriented mobility," (2) which is employed as a mechanism of control, keeping marginalized populations from seeing other parts of the world and, as such, compounding their marginalized status. The final sections of the work emphasize the process of securitization and how it securitization efforts emerged within a context of terrorism and a globalized fear. Both tourism and terrorism, assert the authors, share a crude sort of instrumentalism--the exploitation of others to protect one's own interests.

Although this book elegantly deepens the connection between tourism and terrorism, it fails to explain the historical evolution of tourism as an "inoculated form of terrorism." Through this text, the explanation employed to describe the role of globalization in shaping the politics of violence and terrorism put the cart before the horse. In earlier studies, the reviewer found (by the compilation of sufficient evidence) that "modern tourism" is terrorism by other means. Tourism was formed by the pressure of worker unions, a movement widely reinforced by the anarchist-related ideologies brought by Italian migrants in the nineteenth century. Although anarchists were violent at the outset, they were opting for more efficient ways of negotiating their ideals with state. We will explain in detail this thesis in this review. Without the terrorism produced by anarchism in the nineteenth century, tourism would never exist.

What Bianchi and Stephenson ignore is that leisure and tourism were answers formulated by the capital-owners to unionization and the 1935 Wagner Act (3) in the U.S. By the turn of the twentieth century, the process of European industrialization had generated a strong movement from rural zones to cities. However, the working conditions in industrialized European cities were far from acceptable. As such, millions of European workers migrated further, to the periphery (US, Australia, Argentina, and other South American destinations), prompting a process of acculturation in those host nations as never before. In America, the claims issued by workers for shorter hours and increased wages obscured the atmosphere of new opportunities the European migrants expected to meet. The European workforce that migrated to America looked to an imagined landscape of peace, prosperity and wealth.

Among the newcomers were anarchists who arrived with a new ideology that not only valorized the role of the worker as critical to the "production-machine" but also coordinated the efforts of workers in order to cause political instability. Since suspicions against capital owners were high, the first anarchist activists planned and perpetrated violent attacks against important persons of society, such as chiefs of police and politicians. The fear of these new alien immigrants resulted in a strong response by the state. Prosecuted, jailed, and deported as "terrorists," they were labeled as "undesired guests". However, their ideology was enrooted in the capitalist ethos.

In parallel, other groups of activists believed that the right to unionize laid fertile grounds for the realization of their beliefs and ideas. Activists worked hard to organize workers and bring workers' demands to government representatives, adopting legal instruments offered by the state to effect change. In response, the capitalist system adopted the anarchist ideology by pressing terrorism toward its boundaries. The bombings against forces of security or politicians created an unstable sentiment of panic in America. These factional groups were persecuted and deported under the label of terrorists while others less radical anarchist groups opted to organize the struggle through the worker unions. The claims issued by workforce had more chances to prosper than violent tactics. However, the same ideology persisted. The benefits of worker unions resulted in better wages and less working hours. The capital owners took the opportunities to offer leisure conditions that later paved the ways for the advent of mass tourism. The violence, as originally was exerted by anarchist activism was disciplined by the state in forms of leisure and entertainment. To understand this better we have recur to the metaphor of the virus and vaccine, as it has been formulated by Michel Foucault (2009). The virus can be understood as a threat which puts a serious danger to society, while the virus limits to be a mitigated (disciplined) form of the threat.

This reminds how the modern societies work. States conferred the legal strike to workforce to abandon their terrorist tactics. So, if start the premise that tourism was originated by the struggle of unionization, we must accept it would never possible without local terrorism (anarchism). This has been the historical connection between tourism and terrorism.

A closer look at the links between tourism and terrorism reveals some similarities. Notably, the authors maintain that a labor strike (understood as the legal form of protest) and a terrorist attack share some common features. Both use and/or exploit a subordinated Other in order to negotiate with a stronger structure, using the element of surprise as further leverage or mechanism of extortion. Workers' unions in tourism fields take the opportunity to threaten to strike in the face of great events such as the Olympic Games or the World Cup in order to achieve as much leverage as possible. Consumers or citizens are only valid sources of exploitation for the interests of workers. Indeed, whenever thousands of tourists are stranded, this serves as a message to government. Once again, the Foucauldian metaphor of virus and vaccine helps understanding this better. The capitalist ethos has evolved by the introduction of disciplinary mechanisms where the threat (virus) is sublimated in widely-accepted institutions (risk).

The analogy between the risk and threat discussed above reminds tourism not only dissuades the workforce not to employ terrorist-like behavior, but corresponds with a disciplined form of terrorism. Simply because the strike and terrorist attacks, beyond the degree of violence, shares commonalities such as the surprise factor, the instrumentalization of the other which is hosted for other ends, and sometimes extortion, it is safe to say that both have the same point of origin. (Korstanje and Clayton 2012; Korstanje 2013; Skoll and Korstanje 2013).

When terror analysts studied the psychological profiles and biographies of the Muslim terrorists who perpetrated the attacks on the World Trade Center, they realized that Mohammed Atta and his colleagues had been educated in the best Western universities. The plans and policies they followed had even been extracted from a marketing guidebook. As Luke Howie (2011) put it, one of the aspects that frighten the West with respect to "terrorists" is that they are like us, live like us, and may, in fact, be one of our neighbors.

Quite aside, the book of reference would be useful for anthropologists, sociologists, and policy-makers interested in knowing further about the commonalities among terrorism, citizenship, and tourism.


Howie, L. (2011). "They were created by Man and they have a plan: subjective and objective Violence in BattlestarGalactica and the War on Terror."International Journal of Zizek Studies.Vol. 5 (2): 1-23

Foucault, M. (2009) Security, Territory, Population: Lectures at the College de France 1977-1978 (Vol. 4). London, Macmillan.

Korstanje, M. E. and Clayton, A. (2012). "Tourism and terrorism: conflicts and commonalities." Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, 4 (1): 8-25.

Korstanje, M. E. (2013). "Preemption and Terrorism. When the Future Governs." Cultura, 10 (1): 167-184.

Korstanje, M. E. (2013). "Del Patrimonio al Terrorismo. Regular el Turismo en una Epoca de Incertidumbre." Rosa Dos Ventos, 5 (4): 655-658.

Skoll, G. R., and Korstanje, M. E. (2013). Constructing an American fear culture from red scares to terrorism. International Journal of Human Rights and Constitutional Studies, 1(4), 341-364.

Maximiliano E Korstanje

University of Palermo, Argentina

(1) The term Cosmopolitization signals to the thesis that all human beings belong to the same universal community.

(2) Double oriented mobility means the paradoxical condition where some citizens are encouraged to travel while others are not. North-to-North mobilities among rich nations seems to be pretty different than north-to-south movements. While southern citizens are employed as cheaper workforce in industrial centres, northern tourists are posed as the ideal model to follow. The underdeveloped destinations are limited to offer their natural landscapes to tourists without any intervention of local actors in the process.

(3) The Wagner Act is a foundational statute of U.S. labor lawthat guarantees the basic rights of private sector employees to organize into trade unions, engage in collective bargaining for better terms and conditions at work, and take collective action, including strike if necessary.
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Author:Korstanje, Maximiliano E.
Publication:Journal of International and Global Studies
Article Type:Book review
Date:Nov 1, 2014
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