People beyond the state: human security, identities and governance. Case studies of German expatriates in the Hong Kong special administrative region and selected locales in Thailand

PhD Thesis


Nieberg, Thorsten. 2012. People beyond the state: human security, identities and governance. Case studies of German expatriates in the Hong Kong special administrative region and selected locales in Thailand. PhD Thesis Doctor of Philosophy. University of Southern Queensland.
Title

People beyond the state: human security, identities and governance. Case studies of German expatriates in the
Hong Kong special administrative region and selected locales in Thailand

TypePhD Thesis
Authors
AuthorNieberg, Thorsten
SupervisorMcMillen, Don
Lee, Chris
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Philosophy
Number of Pages394
Year2012
Abstract

The research embodied in this dissertation has been designed as a pragmatic enquiry with the primary aim to explore the human security, identity and other concerns of
German expatriates (or, expats)—that is, citizens—in China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and varying locales in Thailand, and to evaluate to governance
implications arising about them—as especially pertaining to the German government. It is rooted in such scholarly claims arguing that migration research so far has mostly focused on the notion of the national interest in order to approach the theme (and its respective aspects) rather than on an equal concern for the well being of such individuals, and that therefore the state becomes more of a negative actor for the people it actually should protect.
Although primarily based in the Political Science and International Relations disciplines, it also draws on a variety of other schools in the Humanities in order to pursue and analyse extant and newly generated data, such as Cultural Anthropology, Sociology, History, Geography and Law. However, it was primarily through the application
of quantitative and, especially, qualitative methods in the field that it could be determined that the German expat population under question has a wide range of broadly based “security” concerns. These included such basic issues as those related to the communication of official government information and the protection of freedom
from bodily harm, but they also extended to rather qualified concerns pertaining to the provision of pensions and health insurance, political participation and external
voting, schooling and access to education, taxation, and repatriation.
While it could be demonstrated that the values behind some German legislative regulations are at odds with these concerns and demand a greater inclusion of the respective
issues into German “domestic” policies, it is argued that such revisions are not very likely to occur in the near future because of the prevailing dominance of the
state-centric perspective in the German official and public consciousnesses. Moreover, it is concluded that the intended reconfiguration of state governance structures in
Germany according to postnational standards can only be achieved through the constant promotion of more human-oriented approaches through pedagogy, information
and politics. And it is here that the educative missions of universities and schools particularly apply.

Keywordshuman security; identity; governance; Germany; German expatriates; Hong Kong; Thailand; administrative region
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020470202. Asian cultural studies
441013. Sociology of migration, ethnicity and multiculturalism
470299. Cultural studies not elsewhere classified
Byline AffiliationsFaculty of Arts
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Researching people beyond the state: a preliminary study of German expatriates in Hong Kong and governance performance
Nieberg, Thorsten. 2010. "Researching people beyond the state: a preliminary study of German expatriates in Hong Kong and governance performance." Hayes, Anna and Mason, Robert (ed.) Migrant Security 2010: Citizenship and Social Inclusion in a Transnational Era. Toowoomba, Australia 15 - 16 Jul 2010 Toowoomba, Australia.