Dr Kristin Surak

Dr Kristin Surak

Associate Professor in Sociology

Department of Sociology

Room No
STC 105
Connect with me

English, German, Japanese
Key Expertise
Political Soc., Japan, Elites, Migration, Golden Passports, Nationalism

About me

Kristin Surak is Associate Professor of Political Sociology at LSE and the author of The Golden Passport: Global Mobility for Millionaires (Harvard University Press 2023). The first ethnographic analysis of the global market in the sale of citizenship to the wealthy, the book has been covered by the BBC, NPR, Foreign Affairs, The Economist, and news outlets in over ten countries. Her research on elite mobility, international migration, nationalism, and politics has been translated into a half-dozen languages. In addition to publishing in major academic and intellectual journals, she also writes regularly for popular outlets, including the London Review of Books, Washington Post, the Guardian, New Statesman, and the Wall Street Journal. Her book Making Tea, Making Japan: Cultural Nationalism in Practice (Stanford University Press 2013) received the Book of the Year Award from the American Sociological Association’s Asian Section.  She has held several internationally recognized positions, including Richard B. Fischer Member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, Fung Global Fellow at Princeton University, Sainsbury Fellow at the Sainsbury Institute for Japanese Arts and Cultures. She is a Lifetime Fellow of Clare Hall, University of Cambridge, and has been a visiting professor at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies and New York University in Abu Dhabi.  The American Academy of Political and Social Science has recognized her scholarship, which has been funded by the German Science Foundation (DFG), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Japan Foundation, Fulbright-Hays Foundation, and Leverhulme Foundation, among others. She comments regularly for global media outlets, including the BBC, Bloomberg TV, Huffington Post, Channel News Asia TV, and Sky TV News.  

Find out more about Kristin here.

Selected publications: 


Kristin Surak (2023). The Golden Passport: Global Mobility for MillionairesCambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 

Kristin Surak (2018). MTMJ: 日本らしさと茶道 [MTMJ: Japaneseness and the Tea Ceremony]. Saihatesha Press: Tokyo. (Translation of Making Tea, Making Japan).

Kristin Surak (2013). Making Tea, Making Japan: Cultural Nationalism in Practice. Stanford: Stanford University Press. 

Edited Books

Dimitry Kochenov and Kristin Surak, eds. (2023). Citizenship and Residence Sales: Rethinking the Boundaries of Belonging. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Journal Articles

2024  Surak, Kristin. “Citizenship for Sale: States Playing Markets and Markets Playing States.” Forthcoming in the Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales (ARSS).

2021. Surak, Kristin. "Marketizing Sovereign Prerogatives: How to Sell Citizenship.” European Journal of Sociology. 62(2): DOI: 10.1017/S0003975621000217

2021. Surak, Kristin and Yusuke Tsuzuki. "Are Golden Visas a Golden Opportunity? Assessing the Economic Origins and Outcomes of Residence by Investment Programs in the European Union.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.  DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2021.1915755

2020. Surak, Kristin. "Who Wants to Buy a Visa? Comparing the Uptake of Residence by Investment Programs in the European Union." Journal of Contemporary European Studies. DOI: 10.1080/14782804.2020.1839742

2020. Surak, Kristin. “Millionaire Mobility and the Sale of Citizenship.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2020.1758554

2020. Centeno, Miguel, Christopher Chase-Dunn, Nitsan Chorev, Marilyn Grell-Brysk, Hiroko Inoue, Paul Larcey, Victoria Reyes, and Kristin Surak. “For a Global Social Science.” Global Perspectives. 1(1). DOI: 10.1525/001c.11649

2018. Surak, Kristin. “Migration Industries and the State: Guestwork Programs in East Asia.” International Migration Review. 52(2): 487-523.

2017. Surak, Kristin. “Rupture and Rhythm: Toward a Phenomenology of National Experiences.” Sociological Theory. 35(4): 312-33.

2017. Surak, Kristin. “At the Margins of Multiculturalism: Assessing Kymlicka’s Liberal Multiculturalism in Japan.” Nationalism and Ethnic Politics. 23(2): 227-39.

2014. Surak, Kristin. “Re-Selling Japan[G1] .” New Left Review. (88): 139-49.
- Translated into Korean (“Ilbonŭl Tashi P'anda,” Nyurep'ŭt'ŭ Ribyu. (6) 2015: 409-27)

2013. Surak, Kristin. “Guestwork Regimes: A Taxonomy.” New Left Review. (84): 84-102.
- Translated into Spanish (“Gastarbeiter: Una Taxonomía,” NLR Secunda Época. (84) 2014: 94-114)
- Translated into Swedish (“Gästarbetare: en klassificering,” Marxistarkiv)

2013. Surak, Kristin. “Die Gastarbeiter” (Guestworkers). Merkur: Zeitschrift für europäisches Denken (Sonderheft). 9/10: 1024-35.

2012. Surak, Kristin. “Nation-Work: A Praxeology of Making and Maintaining Nations.” European Journal of Sociology. 53(2): 171-204.

2011. Surak, Kristin. “From Selling Tea to Selling Japaneseness: Symbolic Power and the Nationalization of Cultural Practices.” European Journal of Sociology. 52(2): 175-208

2010. Surak, Kristin. “The Business of Belonging.” New Left Review. (63): 151- 9.
- Translated into Spanish (“El Negocio de la Pertenencia,” NLR Secunda Época. (63) 2010: 149-58.)

2008. Surak, Kristin. “Convergence in Foreigners' Rights and Citizenship Policy? A Look at Japan.International Migration Review. 42(3): 550-75.

2006. Surak, Kristin. “‘Ethnic Practices’ in Translation: Tea in Japan and the US.” Ethnic and Racial Studies. 29(5): 828-54.

Policy Reports and Working Papers

2024. Surak, Kristin. “The Misuse of Citizenship and Residence by Investment: Going Beyond the OECD/FATF Report to Assess Key Risks.”  Social Policy Working Paper 02-14. London School of Economics and Political Science.

2021. Surak, Kristin. "Citizenship and Residence by Investment Schemes: State of Play and Avenues for EU Action.” European Added Value Assessment (EAVA) commissioned by the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS). Brussels: European Union. 
- Cited by the OECD’s Financial Action Taskforce (FATF) report, “Misuse of Citizenship and Residency by Investment Programmes.” November 2023.  

2021. Surak, Kristin. "The Economics of Investment Migration: The Citizenship Industry and Economic Outcomes." COMPAS: Centre on Migration, Policy and Society. Working Paper nr. 158. University of Oxford.

2021. Surak, Kristin. "Investment Migration Globally: The Dynamics of Supply and Demand." COMPAS: Centre on Migration, Policy and Society. Working Paper nr. 159. University of Oxford.

2003. Recchi, Ettore, Damian Tambini, Emiliana Baldoni, David Williams, Kristin Surak, and Adrian Favell. “Intra-EU Migration: A Socio-Demographic Overview.” PIONEUR Working Paper No. 3.

Book Chapters

2023  Surak, Kristin. “Investment Migration:  Empirical Developments in the Field and Methodological Issues in its Study.” In Citizenship and Residence Sales: Rethinking the Boundaries of Belonging.  Dimitry Kochenov and Kristin Surak, editors. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 25-69.

2023  Kochenov, Dimitry and Kristin Surak. “Learning from Investment Migration.” In Citizenship and Residence Sales: Rethinking the Boundaries of Belonging. Dimitry Kochenov and Kristin Surak, editors. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.  1-21.

2021  Surak, Kristin. “Millionaires and Mobility: Inequality and Investment Migration Programs.” In Money Matters in Migration. Tesseltje de Lange and Willem Maas, editors. Cambridge University Press.

2020. Surak, Kristin. “Japan, Land of the Rising Right.” In The Emergence of Illiberalism. Boris Vormann and Michael Weinman, editors. London: Routledge.

2020. Surak, Kristin. “What Money Can Buy: Citizenship by Investment on a Global Scale.” In Deepening Divides: How Borders and Boundaries Drive Our World Apart. Didier Fassin, editor. London: Pluto Press. 21-38.

2017. Surak, Kristin. “Engaging Objects: A Phenomenology of the Tea Ceremony and Japaneseness.” In National Matters: Materiality, Culture, and NationalismGenevieve Zubrzycki, editor. Stanford: Stanford University Press. 173-92.

2017. Surak, Kristin. “Tea Flows: A Praxeological Perspective on Rituals.” In (Extra-)Ordinary Presence: Social Configurations and Cultural Repertoires, Markus Gottwald, Kay Kirchmann, and Heike Paul, editors. Bielefeld: Transcript-Verlag. 175-87.

2015. Surak, Kristin. “Guestworkers Globally.” In The Handbook of the Political Economy of Migration, Simon McMahon, editor. Surrey: Edward Elgar. 167-83.

2012. Surak, Kristin. “Migration Industries and Developmental States in East Asia.” In The Migration Industry and the Commercialization of International Migration, Ninna Nyberg Sørensen and Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen, editors. London: Routledge. 89-110. 

2010. Surak, Kristin. “Making Tea Japanese.” In Making Japanese Heritage, Rupert Cox and Christoph Brumann, editors. London: Routledge. 21-30.

Op Eds

2023  Surak, Kristin. “The Global Trade in Passports is the Latest Boom Industry Catering to the Superrich.” Jacobin. October 1.

2023  Surak, Kristin. “Turkish Citizenship is a Hot Commodity.” The Wall Street Journal. September 8.

2023  Surak, Kristin. “Staatsbürgershaft für 250.000 Dollar.“ Tagesspiegel. August 18, 2023.

2022  Surak, Kristin. “How the Shocking Assassination of Shinzo Abe Could Change Japan’s Constitution.” Evening Standard. July 8.

2021  Surak, Kristin. “Are Golden Visas a Golden Opportunity for Economic Development?” LSE Business Review. May 26.

2021  Surak, Kristin. “Who Wants to Buy a Visa?” LSE European Politics and Policy Blog. May 26.

How COVID-19 will transform the market in investment migration.” Globalcit. June 3, 2020.

No Sex, Please.” Verso Press. July 11, 2018.

Hoping Against Hope: Japan’s Snap Elections.” International Politics and Society. October 11, 2017.

Serious About Relocating From Trump’s America? Here Are Your Exit Options.” The Washington Post. November 15, 2016.

“受け入れにも積極的に” [Towards a Positive Reception (of refugees)]. Dōshin. P. 8, November 23, 2015.

Japan’s Battle for Peace.” Jacobin. October 1, 2015.

Shinzo Abe’s New Mandate.” The Diplomat. December 21, 2014.

“保守化の懸念” [Concern About Increasing Conservativism]. Dōshin. P. 6, December 17, 2014.

The New Japanese Nationalism.” Jacobin. August 19, 2014.

Abemania.” OpenDemocracy. July 9, 2014. 

Other Print Publications 

2022   Surak, Kristin.  “Shinzo Abe Obituary.” The Guardian. July 8.

2021  Surak, Kristin. “International Letters.” Sidecar. January 1.  

2020. Surak, Kristin. Review of Citizenship 2.0: Dual Nationality as a Global Asset by Yossi Harpaz. American Journal of Sociology. 126(3).

2019. Surak, Kristin. “Shinzo Abe and the Rise of Japanese Nationalism.” New Statesman. May 17: 22-25.

2019. Surak, Kristin. Review of Cultivating Femininity by Elizabeth Corbett and Gathering for Tea in Modern Japan by Taka Oshikiri. American Historical Review. 124(4):1440-1442. 

2018. Surak, Kristin. “Japan’s Womanomics.” Jacobin Magazine (30): 60-4.

2016. Surak, Kristin. “Global Citizenship 2.0: The Growth of Citizenship by Investment Programs.” Investment Migration Working Papers, IMC-RP 2016/3.

2016. Surak, Kristin. “Kosmopoliten: Der Handel mit Staatsbürgerschaften als globales Geschäftsmodell” [Cosmpolites: The Trade in Citizenship as a Global Business Model]. Lettre International (115): 19-22. (Extended version of “Our Citizenship is Expensive!”)
- Translated into Romanian (“Cosmopoliṭii,” Lettre Internationale, (101-102) 2017: 37-41.

2016. Surak, Kristin. “Our Citizenship is Expensive!London Review of Books. September 22:39-40.

2016. Surak, Kristin. “Back to Baku.” Los Angeles Review of Books. August 4.

2014. Surak, Kristin. 「お茶の専門家から文化の専門家へ―家元制度の成立」[From Tea Specialists to Culture Specialists: The Formation of the Iemoto System] Wochikochi. Magazine of the Japan Foundation.

2014. Surak, Kristin. “Culture, Nation, and the Tea Ceremony.” Center for Comparative Japanese Studies Annual (10). 133-37.

2013. Surak, Kristin. “Karaoke im Liebeshotel.” Lettre International (101): 132.

2012. Surak, Kristin. “Die Ethnizitätsindustrie.” Lettre International (97): 114-8. (Extended version of “The Business of Belonging”)

2011. Surak, Kristin. Review of Japanese Women, Class, and the Tea Ceremony: The Voices of Tea Practitioners in Northern Japan, by Kaeko Chiba. Pacific Affairs 84(3): 580-1.

2010. Surak, Kristin. “Family Reunification in Europe and East Asia.” EUI Review (4): 17-8.

2010. Surak, Kristin. Review of Diaspora Without Homeland: Being Korean in Japan, Sonia Ryang and John Lie, editors. Pacific Affairs 83(4): 797-8.

2003. Recchi, Ettore, Damian Tambini, Emiliana Baldoni, David Williams, Kristin Surak, and Adrian Favell. “Intra-EU Migration: A Socio-Demographic Overview.” PIONEUR Working Paper No. 3.

Expertise Details

Political Sociology; Japan; Elites; International Migration; Investment Migration; Golden Passports; Nationalism