Introduction for a special section on mobilities and exceptional spaces in Asia

Kumiko Kawashima*, Brenda S A Yeoh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Changing practices of capitalism have produced new forms of connections, flows and mobilities in Asia, and they intersect with the increased use of “exceptions” or “special rules” to maximize capitalist profits. Ranging from the Greater Mekong Sub-region and the ASEAN Free Trade Area to the more recently opened Shanghai Free-Trade Zone, many Asian countries have benefited from such special zones in recent decades, the use of which has become a staple strategy to achieve economic reform and industrial development through attracting foreign capital. By focusing on sites of tourism as spaces of exception, this special section sheds light on the versatility of the concept of “making special” or “making exceptional,” and its potential to transform fundamentally notions such as sovereignty, labor, subjecthood, and mobility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-3
Number of pages3
JournalAsian Anthropology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2017


  • ethnography
  • global capitalism
  • migrants
  • mobility
  • neoliberalism
  • spaces of exception


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