Skip to main content

Adventure Capital

Migration and the Making of an African Hub in Paris

Julie Kleinman


List Price: 34.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (12/3/2019)


Paris’s Gare du Nord is one of the busiest international transit centers in the world. In the past three decades, it has become an important hub for West African migrants—self-fashioned adventurers—navigating life in the city.

In this groundbreaking work, Julie Kleinman chronicles how West Africans use the Gare du Nord to create economic opportunities, confront police harassment, and forge connections to people outside of their communities. Drawing on ten years of ethnographic research, including an internship at the French national railway company, Kleinman reveals how racial inequality is ingrained in the order of Parisian public space. She vividly describes the extraordinary ways that African migrants retool French transit infrastructure to build alternative pathways toward social and economic integration where state institutions have failed. In doing so, these adventurers defy boundaries—between migrant and citizen, center and periphery, neighbor and stranger—that have shaped urban planning and immigration policy. Adventure Capital offers a new understanding of contemporary migration and belonging, capturing the central role that West African migrants play in revitalizing French urban life.

Praise For Adventure Capital: Migration and the Making of an African Hub in Paris

"Adventure Capital demonstrates beautifully how the drive for continued mobility arises as much from a position of precariousness as it does from a 'trader’s logic' that extols difference and enables connection."

— Antipode

"[S]cholars in the social sciences and humanities will find Kleinman’s book extremely valuable. It is beautifully written, engaging, and powerful in delivering its message and argument."

— International Migration

" . . . reframes the way we tend to think about migration, French public space, and about living together and valuable encounters across difference."

— Journal of Economic and Social Geography

University of California Press, 9780520304413, 224pp.

Publication Date: December 3, 2019

About the Author

Julie Kleinman is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Fordham University.