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Expat agencies: Expatriation and exploitation in the creative industries in the UK and the Netherlands

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPathways Into Creative Working Lives
EditorsStephanie Taylor, Susan Luckman
Publisher or commissioning bodyPalgrave Macmillan
DateSubmitted - Jan 2019
DateAccepted/In press (current) - 27 Sep 2019


This chapter explores so-called ‘expat agencies’ in the graphic design, branding and advertising sector in the Netherlands, the young British ‘flexpatriates’ and self-initiated expatriates who staff them, and the different pathways into creative labour their expatriation represents. Hybrid local–global spaces are marked by the mobility of people and management practices, which give rise to contradictions when capitalist relations of production are mediated at different local and global registers. Thirty-three interviews were conducted with expatriates working in the field and other creatives employed at, or with experience of, the workplace and sectoral dynamics underpinning the constellation of expat agencies based in Amsterdam and the wider Randstad area consisting of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht. The chapter considers the role of individual expatriates and the expat agencies around which they congregate in conditioning their pathways into and between creative jobs.

    Structured keywords

  • Global Political Economy
  • Perspectives on Work
  • MGMT Work Organisation and Public Policy
  • Cultural Work
  • MGMT theme Global Political Economy
  • MGMT theme Work Futures



  • Pitts 2019 Expat Agencies

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