The states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar) form the largest destination for labour migration in the global South. In all of these states, however, the majority of the working population is composed of temporary, migrant workers with no citizenship rights.
The cheap and transitory labour power these workers provide has created the prodigious and extraordinary development boom across the region, and neighbouring countries are almost fully dependent on the labour markets of the Gulf to employ their working populations. For these reasons, the Gulf takes a central place in contemporary debates around migration and labour in the global economy.
This book attempts to bring together and explore these issues. The relationship between ‘citizen’ and ‘non-citizen’ holds immense significance for understanding the construction of class, gender, city and state in the Gulf, however too often these questions are occluded in too scholarly or overly-popular accounts of the region. Bringing together experts on the Gulf, Transit States confronts the precarious working conditions of migrants in a accessible, yet in-depth manner.
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Abdulhadi Khalaf is a senior lecturer in the Sociology department at Lund University. He is regarded as a specialist in the politics of the Gulf Arab States.
Adam Hanieh is Senior Lecturer in Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He is author of Capitalism and Class in the Gulf Arab States (2011) and Lineages of Revolt: Issues of Contemporary Capitalism in the Middle East (2013).
Omar AlShehabi writes from Bahrain and is director of the Gulf Centre for Development Policies. He has previously worked at the World Bank and the IMF as well as McKinsey & Co.Review:
A novel and a crucial contribution to the study of migration through the lens of political economy, applicable to sociology, anthropology, and historical studies, [...] a rich and comprehensive collection that is relevant to the most contemporary debates. -- Immanuel Ness, Professor Department of Political Science, Brooklyn College, City University of New York This book makes a valuable addition to our knowledge about the demographic, social, political, economic, historical, and spatial factors underlying the dynamics of labour migration in shaping the Gulf countries. Implicit and explicit conclusions by several authors should provide useful insights to scholars trying to understand the linkages between labour, migration and citizenship, as well as policy makers trying to construct the future of this region. -- Nasra Shah, Professor of Demography, Kuwait University
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