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Migration and the Persian Gulf

Demography, Identity and the Road to Equitable Policies

Ali Modarres

In 2005, the nations of the Gulf Cooperative Council (GCC), which consist of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, housed over 12 million international migrants. Employed mainly within the service and construction industries, these foreign workers have become a demographic majority in some GCC countries, creating an urgent need for more progressive immigration and equitable integration policies. This article provides an overview of migration to the region, situating it within the larger global emigration/immigration context. By focusing on the various stages of migration and the economic role played by migrants, the article argues for policies that protect the economic, social and political rights of labour migrants. It concludes with recommendations that consider conditions in both the GCC and migrants' countries of origin.

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Being and Belonging in Kuwait

Expatriates, Stateless Peoples and the Politics of Citizenship

Nadia Eldemerdash

In this article I examine why Kuwait and other migrant-receiving countries in the Persian Gulf have failed to enfranchise migrant workers and their descendants through citizenship. I contend that the increasing exclusion of expatriate workers from these societies can be understood in comparison with the disenfranchisement of the stateless populations to which these governments are host. I argue that nationalist narratives that portray these groups as threatening to the host societies have been extremely significant in creating an atmosphere of increasing isolation and exclusion for both expatriates and stateless peoples. I conclude by examining what the Kuwaiti case tells us about how notions of membership and belonging develop and the significant role of historic and political circumstances in shaping these notions.

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War sick

Meaningful illness and military victimhood

Zoë H. Wool

Finley, Erin. 2011. Fields of combat: Understanding PTSD among veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. 240 pages.

Kilshaw, Susie. 2009. Impotent warriors: Gulf War syndrome, vulnerability and masculinity. Oxford: Berghahn Books. 282 pages.

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Love, Motherhood and Migration

Regulating Migrant Women's Sexualities in the Persian Gulf

Pardis Mahdavi

This article looks at the confluence of love, labour and the law by focusing on the regulation of migrant women's sexualities in the Gulf Coast Cooperation countries of the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. Migrant women increasingly comprise the majority of migrants to the region as the demand for intimate labour in the Persian Gulf is on the rise. But migrant women who become pregnant while in the Persian Gulf are immediately imprisoned and charged with the crime of zina. These women give birth while incarcerated and spend up to a year with their babies in prison. They are then forcibly separated from their children when they are deported, rendering the children stateless in the host country. Migrant women who are often brought to the Persian Gulf to perform (re)productive labour are seen as immoral if they engage in sexual activities during their time in the Persian Gulf (and this is written into their contracts), and thus are seen as unfit to parent their own children. Some migrant women have recently been protesting these laws by refusing and fighting deportation without their children. This article contrasts discourses about migrant women's sexuality and legal analysis with the lived experiences of selected migrant women and their children through ethnographic research conducted in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Kuwait City between 2008 and 2014.

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The Silent Spring

Why Pro-democracy Activity Was Avoided in Gulf Nations during the Arab Spring

Charles Mitchell, Juliet Dinkha and Aya Abdulhamid

This article explores the Arab Spring uprisings that started in late 2010, and investigates why pro-democracy movements were circumvented in most Gulf Cooperation Council countries. Our research is qualitative in nature, and looks into the antecedents of the revolts in Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Algeria, and Yemen to ascertain why revolutionary activity was precluded in Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Oman. Through the utilization of academic research, news sources, governmental, intergovernmental organization, and international nongovernmental organization reports and policy papers, we conclude that the generous allocations of public goods and the extant and reactive government policies during the Arab Spring period successfully preempted revolutionary activities in the Gulf. In this article, we also examine the only Gulf country outlier, Bahrain, by investigating what policies and conditions led to outbreaks of large-scale pro-democracy demonstrations in that nation.

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Cross-Border Networks

Labour Migration from Iran to the Arab Countries of the Persian Gulf

Shahnaz R. Nadjmabadi

This article examines migration between the Iranian coastal regions of the Persian Gulf and the nearby Arab countries. At the centre of the research are questions about cross-border relationships, the construction of transnational spaces in border migration and strategies for maintaining networks in both the home and host countries. The transnational space connecting the Iranian coastal region and the Arab countries resembles other cases of border migration. However, unlike previous studies on border migration, this analysis situates the development of transnational spaces of migrants' lives within the deep-rooted common and historical perspectives in the countries on both sides of the Persian Gulf.

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Jonathan Skinner

Kilshaw, Susie (2009), Impotent Warriors: Gulf War Syndrome, Vulnerability and Masculinity (Oxford: Berghahn Books). ISBN 978-1-84545-526-2 (hardback only) xiv + 228pp. excl. Appendix, Bibliography, Index. £55.00.

Lambert, Helen and Maryon McDonald (eds.) (2009), Social Bodies (Oxford: Berghahn Books). ISBN 978-1-84545-553-8 (hardback only) 169pp. excl. Contributors, Index. £43.00.

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Kieran Flanagan and Alexander T. Riley

Mike Gane, Auguste Comte. London: Routledge, 2006, pp. 158.

Donald Nielsen, Horrible Workers: Max Stirner, Arthur Rimbaud, Robert Johnson, and the Charles Manson Circle: Studies in Moral Experience and Cultural Expression. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2005, pp. 134.

Philip Smith, Why War? The Cultural Logic of Iraq, the Gulf War and Suez. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2005, pp. 256.

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Stephen J. Silvia

Among the many striking developments that arose out of the 2008-2009

financial crisis and the subsequent EURO crisis has been the policy divergence

between the United States and Germany. Typically, the two countries

have broadly similar preferences regarding economic policy. To be

sure, this is not the first time that Germany and the U.S. have failed to see

eye to eye on economic matters,1 but the recent gap in perception and

policy does warrant attention because it has been unusually large. Unlike

the famous quarrels between Jimmy Carter and Helmut Schmidt in the

1970s,2 personality does not seem to play a role in this case. What then

does explain the gulf?

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Cette relation imaginaire qui fait le style

Essai sur l'art islamique et le style ethnique

Anie Montigny

The topic of this article concerns the notion of ethnic style. Several points are discussed - in particular, the concept of style itself - by referring to individual and/or collective expression as well as the status of the creators and their representation in Arab-Muslim societies. If traditional societies are heirs to Islamic art, encompassing a range of practices and cultural models, what are the terms of the local transmission of this art? Can we consider it an ethnic style, knowing that it could also be a signifier of individuality? Some examples are given, based on ethnographic collections of jewellery studied by the author in selected museums and on fieldwork in Gulf Arab countries.