Occasional Paper

To cite this publication: Zahra Babar, "Free Mobility within the Gulf Cooperation Council," CIRS Occasional Paper no. 8 (Doha, Qatar: Center for International and Regional Studies, 2011).

Stipulations within the formal protocols of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) established free movement of nationals as an essential component of the region’s movement towards full economic integration. This paper analyzes the protocols within the broader construct that stresses human emancipation and freedom of mobility as fundamental human rights. Throughout the GCC, states face the peculiar dilemma of supporting full freedom of mobility for citizens while also severely limiting and curtailing the mobility of the dominant, non-national population. This paper questions how normative debates on the freedom of movement apply to the Gulf region and examines the policy and practice of strictly managing the movement of international migrants while at the same time freeing up movement for citizenry. This paper proposes that in the GCC, the regional political economy and the processes of regionalization and globalization have combined to tighten controls over mobility and migration.

Migrant Labor in the Gulf

To cite this publication: "Migrant Labor in the Gulf," CIRS Summary Report no. 2 (Doha, Qatar: Center for International and Regional Studies, 2011).

This Migrant Labor in the Gulf Summary Report details the research findings that were presented by the Migrant Labor in the Gulf working group participants during their meetings in Doha, Qatar. CIRS launched the initiative in 2008 and held a total of three meetings. The working group is composed of experts in the field of migrant labor who hail from a variety of academic disciplines, including anthropology, sociology, economics, and political science. The working group is also composed of the CIRS research grant recipients: Andrew Gardner from the University of Puget Sound, Arland Thornton, Mansoor Moaddel, Dirgha Ghimirie, Linda Young-DeMarco, and Nathalie Williams from the University of Michigan, Susan Martin from Georgetown University, Mary Breeding from the World Bank, and David Mednicoff from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. The edited volume, titled Migrant Labour in the Persian Gulf was published by Columbia University Press/Hurst in 2012.

Read about the edited volume
Read the Report in English
Read the Report in Arabic

The International Politics of the Persian Gulf

To cite this publication: Mehran Kamrava, ed., The International Politics of the Persian Gulf (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2011). 

This volume presents a comprehensive, detailed, and accessible account of the international politics of the region. Focusing on the key factors that give the Persian Gulf its strategic significance, contributors look at the influence of vast deposits of oil and natural gas on international politics, the impact of the competing centers of power of Iran and Saudi Arabia, the nature of relationships among countries within the Persian Gulf, and the evolving interaction between Islam and politics. Read more from Syracuse University Press.

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العمالـــة المهاجـــرة في منطقــة الخليــج

"العمالـــة المهاجـــرة في منطقــة الخليــج"، تقرير مركـز الدراسـات الدوليـة والإقليميـة العربي الموجز رقم ٢ (الدوحة، قطر: مركـز الدراسـات الدوليـة والإقليميـة، ٢٠١١).

تشكل العمالة الوافدة ما يصل إلى 85 إلى 90 بالمائة من سكان بعض دول الخليج. ومن غير المستغرب أن تستنزف جميع الدول المعنية الكثير من طاقاتها السياسية للتعامل مع هذه الجيوش الضخمة من العمال الوافدين، والذين يتركون أثراً كبيراً على البنى الاجتماعية والثقافية والاقتصادية لتلك المجتمعات. ولذلك، يناقش هذا الكتاب، الغني بالتجارب العملية والجوانب النظرية، ظروف العمالة المهاجرة في منطقة الخليج وأولوياتها وشبكاتها.

Innovation in Islam: Traditions and Contributions

To cite this publication: Mehran Kamrava, ed., Innovation in Islam: Traditions and Contributions (Berkley, CA: University of California Press, 2011).

Focusing on the ways and means through which the teachings of Islam have been produced and perpetuated over time, the contributors investigate such areas as the arts and letters, jurisprudence, personal status, hermeneutics and epistemology, and Muslims’ perceptions of the self in the modern world. Innovation in Islam illuminates a debate that extends beyond semantics into everyday politics and society—and one that has ramifications around the world. Read more from University of California Press.

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CIRS Newsletter No. 10

The tenth edition of the CIRS Newsletter describes the research center's most recent activities, lectures, and academic publications. The newsletter also highlights Georgetown faculty research projects.

Occasional Paper

To cite this publication: Matthew Gray, "A Theory of 'Late Rentierism' in the Arab States of the Gulf," CIRS Occasional Paper no. 7 (Doha, Qatar: Center for International and Regional Studies, 2011).

Rentier state theory (RST), which seeks to explain the impacts of external payments—or rents—on state-society relations and governance, has been in wide usage for over two decades, and is still routinely cited by scholars writing on the Gulf or other parts of the world. Its tenets are widely—if by no means unanimously— accepted, and retain a strong validity at the broader level. However, RST has not adapted enough to explain the dramatic changes in the political economies of the Gulf in the past two decades or so, including the responses of Dubai, Bahrain, and more recently Qatar and Abu Dhabi, to globalization, new technologies, freer trade and investments, social changes, and development imperatives. It is argued here that a new phase of RST—“late rentierism”—should be applied to the wealthy Arab Gulf states. The case for late rentierism is made with an emphasis on the shortcomings or oversimplifications of other rentier approaches. This study also describes and explains late rentierism through a discussion and elucidation of its major features and characteristics, including how these vary, or not, from those of other rentier explanations.

CIRS Annual Reports 2010-2011

The 2010-2011 CIRS Annual Report contains information about all the activities, research initiatives, publications, lectures, and events that CIRS organized throughout the year. Highlights include Distinguished Lectures by Seymour Hersh, Zalmay Khalilzad, Rashid Khalidi, and Karen Armstrong; the conclusion of several research initiatives; and the publication of two books resulting from CIRS research initiatives.

CIRS Newsletter No. 09

The ninth edition of the CIRS Newsletter highlights the latest CIRS academic publications as well as the launch of an Arabic-language series. This edition also reports on Georgetown faculty research and a variety of other CIRS scholarly initiatives.

Occasional Paper

To cite this publication: Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, "The GCC States and the Shifting Balance of Global Power," CIRS Occasional Paper no. 6 (Doha, Qatar: Center for International and Regional Studies, 2010).

This paper maps the changing engagement strategies of the six member-states of the Gulf Cooperation Council in the global order. It examines how and why the Gulf states have emerged as visible and powerful global actors in recent years and contextualizes these strategies within the shifting balance of global power. This approach ascribes agency to policymakers in the Gulf states, and shifts the focus of scholarly attention toward the motivations and objectives that guide their engagement and interaction with the international system. The paper also considers the broader implications for the future of global and regional politics in light of the emergence of new international linkages and blocs, and the reformulation of frameworks of global governance in both its normative and structural dimensions.