Research Initiatives

Research Initiatives

Citizenship, Class, and Inequality in the Middle East

Much of the existing literature on the region, when it comes to citizenship, has been fixed on the limitation of rights afforded to citizens in authoritarian states, and on the inherent imbalance between citizens’ access to rights versus the power of autocratic regimes that govern them. There has been less of a focus on the linkages between citizenship, class, and persistent inequality in the Middle East. In line with this, Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS) is launching a new research project to examine some of the central questions around issues of citizenship, identity, nationalism, class, marginalization, and inequality. Through this project, CIRS hopes to broaden and deepen academic understanding of the conception of citizenship within the context of the Middle East.

Citizenship is a central feature of the modern nation-state. Neither scholars nor policymakers can provide us with a unified and agreed upon idea of what citizenship means in all places, at all times, and for all people. But, pared down to its most basic construct, citizenship is recognized as being that which establishes the fundamental rules of membership, participation, and belonging for the people who inhabit a particular territory. Citizenship creates the legal instruments and political boundaries that shape the relationship between individuals and the state to which they belong.

  • Click here to read about the Citizenship, Class, and Inequality in the Middle East Working Group

As part of its Research and Scholarship initiatives, CIRS organizes several ongoing Working Groups that convene in Doha to examine a variety of international issues. The primary purpose of CIRS research initiatives is to fill in existing research gaps, and to contribute towards furthering knowledge on the prevailing issues related to security, economic stability, and the political realm of the region. Each of these projects involves some of the most prominent scholars of the Middle East and the Gulf region. Each scholar participating will be working on a specific sub-topic, under the overarching subject.

Working Group Meetings