Research Initiatives

Research Initiatives

Migrant Labor in the Gulf

The Migrant Labor in the Persian Gulf research initiative examines the multiple causes, processes, and consequences of labor migration in this region from the disciplinary perspectives of sociology, anthropology, political science, and economics. The outcome of this project is the Migrant Labor in the Persian Gulf book that critically analyzes the effects of migration on native communities through original and empirically grounded research, identifying the types and functions of formal and informal binational and multinational networks emerging from and sustaining migration patterns. The authors of this edited volume also explore the role of recruitment agencies, as well as look at the values and behaviors of migrant workers both before and after they set off for the Persian Gulf.

Millions of people across the globe each year leave their homes and travel to distant countries for employment purposes. The number of migrants crossing borders in search of financial opportunity and human security is expected to increase rapidly in the coming decades. The world community needs to develop the skills, resources, and policies for better managing labor migration, so that it can contribute positively to the growth and development of both home and host societies, as well as ensure the well-being of the migrants themselves.

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  • Click here to read about the "Migrant Labor in the Gulf" Working Group Meeting I
  • Click here to read about the "Migrant Labor in the Gulf" Working Group Meeting II
  • Click here to read about the "Migrant Labor in the Gulf" Working Group Meeting III

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

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. This Summary Report entails an examination of the conditions, priorities, and networks of migrant workers in the Persian Gulf.

Summary Report

migrant Mehran Kamrava and Zahra Babar, eds., Migrant Labor in the Persian Gulf (Columbia University Press/Hurst, 2012).

In 2009, CIRS launched a research initiative to study migrant labor issues in the Gulf region. The initiative has two distinct but interrelated streams. One stream consists of organizing a series of working group meetings. The first working group meeting took place in May 2009, and the second working group meeting was held in January 2010. The working group is made up of academics, experts, and representatives from various governmental, non-governmental and labor organizations. The group discussed the issue of migrant labor from a broad range of perspectives and gave recommendations for further research.