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Illiberal Migration Governance in the Arab Gulf


This chapter offers an overview of Gulf migration systems from the early 20th century to today. Mobility, motivated by trade, labor, politics or religious devotion, whether permanent or temporary, has been central to the region’s history. The first section of the chapter describes the changing geographies of immigration to the Gulf through three historical sequences. Gulf migration systems evolved from imperial geographies of colonial migration within the British Empire (1930s-1950s) to Arab regional integration during and after the oil-boom era (1960s-1991). In the 1990s and after, diplomatic interdependence with the Asian Global South unfolded in the context of the diversification of Gulf economies and the “second migration boom” of the 2000s took place. The second part of the chapter focuses on the contemporary era and unpacks the dynamics of migration governance in Gulf countries today. It describes the role of states, markets, brokers and migrants in migration governance and illustrates the emergence of illiberal migration states, as a counter model to liberal migration states in Western contexts (Hollifield 2004).
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hal-03522786 , version 1 (12-01-2022)


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Hélène Thiollet. Illiberal Migration Governance in the Arab Gulf. James Hollifield; Neil Foley. Understanding Global Migration, Stanford University Press., pp.50-80, 2022, 9781503629578. ⟨hal-03522786⟩
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