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Research Fellow, International Security Program
Noora Lori is an ACLS/Mellon Dissertation Completion fellow and a doctoral candidate in Political Science at Johns Hopkins University. Her work examines how migrant labor impacts the institutional development, regime stability, and political opportunity structures of the Arab Gulf states. Her dissertation, "Unsettling State: Non-citizens, State Power, and Citizenship in the United Arab Emirates" was funded by the ZEIT-Stiftung "Settling into Motion" fellowship. She was previously an adjunct faculty member at the Dubai School of Government and a Dubai Initiative research fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.
"Temporary Workers or Permanent Migrants? The Kafala System and Contestations over Residency in the Arab Gulf States"
By Noora Lori, Research Fellow, International Security Program
The Arab Gulf is the third largest receiving region for global migrants (after North America and the European Union). The six states of the Gulf Corporation Council (GCC) are the richest Arab economies, boast some of the highest GDP per capita rankings in the world, and they all depend upon guest workers in virtually every economic sector. Guest workers have played an integral role in the Gulf since the 1970s, supplying the skills and manpower needed to implement ambitious development plans. This paper examines the formal and informal institutions that support the inward flows of large numbers of foreign laborers while excluding non-citizens from full integration into Gulf societies.