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Migrant Labour in the Gulf

  • Kristian Coates Ulrichsen
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)

Abstract

This chapter explores how the Gulf States developed into the largest recipients of inward labour migration, primarily from the Global South, in the world. It examines how the rise of dual labour markets, split between public/private sectors and citizens/expatriates, is linked inextricably to the political economy of the redistributive welfare state models that developed with the oil era. This has created a segmented workforce with pronounced hierarchies among both the citizen population and the foreign communities that make up the contemporary demographic pyramid in the Gulf. Although the scale of the demographic imbalance varies considerably across the six Gulf States, with Oman and Saudi Arabia having the lowest proportion of non-nationals and Qatar and the UAE the highest, they share certain characteristics in common. These include the hard truth that many of the region’s ‘mega-projects’ and development plans would likely not have been possible without the ‘cheap and transitory labour power’ of migrant workers.1

Keywords

Saudi Arabia Migrant Worker Ruling Family Gulf State International Political Economy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

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Copyright information

© Kristian Coates Ulrichsen 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kristian Coates Ulrichsen
    • 1
  1. 1.Rice UniversityUSA

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