Title

Reflections on the Role of Law in the Gulf Migration System

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-2018

Publication Title

Journal of Legal Studies

Department

Sociology & Anthropology

Abstract

This paper, grounded in a series of ethnographic projects concerned with transnational labor migration to the Arabian Gulf states, commences with an overview of the Indian Ocean migra- tion system that shuttles tens of millions of temporary workers to and from the wealthy Gulf states. The remainder of the paper comprises two assertions and evidence to support them. First, the paper contends that the symbolic role of law in contemporary Arabia often eclipses its other functions in the region. Second, the paper contends that the demographic terrain of the contemporary Gulf states poses unprecedented challenges for the implementation of law and policies concerning foreign migrants and their presence in Arabia. While the ethnographic evidence presented in this paper is primarily drawn from Qatar, these points can be extrapo- lated to all six of the Gulf Cooperation Council states.

Volume

47

pp.

S129-S147

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