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Population, Power, and Distributional Politics in Qatar

Population, Power, and Distributional Politics in Qatar AbstractThe peculiar demographic situation in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states is assumed to have arisen as a consequence of the unique economic forces prevailing in this sub-region, where large stocks of temporary migrants are active in the overall labor market, and in three states foreigners outnumber the native population. The common understanding is that the influx of migrants to the Gulf countries has been driven by the transformative effect of oil and gas revenue. Gulf demography is considered a natural result of de facto economic conditions, where a paucity of local labor has come up against a region-wide booming, oil-driven development agenda. While accepting the primacy of economic forces in shaping the regional reliance on foreign labor, this paper suggests that the GCC's peculiar demography is also reflective of particular political choices made by the states. This paper examines two particular policymaking tools used widely across the region, namely — the kafāla (worker-sponsorship) system and public sector employment of citizens and assess them within the Qatari context. In Qatar, it appears that these policy tools have been state choices not only to preserve citizens’ economic satisfaction, but also political and social stability. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Arabian Studies Taylor & Francis

Population, Power, and Distributional Politics in Qatar

Journal of Arabian Studies , Volume 5 (2): 18 – Jul 3, 2015
18 pages

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References (38)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 2016 Taylor & Francis
ISSN
2153-4780
eISSN
2153-4764
DOI
10.1080/21534764.2015.1113680
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractThe peculiar demographic situation in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states is assumed to have arisen as a consequence of the unique economic forces prevailing in this sub-region, where large stocks of temporary migrants are active in the overall labor market, and in three states foreigners outnumber the native population. The common understanding is that the influx of migrants to the Gulf countries has been driven by the transformative effect of oil and gas revenue. Gulf demography is considered a natural result of de facto economic conditions, where a paucity of local labor has come up against a region-wide booming, oil-driven development agenda. While accepting the primacy of economic forces in shaping the regional reliance on foreign labor, this paper suggests that the GCC's peculiar demography is also reflective of particular political choices made by the states. This paper examines two particular policymaking tools used widely across the region, namely — the kafāla (worker-sponsorship) system and public sector employment of citizens and assess them within the Qatari context. In Qatar, it appears that these policy tools have been state choices not only to preserve citizens’ economic satisfaction, but also political and social stability.

Journal

Journal of Arabian StudiesTaylor & Francis

Published: Jul 3, 2015

Keywords: Qatar; Gulf Cooperation Council; demographics; labor markets; employment; rentierism; immigration; migration; labor; kafala system

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