Immigration Without Inclusion: Non-nationals in nation-building in the Gulf States
Title: Immigration Without Inclusion: Non-nationals in nation-building in the Gulf States
Author: FARGUES, Philippe
Citation: Asian and Pacific Migration Journal, 2011, 20, 3-4, 273-292, Special issue on Migration in the Gulf States
Migrants represent between one-third and four-fifths of the population in the Gulf States. Despite their sizable numbers, migrants can only have temporary residency, they have no access to citizenship, and they have limited membership in society, conditions which are unique to the Gulf States as destination countries. The first section argues that non-nationals have been instrumental in shaping the social link between nationals, and the relationship between them and their rulers. The second section shows how oil-generated wealth has allowed demographic growth through high fertility among nationals, and high immigration among non-nationals through high immigration. The faster growth among non-nationals has produced societies with a continuously shrinking proportion of nationals. Indeed, while policies of not allowing immigrants’ integration in the citizenry have worked well, policies aiming at reducing dependency on foreign workers through indigenizing the workforce and those limiting their duration of stay have not been successful. The exceptional demography of the Gulf States is not explained by an exceptional level of immigration as much as by an exceptional closure of local societies.
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