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Dr. Noora Lori Will Be Visiting the UA Political Science Department

October 3, 2019 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Dr. Noora Lori from Boston University will be visiting the University of Alabama Political Science Department on October 3, 2019 from 3:00pm-5:00pm in Lloyd Hall 222.

Talk title: “Offshore Citizens: Permanent Temporary Status and Racial Hierarchies in the United Arab Emirates”

Organized by the Program for Middle East Studies and co-sponsored by the Department of Gender & Race Studies and the Department of Political Science.

Abstract: When it comes to extending citizenship to some groups, why might ruling political elites say neither “yes” nor “no,” but “wait”? The dominant theories of citizenship tend to recognize clear distinctions between citizens and aliens; either one has citizenship or one does not. In this presentation, Dr. Lori will discuss her recent book that explains how and why some minorities are neither fully included nor simply expelled by a state. Instead, they can be suspended in limbo – residing in a territory for extended periods without ever accruing any citizenship rights. Her in-depth study of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) uses new archival sources and extensive interviews to show how “temporary residency” can be transformed into a permanent legal status. This presentation will focus specifically on the UAE’s racial minorities—communities of South Asian, Persian, and East African descent whose Emirati citizenship was called into question when new biometric passports were introduced in 2008. After being stripped of their Emirati passports, thesepopulations were issued passports from the Union of Comoros. This new legal status authorizes them to remain in the UAE, but as temporary ‘guest workers.’ This arrangement codifies temporary residency into a formal citizenship status, allowing elites to effectively reclassify domestic minorities into foreign residents.

Bio: Noora Lori is Assistant Professor of International Relations at the Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University. Her research on the political economy of international migration control in the Arab Gulf states explores temporary migration schemes and racial hierarchies in comparative perspective. She the author of Offshore Citizens: Permanent Temporary Status in the Gulf (Cambridge, 2019). This work draws from her dissertation on citizenship policies in the United Arab Emirates, which was awarded the 2014 Best Dissertation Award by the Migration and Citizenship section of the American Political Science Association (ASPA). Dr. Lori is the Founding Director of the Pardee School Initiative on Forced Migration and Human Trafficking and chair of the scholarly advisory board of the Boston Consortium for Arab Region Studies. She was also a scholar at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies 2013-2014 and 2016-17. With her students and support from Microsoft, she helped found an NGO that built, Urban Refuge, a mobile phone based app to assist Syrian refugees in the Middle East find various forms of aid.


October 3, 2019
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm