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Expatriates and the Gulf monarchies : politics, security, and the Arab Spring.

Davidson, Christopher M. (2014) 'Expatriates and the Gulf monarchies : politics, security, and the Arab Spring.', Asian affairs., 45 (2). pp. 270-288.


For many years the expatriate populations of the Gulf monarchies have played not only a key role in the economic development of these states, but have also contributed to their political stability. As non-citizens their presence in such large numbers has reinforced the elite status of most citizens in the region – an important non-pecuniary legitimacy resource for the monarchies. Moreover, their employment-driven status has usually meant that they have adopted either an apolitical or even pro-status quo stance. In some cases their perceived loyalty has led to selective naturalization or even co-option into security services. Complicating the issue, however, have been the recently changing circumstances of the Gulf monarchies. Already decisions have been made to reduce significantly expatriate populations due to accumulating pressures, especially related to urgent job creation schemes for nationals. Such measures threaten to undo the historic political advantages the presence of expatriates has provided for these regimes.

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Publisher statement:This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Asian Affairs on 12/06/2014, available online at:
Record Created:31 Oct 2014 10:50
Last Modified:31 Jan 2018 15:04

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