Call for Proposals: The Politics of Migration and Refugee Rentierism in the Middle East Workshop

The Politics of Migration and Refugee Rentierism in the Middle East

The concepts of ‘rent’ and ‘rentier states’ have been integral to the understanding of the politics of migration into, out of, and across the Middle East and North Africa. Political scientists have long examined how oil rentier states historically relied on the recruitment of international migrant labour. More recently, attention has turned to refugee rentier states, which have sought to leverage their position of hosting refugees to secure payoffs from international actors. POMEPS and the University of Glasgow invite proposals for a workshop on the many ways in which rents shape the politics of both labor migration and forced migration in the contemporary Middle East and North Africa.

Contributions to the workshop should discuss the methodological, analytical, and empirical dimensions of migration and refugee rentierism in the Middle East and North Africa: how has rent-seeking evolved historically, and how might it be linked to imperial and colonial practices? What are the current formal and informal practices of rent-seeking behaviour by states and non-state actors in the region? What are the domestic and foreign-policy implications of labor migration and refugee rentierism for Middle East politics?How may the concept of rent lead to a stronger understanding of state-society relations within countries of origin, transit, and destination? What kinds of methodological and empirical issues do social scientists face in researching this phenomenon, and how may they be overcome? We are open to a diverse array of methodological and disciplinary approaches, and particularly invite proposals which examine transregional migrant flows to or from the Middle East and North Africa.

The workshop will be held in Glasgow on 22-23 September 2023, and will result in the publication of a volume of the open-access publication POMEPS Studies. Papers should be approximately 3000 words. We invite interested participants working on any aspect of migration and refugee rentierism in the Middle East to apply with a 500-word abstract (detailing research questions, methodology, and findings) and a recent CV via this Google Form. We particularly encourage scholars from the MENA region and pre-tenure junior scholars to apply. The deadline for applications is 15 April 2023, and successful applicants will be notified by late April 2023. All travel and accommodation expenses will be covered.

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