Offshore Citizens: Permanent Temporary Status in the Gulf

March 3  | 12:00-13:00 EST | Zoom

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Offshore Citizens: Permanent Temporary Status in the Gulf book coverHow and why are certain groups neither fully included nor simply expelled by a state? What does it mean to be suspended in limbo—residing in a territory for extended periods without ever accruing any citizenship rights? In this webinar, Professor Noora Lori will discuss her recent book, Offshore Citizens: Permanent Temporary Status in the Gulf, an in-depth case study of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  This book shows that not all populations are fully included or expelled by a state; they can be suspended in limbo – residing in a territory for protracted periods without accruing citizenship rights. Lori uses new archival sources and extensive interviews to show how temporary residency can be transformed into a permanent legal status, through visa renewals and the postponement of naturalization cases. Moderated by Salma Waheedi, Associate Director of the Program on Law and Society in the Muslim World, Harvard Law School.

Lori photo portrait Professor Noora Lori is an Assistant Professor of International Relations at Boston University’s Pardee School of Global Studies. Her research broadly focuses on citizenship, migration, and institutions. She studies citizenship, statelessness, temporary migration schemes and racial hierarchies in comparative perspective. Regionally, her work examines the shifting population movements accompanying state formation in the Persian Gulf, expanding the study of Middle East politics to include historic and new connections with East Africa and the Indian subcontinent. Lori’s book, Offshore Citizens: Permanent Temporary Status in the Gulf (Cambridge University Press 2019), received the best book prize from the Migration and Citizenship section of the American Political Science Association (2020) and the Distinguished Book Award from the Ethnicity, Nationalism, and Migration Studies Association (2021). Professor Lori is the Founding Director of the Pardee School Initiative on Forced Migration and Human Trafficking.  She was previously an Academy Scholar at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, a fellow at the International Security Program of the Harvard Kennedy School, and a visiting scholar at the Dubai School of Government. 

Waheedi photo portraitSalma Waheedi is a lawyer specializing in constitutional law and human rights. She is Associate Director of the Program of Law and Society in the Muslim World, a Lecturer on Law, and a supervising attorney at the International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School. She is also an affiliate of the Middle East Initiative at HKS and the Religion and Public Life Initiative at HKS. Salma’s work focuses on expanding the rights of vulnerable communities and seeking justice for victims of human rights violations through impact litigation and policy advocacy. Her legal practice covers a number of areas, including gender justice, labor rights, minority rights, justice sector reform, and business and human rights, with a focus on the Middle East and North Africa. She also teaches courses on Human Rights Advocacy, Islamic Law, and Islam and Human Rights at HLS. Her academic research interests include comparative constitutional rights, Islamic family law, and Arab legal history.

Register for the event here.

Co-sponsored by the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program.