Print version

The State-Migration Nexus in the Gulf in Light of the Arab Uprisings


The upheavals that spread across the Arab world in 2011, leading to the fall of the Tunisian, Egyptian and Libyan republican regimes, have not spared the Gulf monarchies. However, the skewed demographic situation, characterized by high percentages of migrant workers, has deeply influenced the protest movements. In the light of the economic and social implications of this demographic imbalance, this paper explains the evolving dynamics between rulers and citizens in the Gulf region. Indeed, even though the GCC countries have not experienced radical institutional change, the protestors have already challenged the basis of the current social contract. After having analyzed the most important socio-economic factors shaping the citizen-state relationship, attention will be paid to labour market reforms, which will play an important role in redefining the ruling bargain between citizens and the state and between the state and migrant workers.