Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist
Look Inside Offshore Citizens

Offshore Citizens
Permanent Temporary Status in the Gulf


  • Publication planned for: August 2019
  • availability: Not yet published - available from August 2019
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108498173

£ 75.00

Pre-order Add to wishlist

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • When it comes to extending citizenship to certain groups, why might ruling 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. 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. This in-depth case study of the United Arab Emirates 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. In the UAE, temporary residency was also codified into a formal citizenship status through the outsourcing of passports from the Union of Comoros, allowing elites to effectively reclassify minorities into foreign residents.

    • Explains the migration and citizenship policies of the Arab Gulf region that hosts the highest concentrations of migrants in the world
    • Demonstrates the importance of citizenship policies in oil-rich states, showing how legal status and delays are used in the politics of resource distribution
    • Provides readers with a way of studying stateless minorities, labor migrants, and refugees in conjunction
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'This pathbreaking book asks the critical yet curiously understudied question of how citizenship in Arab Gulf states is constructed - a question with great stakes given the benefits of nationality in the small, oil rich countries of the region. Lori identifies a new approach to dealing with domestic minorities while constructing national communities - the outsourcing of national membership.' Melani Cammett, Clarence Dillon Professor of International Affairs, Harvard University

    'Offshore Citizens might also have been titled 'Kafka Comes to the Middle East'. We learn that, as in Kafka's parable 'Before the Law', many in the United Arab Emirates await their turn to enter the exalted status of citizenship but are denied, even though they wait dutifully their entire lives. Noora Anwar Lori tells the tale of the many 'permanent temporary' guest workers whose citizenship is 'outsourced' to the tiny Union of Comoros, which supplies them with passports although they have no connection to the country. These persons live in a permanent limbo in the UAE, even though they were born in the Emirates and have never known anywhere else. Surreal and disturbing, but all too real for those permanent non-Arab guest workers who live it. A fascinating study of the 'spectrum' of citizenship statuses in the region with the world's largest proportion of non-citizens.' John Torpey, City University of New York

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Publication planned for: August 2019
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108498173
    • length: 302 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 156 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.55kg
    • contains: 5 b/w illus. 2 maps 9 tables
    • availability: Not yet published - available from August 2019
  • Table of Contents

    1. Limbo statuses and precarious citizenship
    2. Making the nation: citizens, 'guests' and ambiguous legal statuses
    3. Demographic growth, migrant policing, and naturalization as a 'national security' threat
    4. Permanently deportable: the formal and informal institutions of the Kafāla system
    5. 'Taʿāl Bachir' (come tomorrow): the politics of waiting for identity papers
    6. Identity regularization and passport outsourcing: turning minorities into foreigners
    7. Conclusion
    8. Methodological appendix

  • Author

    Noora Lori, Boston University
    Noora Lori is an Assistant Professor of International Relations at the Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University. She was a scholar at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies and received the 2014 Best Dissertation Award from the Migration and Citizenship section of the American Political Science Association.

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.