Migration diplomacy in the Middle East and North Africa

Power, mobility, and the state

By Gerasimos Tsourapas

Migration diplomacy in the Middle East and North Africa


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-3209-3
  • Pages: 192
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: July 2021
  • BIC Category: SOCIAL SCIENCE / General, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Emigration & Immigration, Society & social sciences / Diplomacy, Society & social sciences / Migration, immigration & emigration, Egypt, Politics, POLITICAL SCIENCE / World / Middle Eastern
  • Series: Manchester University Press


How does migration feature in states' diplomatic agendas across the Middle East? Migration diplomacy provides the first systematic examination of the foreign policy importance of migrants, refugees and diasporas in the Global South. Tsourapas examines how emigration-related processes become embedded in governmental practices of establishing and maintaining power; how states engage with migrant and diasporic communities residing in the West; how oil-rich Arab monarchies have extended their support for a number of sending states' ruling regimes via cooperation on labour migration; and, finally, how labour and forced migrants may serve as instruments of political leverage.

Drawing on multi-sited fieldwork and employing a range of case-studies across the Middle East and North Africa, Tsourapas identifies how the management of cross-border mobility in the Middle East is not primarily dictated by legal, moral, or human rights considerations but driven by state actors' key concern - political power.


'Tsourapas has produced a deeply-researched, beautifully written and thought-provoking addition to the burgeoning literature on migration diplomacy. His book is a must-read text for anyone interested in the study of migration, diasporic mobilization and the politics of the MENA region.'
Kelly M. Greenhill, Research Fellow, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

'In recent years, the migratory patterns of the Middle East and North Africa have become much more multi-faceted and complex due to expanding globalisation, emerging wars and conflicts, changing labour markets, and developing transnational networks and diasporas. Within this context, referring to the concept of migration diplomacy, Gerasimos Tsourapas's book provides us with a fascinating analytical framework and argues that the politics of migratory movements can be better understood when looked at through the lens of migration diplomacy: therefore, one must emphasise the unique significance of this book, not only for the scholars working on the MENA region, but also for a wider audience of those interested in the politics of migration globally.'
Ahmet Içduygu, Professor of International Relations and Sociology, Koç University

'In this outstanding contribution to scholarship on the politics of migration, Gerasimos Tsourapas shows how migration policies in the Global South are shaped by power and interests. Based on rich historical research, Migration diplomacy unveils the range of strategies used by Middle Eastern and North African states to link human mobility to broader political goals.'
Alexander Betts, Professor of Forced Migration and International Affairs, University of Oxford


1 Introduction
2 Analysing mobility in the Middle East from the perspective of migration diplomacy
3 Migration and the state in the modern Middle East: a history
4 Constructing the migrant as a subject of power in Egypt
5 State-diaspora relations and regime security in North Africa
6 Inter-state cooperation and labour migration to the gulf
7 Managing mobility as a host-state issue-linkage strategy



Gerasimos Tsourapas is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Glasgow

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