Authoritarian emigration states: soft power and cross-border mobility in the Middle East

Tsourapas, G. (2018) Authoritarian emigration states: soft power and cross-border mobility in the Middle East. International Political Science Review, 39(3), pp. 400-416. (doi: 10.1177/0192512118759902)

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Can labor emigration form part of a state’s foreign policy goals? The relevant literature links emigration to states’ developmental needs, which does not explain why some states choose to economically subsidize their citizens’ emigration. This article explores for the first time the soft power importance of high-skilled emigration from authoritarian emigration states. It finds that the Egyptian state under Gamal Abdel Nasser employed labor emigration for two distinct purposes linked to broader soft power interests: first, as an instrument of cultural diplomacy to spread revolutionary ideals of Arab unity and anti-imperialism across the Middle East; second, as a tool for disseminating development aid, particularly in Yemen and sub-Saharan Africa. Drawing on Arabic and non-Arabic primary sources, the article identifies the interplay between foreign policy and cross-border mobility, while also sketching an evolving research agenda on authoritarian emigration states’ policy-making.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This research has been supported by the Council for British Research in the Levant, Pilot Study Award on ‘Migration Diplomacy in the Eastern Mediterranean – Inter-State Politics of Population Mobility in the Middle East’ (2017–2018 Pilot Study Award), and by a British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grant [Grant Number SG163246]. The author also gratefully acknowledges funding provided by the School of Government and Society, University of Birmingham.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Tsourapas, Professor Gerasimos
Authors: Tsourapas, G.
Subjects:J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
J Political Science > JZ International relations
L Education > LA History of education
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Politics
Journal Name:International Political Science Review
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN (Online):1460-373X
Published Online:06 June 2018

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