Lori Presents “Offshore Citizens” at University of Pennsylvania Workshop

On September 14, 2021, Noora Lori, Assistant Professor of International Relations at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, presented a book talk on her latest book for the University of Pennsylvania’s Political Science department as part of their Comparative Politics Workshop.

When it comes to extending citizenship to some groups, why might ruling political 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. In her presentation, titled “Ta’al Bachir (Come Tomorrow): The Politics of Waiting for Citizenship,” Lori discussed her recent book – Offshore Citizens: Permanent “Temporary” Status in the Gulf  – which explains how and why some minorities are neither fully included nor simply expelled by a state. Her 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 permanent legal status, through visa renewals and the postponement of naturalization cases.

Noora Lori’s research broadly focuses on the political economy of migration, the development of security institutions and international migration control, and the establishment and growth of national identity systems. She is particularly interested in the study of temporary worker programs 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 is the Founding Director of the Pardee School Initiative on Forced Migration and Human Trafficking. Read more about Professor Lori on her faculty profile