Noora Lori Featured on Podcast about Statelessness

Dr. Noora Lori

Noora Lori, Assistant Professor of International Relations at Boston University’s Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, was recently featured on the “Borders & Belonging” podcast in an episode examining statelessness around the world.

The podcast, produced by the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Migration and Integration Program at Toronto Metropolitan University, explored the causes, realities and global impacts of not having a recognized nationality.

Lori discussed her book “Offshore Citizens: Permanent Temporary Status in the Gulf,” which looks at how states use temporary statuses to render migrants permanently deportable over time, depriving them of both membership rights and mobility rights.

She gave the example of Abderrahman, an ethnic Baloshi man who became stateless after being expelled from Uganda in 1972 and then spent 40 years in the UAE without being fully recognized as a citizen there.

Lori highlighted strategies states employ to “miscount the time” of undesirable migrants, preventing them from acquiring rights, while expediting citizenship for wealthy investors through passport investment programs.

She challenged misconceptions that stateless people are “floating” populations without ties to any state or did something suspicious to lose their citizenship status.

Looking to the future, Lori cautioned that ad-hoc documentation solutions that don’t provide meaningful membership rights could exacerbate statelessness long-term. She advocated recognizing the humanity of those impacted by statelessness.

The full podcast episode, titled “Statelessness: No country to call home,” is available here from the Borders & Belonging series and on all major podcast platforms.

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