Chapter 8 The politics of migration interdependence in the post-Arab Spring Middle East
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Political economy dynamics allow unique insights into regional migration governance. Within the Middle East migration sub-system, how do states attempt to use their position as destinations for labour migration to influence sending states, and when do they succeed? The chapter argues that economically driven cross-border mobility generates reciprocal political economy effects, or migration interdependence. Host states may leverage their position against a sending state by either deploying strategies of restriction or displacement. These strategies’ success depends on whether the sending state is vulnerable to the political-economy costs incurred due to the host states’ strategy and whether it cannot procure the support of alternative host states. These claims are demonstrated through a least-likely, two-case study design of Libyan and Jordanian coercive migration diplomacy against Egypt. By focusing on the politics of regional migration governance in the Middle East, the chapter examines how two weaker Arab states successfully leveraged their position against a stronger one.

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