The politics of Egyptian regional migration

Examining autocratic cooperation processes in the Arab world
  • Gerasimos Tsourapas


What is the impact of labour migration on autocratic regimes? This article argues that labour migration affects processes of cooperation between autocratic regimes of the sending and host states. It focuses on Egypt between 1970, when the Egyptian regime under Anwar Sadat began the process of liberalising its migration policy, and 1989, when the economic embargo imposed upon Egypt by the League of Arab States in response to the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty formally ended. It employs process-tracing in a broader qualitative methodological approach, where data are examined sequentially to draw descriptive inference and to disconfirm rival explanations. Primary materials are comprised both of semi-structured expert and elite interviews conducted in Cairo (n = 31), including current and former ministers, former Prime Minister Abdel Aziz Hegazy, and high-ranking government officials, and of emigration-related articles published in the three major, semi-governmental daily newspapers in Egypt (al-Ahram, al-Akhbar, al-Jumhuriya), and the non-Egyptian press. Through the case-study of Egyptian regional emigration, the paper demonstrates, firstly, that emigration is able to contribute to closer cooperation between authoritarian regimes and, secondly, that such cooperation is able to support the sending state’s ruling regime.


Middle East Arab Country Authoritarian Regime Arab World Migration Policy 
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© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LondonUK

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