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The story of how British citizenship developed and why this matters for questions of race, migration and belonging in 'Global Britain'

Hosted and produced by Michaela Benson.

Cover Art: George Kalivis

Production and post-production: Art of Podcast 

Dec 23, 2022

All eyes have been on Qatar because of the World Cup. And with it, attention to the poor working conditions and treatment of migrant construction workers. We go beyond the headlines with İdil Akıncı-Pérez (University of Edinburgh) to explore the back story to these issues. We look in depth at how the Gulf States approach migration and citizenship, from the Kafala sponsorship system to restrictions on citizenship which mean that only 10% of the resident population have citizenship. We move beyond the suggestion of the Gulf States as exceptional to consider instead how their approach converges and diverges from migration-citizenship regimes closer to home, and what this makes visible about global migration and citizenship regimes.

You can access the full transcripts for each episode on the Who do we think we are? website.

In this episode we cover …

  1. Kafala and labour conditions
  2. History of citizenship and migration in the Gulf
  3. Legal precarity across the life course


"If you hold nationality of a country with ongoing political conflict and violence where do you go if you lose your temporary visa that is linked to employment which means you have to find a different place to live? It is really important to look at legal status together with nationality to understand inequality." — İdil Akıncı-Pérez

Find out more about …

Our guest İdil Akıncı-Pérez and her work and follow her on twitter

Our headline for this episode from Al Jazeera

We also loved this episode about Qatar and the World Cup from one of our favourite podcasts, NPR’s Throughline

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