Citizens Abroad Emigration and the State in the Middle East and North Africa by Laurie A. Brand (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006. 246 pages.)

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Mandy Terc

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Abstract

This book explores a critical and often neglected aspect of emigration from
Middle Eastern countries. Rather than focusing on the policies of the states
receiving Middle Eastern immigrants, Brand’s research studies the policies of
those Middle Eastern states from which emigration originates. She attributes
this neglect to the chauvinism of scholars writing from the Americas and
Western Europe who have made their own countries the central actors of their
research. Her other theoretical contribution is to challenge and deconstruct
simplistic and outdated conceptions of state sovereignty. She selects four case
studies (viz., Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon, and Jordan), noting each one’s varied
levels of involvement in the expatriates’ lives, the emigrants’ different
destinations, and the dissimilar relationships between the expatriates and their
countries of origin. By bringing together four disparate cases in one book,
Brand addresses the larger question of how emigration from states impacts
the originating states’ conceptions of their own sovereignty ...

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