The Politics of Migration in Modern Egypt: Strategies for Regime Survival in Autocracies

Hosted by the Middle East Centre

Zoom (Online)


Gerasimos Tsourapas

Gerasimos Tsourapas

University of Birmingham

Ibrahim Awad

Ibrahim Awad

American University of Cairo


Zeynep Kaya

Zeynep Kaya

LSE Middle East Centre

 CUP_Tsourapas 800x600

This event will be a discussion around Gerasimos Tsourapas' latest book The Politics of Migration in Modern Egypt: Strategies for Regime Survival in Autocracies.

In this ground-breaking work, Tsourapas examines how migration and political power are inextricably linked, and enhances our understanding of how authoritarian regimes rely on labour emigration across the Middle East and the Global South. Tsourapas identifies how autocracies develop strategies to tie cross-border mobility to their own survival, highlighting domestic political struggles and the shifting regional and international landscape. In Egypt, the ruling elite has long shaped labour emigration policy in accordance with internal and external tactics aimed at regime survival. Tsourapas draws on a wealth of previously-unavailable archival sources in Arabic and English, as well as extensive original interviews with Egyptian elites and policy-makers in order to produce a novel account of authoritarian politics in the Arab world. The book offers a new insight into the evolution and political rationale behind regime strategies towards migration, from Gamal Abdel Nasser's 1952 Revolution to the 2011 Arab Uprisings.

Gerasimos Tsourapas is Senior Lecturer in Middle East Politics at the University of Birmingham. He works on the politics of migrants, refugees, and diasporas in the Middle East and the broader Global South. He has also written on the international dimension of authoritarianism. His first book, The Politics of Migration in Modern Egypt - Strategies for Regime Survival in Autocracies (Cambridge University Press, 2019), was awarded the 2020 ENMISA Distinguished Book Award by the International Studies Association. Tsourapas has published in International Studies Quarterly, International Migration Review, International Political Science Review, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, and other leading journals. He has held research fellowships at Harvard University (2019–20) and the American University in Cairo (2013–14).

Ibrahim Awad is Professor of Practice in Global Affairs and Director, Center for Migration and Refugee Studies, School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, at the American University in Cairo. He has worked for the League of Arab States, the United Nations and the International Labour Organization, holding positions of Secretary of the Commission, UN-ESCWA, Director, ILO Sub-regional Office for North Africa and Director, ILO International Migration Programme. He currently is Chair of the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD), hosted by the World Bank, Chair of the Steering Committee of the Euro-Mediterranean Research Network on International Migration (EuroMedMig) and Senior Fellow at the Migration Policy Centre (MPC) of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. 

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Image: © Cambridge University Press