Members of CIRS traveled to the American Political Science Association’s (APSA) 113th Annual Convention in San Francisco, USA, from 31st August to 3rd September, 2017. The theme of the conference was “The Quest for legitimacy: Actors, Audiences, and Aspirations.” Dr. Mehran Kamrava, Director CIRS, and Zahra Babar, Associate Director of CIRS attended the conference.
Dr. Mehran Kamrava chaired the panel titled, “Islam and Politics” held on 31st August, 2017. The papers presented by the panel participants explored the dimensions of Islam in politics from different angles. The papers presented included: “Islamist Groups and the Struggle for Legitimacy during periods of Transition,” “Religious Tolerance and Religious Bridging in Muslim-majority Countries,” “Religiosity, Religious Parities and Support for Democracy,” and “Seeking Justice from Cairo to Istanbul: Islam, Social Justice, and Democracy.”
Zahra Babar presented her paper, “Highly Skilled Migrants in Qatar” in the panel titled, “Elite Mobility and Highly Skilled Migration” on 31st August, 2017. The paper is jointly authored with Nabil Khattab and Michael Ewers and uses quantitative and qualitative data to study the motives and experiences of highly skilled migrants in Qatar. The results suggest that while the mobility of Western migrants is affected primarily by the Kafala system, many Arab highly skilled migrants are also affected by the level of security and the lack of stability in their home countries. The former group seem to be willing to accept a reduced level of agency and mobility for high income, whereas for the latter security and stability are more fundamental in their decision to come to Qatar.