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Dr Claire Beaugrand

Lecturer in Sociology of the Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula

I joined the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies in October 2017 as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Gulf Studies, focusing on social and political dynamics and their links to migration in the Gulf countries. My research interests include the politics of citizenship, diaspora, nationalism and nation-building in the Gulf States, which I approach through the methodological angle of the margins and alternative narratives. I am also interested in issue of segregation/ abject spaces, mobilisations of undocumented people and authoritarianism.  

My new book, Statelessness in the Gulf : Migration, Nationality and Society in Kuwait (IB Tauris 2017), investigates the issue of paperless (bidun) people in Kuwait, as illustrating the shift from a sheikhly state to a national territorial one and the process of national identity building in the face of mass migration. Using a combination of Arabic press archive sources and ethnographic material, it analyses how the now deeply-entrenched citizens/foreigners line was historically debated and concretely drawn and explores the historical, economic, and political forces that have shaped the bidun experience as well as the emergence of mobilisation movements.

My research project at the IAIS focuses on the relations between the Gulf States and Palestine –through the study of official policies but also imaginaries built by people’s circulations -or absence thereof. 

Research group links

Research interests

My research interests include citizenship and migration studies, urban exclusion and symbolic violence –with a special focus on the Gulf and in particular Kuwait.


I graduated from SciencesPo (Paris) and Sorbonne University (History, Paris 1, Pantheon-Sorbonne) before obtaining an MSc (Development Studies) from the London School of Economics (LSE). I wrote my PhD in the International Relations Department at the LSE (2010) under the supervision of late Professor Fred Halliday, and funded by a scholarship from the CEFAS (French Centre for Archaeology and Social Sciences). After working as a Gulf Senior Analyst with the International Crisis Group (ICG), I joined the newly established branch of the Institut Français du Proche Orient, in the occupied Palestinian Territories (2013- 17). I was a core-researcher in the ERC-funded WAFAW project (2013-17), responsible of the research axis on “Diaspora and Arab revolutions and transitions” and am a founding and editorial board member of the website (French/Arabic/English).  

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