Free Mobility within the Gulf Cooperation Council

CIRS Occasional Papers, 2011

40 Pages Posted: 19 Aug 2016

Date Written: August 18, 2011


Stipulations within the formal protocols of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) established free movement of nationals as an essential component of the region’s movement towards full economic integration. This paper analyzes the protocols within the broader construct that stresses human emancipation and freedom of mobility as fundamental human rights. Throughout the GCC, states face the peculiar dilemma of supporting full freedom of mobility for citizens while also severely limiting and curtailing the mobility of the dominant, non-national population. This paper questions how normative debates on the freedom of movement apply to the Gulf region and examines the policy and practice of strictly managing the movement of international migrants while at the same time freeing up movement for citizenry. This paper proposes that in the GCC, the regional political economy and the processes of regionalization and globalization have combined to tighten controls over mobility and migration.

Keywords: Gulf Cooperation Council, human emancipation, freedom of mobility, fundamental human rights, regionalization, globalization, mobility and migration,

Suggested Citation

Babar, Zahra, Free Mobility within the Gulf Cooperation Council (August 18, 2011). CIRS Occasional Papers, 2011, Available at SSRN: or

Zahra Babar (Contact Author)

Georgetown University ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States

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