UAE National Security and the Threat of Imported Foreign Disputes

  • Reem Al Dhaheri

    Student thesis: Master's Thesis


    This study answers the question - to what extent is the UAE's national security threatened by the importation of foreign disputes? As the UAE's foreign population constitutes nearly 90% of the nation's total population, this is an essential area of study from a security perspective. Moreover, if an explanation can be developed of why international disputes are imported into the UAE, the UAE national security agencies can then develop a predictive model for such events, and take measures in advance to prevent the event. As there is a lack of literature directly on this research question, there are two sets of academic literature from which material can be drawn –literature focusing connection between diaspora and security/conflict, and literature on protest literature. I draw these two bodies of literature together to identify for diaspora groups in relation to importing foreign conflict (1) what issues probably draw individuals to protest, (2) factors that increase or decrease the likelihood of protesting, and (3) factors that increase or decrease the likelihood of protests spreading. Information relating to the above become the focus of the data collection on the UAE cases of expatriates importing disputes. The study uses a small-n case study approach with the data being cases of known incidents in the UAE where expatriates have been involved in political protest actions based on some development in their home countries. The cases are analyzed to identify their similarity and difference, including the presence of the characteristics which have been identified in the academic literature as import to protests. Specifically, I examine for each case study: • What was the issue that motivated the protest? • Who protested? • What was the form of the protest action and did violence occur? • How large were the protests and its duration? • What was the government's response and how did this affect the protest? This will allow me to make conclusions on the following: • Issues that drew individuals to protests and the likelihood of protesting. • Why are there so few protests? • Why was the religiously motivated protest the only one to be large scale and involved significant violence? • Why were most of the protestors from the Indian subcontinent? • Possible reasons for other protests peaceful nature. • Shared protests characteristics in expatriates' homeland. This analysis shows that in the UAE, the only significant violent imported dispute to date was motivated by anger over a religious issue that could be justified because of the religious discrimination against usually the minority groups. Which will result in increasing their anger and grievances as they perceive it as a threat to believes and faith. Consequently, it increases the probability of initiation violent protests. Finally, this study showed that the threat of importing conflicts to the country is present but low.
    Date of AwardDec 2018
    Original languageAmerican English


    • UAE National Security
    • Importing Conflicts
    • Expatriates Protests
    • and Protests in Host country.

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