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Title: Building the global Gulf city : tracing transnational geographies of capital and labour in Dubai, UAE
Author: Buckley, Michelle
ISNI:       0000 0004 2733 8028
Awarding Body: Oxford University
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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Informed by Marxian, postcolonial and feminist perspectives on cities, finance and work and employment, this thesis interrogates the transnational capital and labour involved in the production of the built environment in Dubai, UAE since 2002. Over the past decade, the autocratic city-state has undergone an extensive and rapid transformation characterized by the launch of an array of large-scale real estate projects, which have formed a key component of the state's wider efforts to diversify, liberalize and internationalize the local economy. Beyond Dubai and the UAE, other member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) - which comprises Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait - have pursued similar economic development agendas in which newly-internationalized and neoliberalized property markets have played an integral role. Based on fieldwork in Dubai and the state of Kerala, India, this thesis follows Dubai's recent urban development from boom to bust, exploring the roles of transnational construction workers and global capital in fuelling material and political change in the city. Specifically, I examine four distinct but interconnected facets of Dubai's political economy of urban production. These are: the significance of commodified, marketized and internationalized real estate assets to local and regional post-oil diversification strategies; the profound role played by local real estate markets in the development of Dubai' s finance and banking landscapes; the gendered, embodied and urban dimensions of migrant construction workers' labour struggles in recent years, and the impacts of the global economic crisis on construction migrants employed in the city in 2008. Together, these four analyses offer a multi-dimensional perspective on Dubai's recent growth which seeks to resituate the city in scholarly debates about capitalist urbanization, and which draws wider empirical and theoretical attention to the distinctly urban dimensions that define contemporary processes of labour rights formation, neoliberalization and political economic change across the Gulf region.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available