Speaker: Prof. Jacob Schmutz, la Sorbonne Abu Dhabi
Title, 'Social Stratification in the GCC Countries'
About the talk:
The social and political structures of the GCC countries, in particular the UAE and Qatar, are totally unprecedented in recent world history and nevertheless appear as islands of stability in a troubled regional context. This paper will attempt to develop a model to explain their social stratification and political stability, by challenging widespread views claiming that GCC countries have managed to maintain pre-Oil stratification in their national population and rely on a coercitive ethno-stratification in their management of expatriate labour. On the contrary, I will argue that pre-Oil structures have been largely transformed and have allowed the emergence of new types of social groups, and that the relationship between national and expatriate population is a key to understand the political stability of these countries. Finally, I will look at possible fault lines that could express themselves in the form of social conflict.
About the speaker:
Jacob Schmutz is Associate Professor in Philosophy at Paris-Sorbonne University since 2004 and he currently directs the Department of Philosophy and Sociology at the Sorbonne's branch campus in Abu Dhabi (UAE). He has studied philosophy, political science, religious studies and history in Brussels, Cambridge, Madrid and Paris. His specialization as an historian of philosophy is medieval philosophy and Renaissance thought as well as contemporary political philosophy. As part of the development of a social science curriculum in Abu Dhabi, he is working and teaching courses on the relationship between religion and politics, neo-patrimonial State structures and social stratification in GCC countries.