Date of Award

Fall 12-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Political Science & Geography


Graduate Program in International studies

Committee Director

Regina Karp

Committee Member

Simon Serfaty

Committee Member

George Zestos


This dissertation constructs a framework to investigate the impact of remittances on the recipient countries in the context of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and the European Union (EU). The framework will explore the effects of labor migration induced by bilateral labor agreements (BLAs). Such labor agreements are guided by the desire of autocratic governments to utilize their citizens to finance social contracts to sustain the authoritarian systems. The labor movements are further enhanced by accumulating social capital and remittances. The research also highlights the impact of remittances on the home country's institutional quality. It also highlights the effects of multiple variables such as remittance securitization, labor flows, and remittance cointegration with gross domestic product (GDP). These variables yield outcomes as four testable hypotheses. H1: bilateral labor agreements (BLAs) and bilateral investment treaties (BITs) are most likely to increase labor mobility and remittances to the sending countries. H2: remittances enhance the quality of home institutions. H3: securitizing remittances aggregates their economic value. H4: There is cointegration between remittances and GDP for home countries. The context and application of remittances can highlight the role of remittances as a dispositif for development, which can also create an organized flow of labor movement and a reduction in irregular migration in the EU. This study uses several econometric models and qualitative analysis to explore the potential of remittances beyond the current problematic "best practice" approach to policymaking in migration and development. Instead, it connects different theories (Social Capital Theory and Strategic Rent Theory) to understand the processes by which governments could adapt to new circumstances generated by migration and seize the opportunities that could impel economic development.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

Copyright, 2022, by Alex M. Hamed, All Rights Reserved.