My work examines the role of immigration and citizenship regimes in the construction and maintenance of racial inequalities in a local and global perspective. More specifically, I examine the lived experiences of legal insecurity and the intersecting constituents of racial power that inform legal and social inequalities within formal citizenship, as well non-citizen forms of belonging. By anchoring this work on citizenship in the Arab Gulf States, and particularly in Dubai, my work maps the ongoing colonial entanglements in racial formations of citizenship, and similar strategies of boundary policing across migration and political regimes.
I am currently finalising the revisions of my first monograph, tentatively titled as ‘“The making of natives and immigrants in the United Arab Emirates”.
Lund Mission Society (2021-2022)
Together with Dr Ulrich Schmiedel from the School of Divinity, in this project we examined the sociological conditions under which religious diversity can act as a force for cohesion, rather than conflict, in pluralist societies.
Alexander Humboldt Foundation Post-doctoral Fellowship, GIGA Middle East (2021)
This project provided insights into a number of strategies older migrants develop in order to navigate restrictive immigration regimes upon retirement in the UAE. Findings will be published in a special issue in the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (2022).
ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship, (2018-2019, declined)
In this project, I investigated the impact of changing circumstances in countries of origin (or nationality) for migrants, when they do not have secure residency in their host countries, even after decades and generations. In particular, I explored how the war in Syria significantly reconfigured a sense of residential insecurity in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for some of the UAE born Syrian nationals, and instigated an imminent urge to pursue long-term security elsewhere, including through asylum seeking.
Chancellor’s International Research Excellence Scheme, University of Sussex, fully funded doctoral research (2014-2018)
I joined the University of Edinburgh in September 2019 as an Early Career Teaching and Research Fellow cross appointed between the Department of Sociology, Alwaleed Centre and IMES. I convened Muslims in Europe (UG/PG) module, co-lead the Muslims in Europe Research Cluster and contributed to interdisciplinary courses, such as Race and Ethnicity, Decolonial Research Methods, and Key Concepts in Global Social Change.
Since September 2022, I work as a Lecturer in Race and Social Policy.
I hold a PhD in Migration Studies from the University of Sussex (2018), where I explored the everyday experiences of national identity and citizenship by young Arab migrant communities and Emirati citizens in Dubai. I also conducted fieldwork in Dubai with South Asian communities during 2012-2013 as a part of my MA degree in Sociology at the City, University of London.
I taught a number of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in sociology, migration, human geography, and social anthropology both at the University of Sussex and Zayed University in Dubai.
İdil Akıncı (2022) ‘Ways to stick around’: im/mobility strategies of ageing, temporary migrants in Dubai, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2022.2115627
Idil Akinci (2020) Dressing the nation? Symbolizing Emirati national identity and boundaries through national dress, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 43:10, 1776-1794, DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2019.1665697
Idil Akinci (2020) Culture in the ‘politics of identity’: conceptions of national identity and citizenship among second-generation non-Gulf Arab migrants in Dubai, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 46:11, 2309-2325, DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2019.1583095
Akinci, Idil. (2021) Talking to Young People about Being a National: Fieldwork Reflections from Dubai. In: L. Charles, I. Pappé and M. Ronchi, ed., Researching the Middle East Cultural, Conceptual, Theoretical and Practical Issues. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Akinci, Idil. (2020) Language, Nation, Difference: Everyday Language Tactics of Young Emiratis. In. N. Allam et al, Gulf Cooperation Council Culture and Identities in the New Millennium: Resilience, Transformation, (Re) Creation and Diffusion, Contemporary Gulf Studies, Palgrave Macmillan
Akinci, Idil. (2018). Everyday Conversions: Islam, Domestic Work, and South Asian Migrant Women in Kuwait A. Ahmad: Duke University Press 2017. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 40(8), pp.1341-1343.
Akinci, Idil. (2016). Migrant Dubai: low wage workers and the construction of a global city. L. Kathiravelu: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 40(8), pp.1341-1343.
Akinci, Idil. (2016). Impossible Citizens: Dubai's Indian Diaspora N. Vora Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2013. The Australian Journal of Anthropology, 27(1), pp.131-132.
Akinci, Idil. (2021) Ageing, Temporary Migrants: Life beyond Retirement in Dubai, GIGA Focus, Ageing, Temporary Migrants: Life beyond Retirement in Dubai
Akinci, Idil. (2021) Different Type of Refugee: Onward Journeys of Gulf-Born Migrants from Politically Volatile Countries, E-IR, Different Type of Refugee: Onward Journeys of Gulf-Born Migrants from Politically Volatile Countries
Akinci, Idil. (2020) Museums as Political Institutions of National Identity Reproduction: Are Gulf States an Exception?, LSE Middle East Blog, Museums as Political Institutions of National Identity Reproduction: Are Gulf States an Exception? | Middle East Centre (lse.ac.uk)
Akinci, Idil. (2018). Why more research on the bottom-up constructions of national identity in the Gulf states is important, LSE Middle East Blog, https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/mec/2018/12/16/why-more-research-on-the-bottom-up-constructions-of-national-identity-in-the-gulf-states-is-needed/
Akinci, Idil. (2018). The multiple roots of Emiratiness: the cosmopolitan history of Emirati society: Open Democracy, The multiple roots of Emiratiness: the cosmopolitan history of Emirati society | openDemocracy
Akinci, Idil. (2013) Dubai’s temporary but settled citizens: Researching the second generation “Dubaite-South Asians”, Migrant-rights.org, Dubai’s temporary but settled citizens: Researching the second generation “Dubaite-South Asians” | Migrant-Rights.org (migrant-rights.org)