Dr. Michael Ewers

Migration, Globalization, Economic Geography
• Assistant Professor
McEniry 309

I am a human geographer and interdisciplinary social scientist. My research examines the human dimensions of international economic development, including processes of migration, employment, and urbanization. I am interested in questions of who goes where and why in the global economy. For example, my work has explored skilled international migration to emerging economies, how migrant workers navigate labor markets and migration regimes, and migrant worker welfare in global cities.

While all of my research is situated in a global context, my regional specialization is in the Middle East, where I have studied the diversification of the region's oil economies, the development of new financial centers, and the transition to renewable energy.  At UNC Charlotte, I have continued my work on the Middle East and have developed new, US-based research agendas, including graduate migration and city preferences, and the emergence of new geographies of remote work.

My methodological expertise in quantitative survey research is a common basis for much of my research. Before joining UNC Charlotte, I worked as a Research Associate Professor and Senior Policy Analyst at Qatar University’s Social and Economic Survey Research Institute (SESRI). Through this international opportunity, I collaborated with a broad range of social scientists and published survey-based research in journals such as Governance, Social Indicators Research, and Comparative Politics. Before SESRI, I worked as an Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University.


PhD (2010) Geography, The Ohio State University
MA (2005) Geography, The Ohio State University

Teaching and Research interests

- Migration and population dynamics
- Employment and labor markets
- Urban and regional economic development
- Oil and resource economies
- Financial centers
- The Middle East

Teaching at UNCC

GEOG 2165 “Patterns of World Urbanization”
GEOG 3000/INTL 3001 "Geography of the Middle East" 
GEOG 3105 "Geography of the Global Economy"
GEOG 3220 "Renewable Energy and Regional Energy Markets"
LBST 2102 “Global Connections”

Recent Publications

Dicce R & M Ewers. 2021. Solar labor market transitions in the United Arab Emirates. Geoforum 124: 55-64.

Ewers M, J Gengler & B Shockley. 2021. Bargaining power: A framework for understanding varieties of migration experience. International Migration Review 55(4): 1121-1151.

Poon J, Y Chow, M Ewers & T Hamilton. 2021. Executives’ observance of zakat among Islamic financial institutions: Evidence from Bahrain and Malaysia. Journal of Islamic Accounting and Business Research 12(4): 509-523.

Gengler J, B Shockley & M Ewers. 2021. Refinancing the rentier state: Welfare, inequality, and citizen preferences toward fiscal reform in the Gulf oil monarchies. Comparative Politics 53: 283-317.

Ewers M, A Diop, K Le & L Bader. 2020. Migrant worker well-being and its determinants: The case of Qatar. Social Indicators Research 152: 137-163.

Dicce R, M Ewers, J Poon, Y Chow. 2020. A tale of two pillars: Emergent geographies of Islamic finance in Bahrain and Kuala Lumpur. Arab World Geographer 23(2-3): 89-111

Khattab N, Z Babar, M Ewers & M Shaath. 2020. Gender and mobility. Qatar’s highly skilled female migrants in context. Migration and Development 9: 369-389.

Poon, J, Y Chow, M Ewers & R Ramli. 2020. The role of skills in Islamic financial innovation: Evidence from Bahrain and Malaysia. Journal of Open Innovation: Technology, Market, and Complexity 6: 47

Dicce R & M Ewers. 2020. Becoming Linked In: Leveraging professional networks for elite surveys and interviews. Geographical Review 110: 160-171.

Diop A, S Al-Ali Mustapha, M Ewers & K Le. 2020. Welfare Index of Migrant Workers in the Gulf: the Case of Qatar. International Migration 58: 140-153

Contact Me

309 McEniry