Global But Not Regional? The Role of African Regional Migration Regimes in the International Governance Architecture

26 Pages Posted: 28 May 2019

See all articles by Eva Dick

Eva Dick

Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) - German Development Institute (DIE)

Benjamin Schraven

University of Bonn

Date Written: May 2019

Abstract

Regional organisations and migration regimes are increasingly being acknowledged in global migration policies. The global compacts for migration and on refugees adopted in December 2018 recognise the migration-related expertise and important function of regional organisations in the implementation of international guidelines and policies. But the compacts’ wording is vague on the division of labour between global and regional migration regimes, and important questions remain unanswered regarding the added value and ideal role of regional migration regimes in the international system. This is particularly true for regions of the global South, whose institutional arrangements, substantive focus and performance in migration-related norm setting and implementation remain understudied. The authors contribute to filling this knowledge gap by considering two migration policy processes in the context of their overall (regional) migration governance systems and regimes – the ECOWAS Protocol for the Free Movement of Persons and the IGAD Regional Framework for Durable Solutions for Somali Refugees. Based on a qualitative research design, they find that regional migration regimes possess some comparative advantages compared with global ones, which enhance their agency. However, depending on institutional path dependencies, the degree of legalisation and the interests of powerful internal and external actors, levels of agency with regards to different migration types might show significant variation.

Keywords: regional and global governance, migration, forced displacement, Africa, IGAD, ECOWAS

Suggested Citation

Dick, Eva and Schraven, Benjamin, Global But Not Regional? The Role of African Regional Migration Regimes in the International Governance Architecture (May 2019). Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies Research Paper No. RSCAS 2019/33, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3393550 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3393550

Eva Dick (Contact Author)

Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) - German Development Institute (DIE) ( email )

Tulpenfeld 4
Bonn, 53113
Germany

Benjamin Schraven

University of Bonn ( email )

Germany
Bonn, D-53012
Germany

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