1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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Back | Programme Area: Political and Institutional Dynamics of Social Development

Regional Migration Governance: A Comparative View (Draft)



In the context of international migration governance, the regional level has gradually gained prominence in recent decades. Intra-regional migration has constantly grown and existing historical, institutional and cultural links make cooperation at the regional level easier than on a global stage. Consequently, multiple regional organizations around the globe have adopted legal instruments in order to facilitate the movement of persons across the borders of their member states. Yet, too little is known about what regional migration governance is about, why the movement of people should be governed at the regional level and how it currently looks like from a comparative perspective.

The purpose of this paper is threefold: First, to open the discussion about the meaning(s), dimensions and forms of regional migration governance (What is regional migration governance?), which has rarely been defined as compared to related notions such as global migration governance. Second, theoretical and practical arguments are presented to make a case for regional migration governance, while outlining also some of the major challenges when comparing such regional schemes (Why is the regional level suitable to govern the movement of people?). The third part will provide the reader with an overview on how the movement of people is governed in different world regions. A focus is placed here on intraregional movements of people (How does regional migration governance look like across different world regions?). The last section concludes and raises questions for further research and study.
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  • Pub. Date: 28 Aug 2014