Refugees in International Relations

By Alexander Betts; Gil Loescher | Go to book overview

9
‘Global’ Governance of Forced
Migration

Sophia Benz and Andreas Hasenclever


ABSTRACT

Even the most powerful nation-states are increasingly incapable of coping with
the emergence of the new and the intensification of existing trans-sovereign
problems that cannot be solved unilaterally. According to institutionalist theo-
ries, states share an interest in solving or better managing these challenges and
in overcoming problems in the provision of collective goods. For this purpose
they create international institutions that regulate the behaviour of actors
within various policy fields. Because the growing complexities of trans-border
relations challenge states’ autonomous problem-solving capacity as well as the
capacities of rather specialized intergovernmental agencies, more inclusive
governance structures engaging private actors are also expected to emerge.
Others, however, are less optimistic. They doubt the meaningful influence of
non-state actors and the effectiveness of international institutions at least in
certain issue areas. This chapter argues that the policy field of forced migration
offers an ideal test case for these expectations. The international community
indeed responded to the growing magnitude and complexity of the problem
with the establishment, extension, and adjustment of the forced migration
regime in general and the refugee protection regime in specific. Today, interna-
tional
governance of forced migration is a matter of fact. However, the existing
approach might reach beyond international governance. We therefore ask
whether global governance of forced migration can be observed. Herein two
meanings of the attribute global are distinguished: governance of forced migra-
tion that is global (referring to the spatial reach of the governance approach)
and governance of forced migration in the global (implying a multilevel, multi-
dimensional governance approach). The subsequent empirical analysis identi-
fies severe gaps in the protection of forced migrants. This leads to the final
conclusion that global governance of forced migration rather remains a vision
than a description of the actual state of affairs.

-185-

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