The International Travel Regime

  • Rey Koslowski


International cooperation to facilitate international travel has existed as long as states have recognized each other’s passports when permitting each other’s nationals entry into their respective territories. The international travel regime came into being as international customary law and norms of passport recognition became codified into formal international agreements almost a century ago. Even though this regime was rather minimal, it enabled cross-border travel, often even in times of political conflict and war. The further institutionalization of cooperation within international organizations after World War II and intensification of cooperation in response to new technologies and globalization enabled international travel to grow over the past few decades to billions of border crossings per year. Postwar cooperation on international travel focused primarily on facilitating cross-border movements of ever larger volumes of tourists and businesspeople but an outbreak of aircraft hijackings in the early 1970s and then the September 11, 2001, attacks shifted policymakers’ concerns toward security. States then increasingly used the international organizations and institutions of the international travel regime in efforts to secure travel while maintaining levels of cross-border flows of people.


World Trade Organization International Cooperation Asylum Seeker International Tourist International Travel 
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© Rey Koslowski 2011

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  • Rey Koslowski

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