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Global Mobility Regimes: A Conceptual Framework

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Abstract

Advances in transportation and communications technology increase the potential for international migration around the world. As international migration becomes less inhibited by physical or economic constraints and more of a function of legal constraints imposed by states, it becomes an increasingly important issue in politics among states. As such, international migration is an issue area for possible international cooperation within international organizations or through the formation of less formal international regimes, initially defined by John Ruggie as “mutual expectations, rules and regulations, plans, organizational energies and financial commitments, which have been accepted by a group of states.”1 While an international refugee regime based on the 1951 UN Refugee Convention and the 1967 Protocol on the Status of Refugees, as well as the ongoing activities of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), is well established,2 there is no international migration regime. If one follows the UN definition of international migration, according to which migrants are those who have lived outside of their country of nationality or birth for more than one year, there is relatively little international cooperation on international migration at the global level.

Keywords

  • World Trade Organization
  • International Migration
  • International Cooperation
  • International Travel
  • Border Control

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Notes

  1. John Gerard Ruggie, “International Responses to Technology: Concepts and Trends,” International Organization, 29, no. 3 (1975): 570; Later, a “consensus definition” by a group of leading international relations scholars emerged: “Regimes can be defined as sets of implicit or explicit principles, norms, rules and decision-making procedures around which actors expectations converge in a given area of international relations. Principles are beliefs of fact, causation and rectitude. Norms are standards of behavior defined in terms of rights and obligations. Rules are specific prescriptions or proscriptions for action. Decision-making procedures are prevailing practices for making and implementing collective choice.” Stephen Krasner, “Structural Causes and Regime Consequences: Regimes as Intervening Variables,” in ed. Krasner, Stephen, International Regimes (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1983).

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  2. Gil Loescher, Beyond Charity: International Cooperation and the Global Refugee Crisis (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993); Gil Loescher and Laila Monahan, Refugees and International Relations (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1989); Claudena Skran, “The International Refugee Regime: The Historical and Contemporary Context of International Responses to Asylum Problems,” Journal of Policy History, 4, no. 1 (1992): 8–35; Laura Barnett, “Global Governance and the Evolution of the International Refugee Regime,” International Journal of Refugee Law, 14, nos. 2–3 (2002): 238–262; Jeff Crisp, “A new asylum paradigm? Globalization, migration and the uncertain future of the international refugee regime” (Working Paper no. 100, New Issues in Refugee Research, UNHCR, December, 2003).

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  3. Bimal Ghosh ed., Managing Migration: Time for a New International Regime (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000).

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  4. See for example Ghosh, Managing Migration; Thomas Straubhaar, “Why Do We Need a General Agreement on Movements of People (GAMP)? in ed. Bimal Ghosh, Managing Migration: Time for a New International Regime (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000); Timothy J. Hatton, “Should We Have a WTO for International Migration?” Economic Policy, 22, no. 50 (2007): 339–383; Reginald Appleyard, “International Migration Policies: 1950–2000,” International Migration, 39, no. 6 (2001): 7–20; Franck Düvell, “Globalisation of Migration Control. A Tug-war between Restrictionists and the Human Agency?” in ed. Holger Henke, Crossing Over: Comparing Recent Migration in Europe and the United States (New York: Lexington Books, 2005); Sadako Ogata and Johan Cels, “Human Security-Protecting and Empowering the People,” Global Governance, 9 (2003): 273–282.

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  5. Graham Allison, Nuclear Terrorism: The Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe (New York Times Books, 2004).

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  6. Rey Koslowski, “European Migration Regimes: Emerging, Enlarging and Deteriorating,” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 23, no. 4 (1998): 735–749. Rey Koslowski, Migrants and Citizens: Demographic Change in the European States System (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2000).

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  7. Rey Koslowski, “Understanding Change in International Politics, Again and Again and Again,” in ed. Oliver Kessler, Rodney Bruce Hall, Ceceila Lynch, and Nicholas G. Onuf, On Rules, Politics and Knowledge: Friedrich Kratochwil, International Relations, and Domestic Affairs (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010).

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  13. See, for example, Ayse Ceyhan and Anastassia Tsoukala, “The Securitization of Migration in Western Societies: Ambivalent Discourses and Policies,” Alternatives, 27 (2002): 21–40; John Tirman ed., The Maze of Fear: Security and Migration after 9/11 (New York: New Press, 2004).

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  14. For further elaboration, see Rey Koslowski, “Economic Globalization, Human Smuggling and Global Governance,” in ed. David Kyle and Rey Koslowski, Global Human Smuggling in Comparative Perspective, second edition (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011).

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  15. Rey Koslowski, Real Challenges for Virtual Borders: The Implementation of US-VISIT (Washington, D.C.: Migration Policy Institute, June 2005).

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© 2011 Rey Koslowski

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Koslowski, R. (2011). Global Mobility Regimes: A Conceptual Framework. In: Global Mobility Regimes. Palgrave Macmillan, New York. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137001948_1

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