Political Science Immigration and International Relations
by
Heather Johnson
  • LAST MODIFIED: 28 February 2017
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756223-0204

Introduction

The study of immigration/migration in international relations (IR) is, in many ways, a latecomer to the discipline. This is perhaps no great surprise, as the discipline has traditionally focused on questions of stability and war in the international system. However, there are many ways that international migration intersects directly with IR, even traditionally defined, and this has driven a growing body of scholarship. First, migration is itself a function of the international system of states. Without states, there are no borders to cross and it is the crossing of borders that remains at the heart of the politics of migration: who crosses, how, where, and why, are the operative issues at the heart of policymaking, debate, and practice in migration. This also places the state at the heart of much of the analysis; the ability to control borders is at the core of questions of state sovereignty. It is state action, regulation, and law, therefore, that shape and determine much international migration. As many critical scholars have pointed out, however, migrants themselves also have agency and autonomy; their movements are not simply reactive to state policy and practice, but determine its direction. Here, then, we see a manifestation of one of the foundational debates of world politics: which actors have power, and how that power is understood. Further, international migration by its very definition involves more than one state, calling attention to interstate relations, and to questions of bilateral and multilateral cooperation. The emergence of key international institutions, such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), and the International Labour Organisation (ILO), also brings us questions of institutional power (often versus state power), and of the development of international regimes. Migration studies is located at the intersection of several different disciplines and fields of study. Particularly in critical scholarship, work in geography, sociology, anthropology, political and social theory, economics, and cultural studies have all influenced, and been influenced by, work in IR. Within IR, the key issues of analysis that emerge are a focus on international regulatory frameworks and regimes, issues of governance, questions of cooperation, and the intersections between migration and security. Although IR has often been accused of a Euro- or Western-centric scholarship, important alternative voices emerge within migration studies, and they are represented particularly in scholarship that focuses on refugees and asylum issues.

General Overviews

Betts 2009 and Koser 2016 both provide excellent overviews of the field as a whole; Koser 2016 in particular is an excellent starting place for students new to the field. Castles, et al. 2014 is more of a textbook approach to the discussion, and has the broadest focus of the selection. Further, the volume has been updated since its first edition to reflect changes in context. Scholarship in IR tends to marry rich empirical case studies with a strong theoretical and conceptual focus. Throughout the overviews, there is a heavy emphasis on policy developments and their real-world impact, as well on historical reflections of the development of migration patterns and regimes. Spencer 2003, as an edited collection, brings a strong policy focus into the analysis. Finally, Chimni 1998 brings an important dimension to the overview discussion, with a reflection on the global politics of asylum that includes the Global South.

  • Betts, Alexander. Forced Migration and Global Politics. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009.

    DOI: 10.1002/9781444315868Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This monograph directly applies IR theory to the study of forced migration. It then goes on to discuss key issues in IR as they related to refugees and forced migration: sovereignty, security, cooperation, governance, international political economy (IPE), and regionalism. From the discussion of theories, key empirical cases are then used to demonstrate and illustrate conceptual questions.

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  • Castles, Stephen, Hein de Haas, and Mark J. Miller. The Age of Migration: International Population Movements in the Modern World. 5th ed. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave MacMillan, 2014.

    DOI: 10.1007/978-0-230-36639-8Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This book is a reliable and comprehensive reference for all scholars interested in migration. The fifth edition includes several regional case studies of the Americas, the Asia-Pacific, and Africa and the Middle East, and a dedicated chapter to the question of climate change. It begins with a historical overview of migration and migration policy, and ends with consideration of the integration of migrants in the economic, social, and political dimensions of host societies.

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  • Chimni, B. S. “The Geopolitics of Refugee Studies: A View from the South.” Journal of Refugee Studies 11.4 (1998): 350–374.

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    This article is important in its revelation of the historical development of the refugee regime, from the perspective of the Global South. Arguing that a “myth of difference” has emerged from the initial conception of the UN Refugee Convention, Chimni’s insights are useful in understanding North–South relations and contemporary politics of migration control.

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  • Koser, Khalid. International Migration: A Very Short Introduction. 2d ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.

    DOI: 10.1093/actrade/9780198753773.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This book is part of Oxford’s “Very Short Introduction” series, and is an excellent resource. It deals with both “legal” and “illegal” migration, grappling with both conceptual and practical questions. The central goal of the author is to effectively address the negative myths often perpetrated about migrants, and to reveal careful and wide-reaching analysis. A particular strength is the author’s use of direct experience with the UN Global Commission on International Migration, and the use of interviews with migrants themselves.

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  • Spencer, Sarah, ed. The Politics of Migration: Managing Opportunity, Conflict and Change. Oxford: Blackwell, 2003.

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    This edited volume has a focus on Europe and North America, and brings together key scholars as well as policy practitioners (such as Jeff Crisp and Claude Moraese) to present a multidisciplinary reflection of the political dynamics of migration—both forced and voluntary.

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Migration Theory

Theories of migration traditionally rely upon discussions of “push” factors (what causes individuals to emigrate) and “pull” factors (what might cause individuals to immigrate). These combined are mobilized by scholars in order to explain global patterns of migration. Although they are often rooted in domestic considerations, and analyzed on the individual level, scholars are beginning to focus on global processes and patterns, the ways the state might impact international migration, and how we can develop comprehensive and sophisticated theories of international migration that go beyond individual rational choice. In particular, Hollifield 2004 and Castles 2004 bring a systemic analysis of different factors that impact policy. This theorizing is an important part of the attempts to explain migration and so directly impacts our understanding of effective policymaking in this field. The conversation that occurs within the field has important interdisciplinary dimensions, and to understand the field in totality an interdisciplinary approach is invaluable. Toward this, Brettell and Hollifield 2008 and Massey, et al. 1993 are crucial contributions.

  • Brettell, Caroline B., and James F. Hollifield, eds. Migration Theory: Talking across Disciplines. 2d ed. New York: Routledge, 2008.

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    This edited volume takes an explicitly and conscious interdisciplinary approach, and each chapter comes from a different discipline: history, demography, economy, geography, sociology, anthropology, politics, and law. The volume begins with an introductory chapter assessing the role of theory and interdisciplinarity in the field, and finishes with a reflection on “globality” in migration and the demands and possibilities of a post-disciplinary approach.

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  • Castles, Stephen. “The Factors That Make and Unmake Migration Policies.” International Migration Review 38.3 (2004): 852–884.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1747-7379.2004.tb00222.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article is an effective analysis of the current policy processes states use to address migration, investigating the barriers to effective policymaking and seeking a new conceptual framework for the development of policy at multiple levels: domestic, national, and global.

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  • Hollifield, James. “The Emerging Migration State.” International Migration Review 38.3 (2004): 885–912.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1747-7379.2004.tb00223.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Hollifield examines the competing demands for economic openness created by globalization as they collide with the imperatives for closure asserted by security concerns. With a historical view of European and North American states, this article thus outlines the central tension that is at the heart of state policymaking, and posits that the “trading state” of the 18th and 19th centuries has been replaced by the “migration” state.

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  • Massey, Douglas S., Joaquin Arango, Graeme Hugo, Ali Kouaouci, Adela Pellegrino, and J. Edward Taylor. “Theories of International Migration: A Review and Appraisal.” Population and Development Review 19.3 (1993): 431–466.

    DOI: 10.2307/2938462Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Drawing together several early scholars of international migration, this article asserts that only a sophisticated theory that can accommodate multiple perspectives, and multiple levels of analysis, will be able to effectively capture contemporary migration processes. Although the article dates from the 1990s, the observations contained remain applicable to early-21st-century scholarship and any quest for a theory of international migration.

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  • Pessar, Patricia, and Sarah Mahler. “Transnational Migration: Bringing Gender In.” International Migration Review 37.3 (2003): 812–846.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1747-7379.2003.tb00159.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Here, Pessar and Mahler directly connect gender studies to the question of migration. This article is of particular relevance to IR as it brings to bear central questions about the role of the state and social imaginaries in transnational processes of migration. It therefore links scholarship on gender in other fields in order to understand how gender and migration come together.

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States, Sovereignty, and Citizenship

Beyond theorizing about push/pull factors that might impact migration decisions, scholarship in IR focuses on the ways in which questions of migration and mobility help us to understand central concepts such as the “state,” “sovereignty,” and “citizenship.” Scholars have observed that the international system, which is built on nation-states, is premised upon a politics of inclusion and exclusion. These politics impact broad questions of belonging, identity, and otherness—and also policies of integration and intercultural understanding. Ultimately, these ideas drive the ways in which individuals relate to one another. For liberals, this impacts how we understand patterns of interdependency, cooperation, and globalization. For critical scholars, these issues raise central concerns about the operation of power. For each, the impact that migrants have on domestic societies and states is not simply an issue of national concern, but has international significance as it strikes to the heart of how the system itself is constructed. Castles and Davidson 2000 develops this significance, while Sassen 1999 starts from the individual to consider these connections. Of particular importance in this body of work is scholarship that discusses the refugee, and the ways in which the figure of the refugee challenges the state system itself. Building upon political theorists such as Hannah Arendt, these scholars observe that refugees in many ways represent the failure of the international state system (which premises that an individual’s state will provide for her), and so the international system of asylum protection and policies of asylum, integration, and citizenship are designed to address this gap between the “ideal” system and the lived reality of forced migrants. Such scholarship thus looks at issues of responsibility, protection, human rights, and statelessness as manifestations of international politics that can only be understood from such a perspective. Both Soguk 1999 and Rygiel 2010 tackle the broader issues of states and citizenship from this perspective.

  • Arendt, Hannah. The Origins of Totalitarianism. New York: Harvest, 1951.

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    Although not explicitly about refugees, this text contains important theorization of anti-Semitism and the rise of totalitarianism, which each mark key touchstones in understanding the modern history of refugees. In particular, the chapter “The Decline of the Nation-State and the End of the Rights of Man” has become essential reading for theorists seeking to understand human rights, citizenship, and the place of the refugee in modern society.

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  • Castles, Stephen, and Alistair Davidson. Citizenship and Migration: Globalization and the Politics of Belonging. New York: Routledge, 2000.

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    This book raises the issues of belonging, democracy, and citizenship to the level of the international, tying contemporary changes to migration. Beginning from the theorization of citizenship, and taking a political-sociological approach, Castles and Davidson investigate the impacts of globalization and transnationalism on our fundamental conceptions of citizenship, exploring the implications for how democratic politics operates at multiple levels.

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  • Rygiel, Kim. Globalizing Citizenship. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2010.

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    Rygiel takes the concept of citizenship and argues that it is becoming a globalizing regime of control over mobility, linking key IR questions of security (particularly post-9/11), global capitalism, and international cooperation in migration control. She uses Foucault’s notion of biopower to examine the impact of regimes of power and control on the individual migrant body, investigating policies and practices of detention and border security in the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, and Canada.

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  • Sassen, Saskia. Guests and Aliens. New York: New Press, 1999.

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    Focusing in particular on the United States and Europe, Sassen draws on her expertise in globalization and territorial politics and international political economy (IPE) to put current immigration policies and practices into historical context. She examines past and contemporary policies to trace the development of the concept of “refugee,” tracing the ways in which states treat migrants either as welcome “guests” or threatening “aliens,” before finally suggesting ways that current policies can be improved.

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  • Soguk, Nevzat. States and Strangers: Refugees and Displacements of Statecraft. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999.

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    This monograph begins from the question of refugee protection to highlight the ways in which scholarship is bound by territoriality, and by the taken-for-grantedness of central concepts such as “state,” “nation,” and “citizen.” Drawing on Foucault and a genealogical analysis, Soguk asserts that the international refugee regime is not simply an example of state response, but a fundamental expression of statecraft and the international system itself.

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Ethics and Politics of Immigration and Borders

The question of sovereignty is at the heart of much of IR theorizing. It is the founding principle of the international system, but it is also a concept that has been contested. The ability, or even the right, of states to exercise their sovereignty has been questioned particularly in light of human rights, which are conceived of as universal. The universality of human rights—of rights that adhere to an individual regardless of nationality or of citizenship—is at the core of the international refugee regime; the right to claim asylum, and so to enter another state (regardless of border controls or permissions) to enact that right is the cornerstone of refugee law. In theory, this right prioritizes the individual over the state in instances of forced migration; in practice, the restrictive policies of states have challenged this right through a series of policies that are shaped in terms of security, and of sovereignty. The right “balance” between these two has fueled close and complex debate throughout the literature, which is captured particularly effectively in Gibney 2004 as a clear and comprehensive overview of the challenges as they arise in Europe. The question of migration controls goes beyond the issue of refugee rights, however; “no borders” approaches, including those of several liberal, republican, and cosmopolitan theorists, have challenged the ethical and political basis of border and immigration controls. Crucial examples are Carens 1987 and Carens 2015, which is a significant full-length treatment of the issue of the ethics of immigration by engaging with the open borders debate. The right of states to include or exclude individuals is one of the fundamental principles of IR, and the debate thus impacts the conceptualization of the system itself, and who its actors are. It is this debate that is at the core of many of the social movements that have arisen around pro-migrant positions, and that drives many conceptualizations of cosmopolitanism.

  • Abizadeh, Arash. “Democratic Theory and Border Coercion: No Right to Unilaterally Control Your Own Borders.” Political Theory 36.1 (2008): 37–65.

    DOI: 10.1177/0090591707310090Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article uses the democratic theory of popular sovereignty to challenge the legitimacy of unilateral control of state borders, arguing that if the demos is unbounded, then the regime of border control must be acceptable to both citizens and foreigners and shaped by institutions that are accessible to both.

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  • Carens, Joseph. “Aliens and Citizens: The Case for Open Borders.” Review of Politics 49.2 (1987): 251–273.

    DOI: 10.1017/S0034670500033817Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    An early, but very important, intervention in the open borders debate, Carens here uses utilitarianism, Rawls, and Nozick to construct an argument for open borders that is based in respect for all persons as “free and equal moral persons.” Communitarian objections are noted, as the foundations for the debate is thus laid out.

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  • Carens, Joseph. The Ethics of Immigration. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.

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    This text is a full-length treatment of the ethical debate about open borders as it relates to the debate about immigration. Building upon his full body of theoretical work, the case for open borders is connected to questions of democracy, rights, citizenship, and belonging—as well as the practical problems posed for Western (liberal) democracies by open borders.

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  • Dillon, Michael. “The Scandal of the Refugee: Some Reflections on the ‘Inter’ of International Relations and Continental Thought.” In Moral Spaces: Rethinking Ethics and World Politics. Edited by David Campbell and Michael J. Shapiro, 92–124. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999.

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    This chapter reflects upon the relevance of “Continental thought”—Nietzsche, Heidegger, Derrida, Levinas, Agamben, Nancy, Kristeva, among other post-structural and feminist thinkers—to IR. Dillon finds that the “concrete” application of this thought can be found in the figure of the refugee, who is located in the “inter” of “international relations,” or the in-between. The discussion thus provides an important introduction to critical theory in migration studies.

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  • Gibney, Matthew J. The Ethics and Politics of Asylum: Liberal Democracy and the Response to Refugees. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2004.

    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511490248Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This remains the only book-length treatment of the ethics of asylum, and works from both political theory and empirical examples from the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, and Australia to ultimately advance a case for more morally defensible state asylum policies. Of particular interest is the treatment of the tension between legitimate border controls that limit “economic migrants” and the need to provide access to asylum seekers, which raises the question of the prioritization of human rights over state rights.

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  • Miller, David. “Why Immigration Controls Are Not Coercive: A Reply to Arash Abizadeh.” Political Theory 38.1 (2010): 111–120.

    DOI: 10.1177/0090591709348194Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article, a direct reply to Abizadeh 2008, and grounds an interpretation of democratic rights that maintains a separation between citizens and noncitizens. Arguing that the demands of democracy do not preclude migration prevention measures, Miller presents a conceptualization of coercion versus prevention in a defense of border policy.

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Research Methods, Disciplinary Frameworks

As an interdisciplinary field, one of the challenges of migration scholarship in IR has been which frameworks, and which methods, to use. Bommes and Morawska 2005 in particular sees interdisciplinarity an important way forward, while Wimmer and Schiller 2003 considers the implications of methodological nationalism. Bakewell 2008 asks that researchers challenge their starting assumptions and cautions against privileging the world views of policymakers in research, while Eastmond 2007 provides key methodological tools for incorporating narrative into research. In the study of forced migration in particular, there has been a recent debate about the nominal title of the subfield. While some scholars, such as James Hathaway, continue to advocate for “refugee studies,” others have put forward “forced migration studies” as a more comprehensive alternative. Although the debate seems parochial on the surface, a reading of the symposium in the Journal of Refugee Studies (Bakewell 2008) reveals fundamental concerns among scholars about the definition of refugee, the scope of concern for scholars, the implications of scholarly concepts for law and policy, and where our responsibility as scholars lies in this particular field.

  • Bakewell, Oliver. “Research beyond the Categories: The Importance of Policy Irrelevant Research into Forced Migration.” Journal of Refugee Studies 21.4 (2008): 432–453.

    DOI: 10.1093/jrs/fen042Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article argues that refugee studies has taken the categories of policymakers and elites as the initial frame of reference, thus privileging their world views. Bakewell advocates a different approach which starts instead from the migrants, and in doing so provides an important obligation for refugee research to not take established frameworks for granted.

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  • Bommes, Michael, and Ewa Morawska, eds. International Migration Research: Constructions, Omissions and the Promises of Interdisciplinarity. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2005.

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    With a multidisciplinary perspective from scholars and practitioners, this volume provides an overview of the different approaches to the study of migration and a discussion of the underpinnings of the different frameworks. With reflection on the method for empirical research, drawing on a variety of case studies, this is a good account of migration both in IR and in the social sciences.

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  • Eastmond, Marita. “Stories as Lived Experience: Narratives in Forced Migration Research.” Journal of Refugee Studies 20.2 (2007): 248–264.

    DOI: 10.1093/jrs/fem007Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article asserts the importance of stories in research, and particularly research that seeks to understand the lived experience and everyday lives of refugees. Eastmond also calls upon researchers to be aware of their own positionality in research and, as such, is an important example of the post-positivist trend in qualitative research.

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  • Hathaway, James. “Forced Migration Studies: Could We Agree Just to ‘Date’?” Journal of Refugee Studies 20.3 (2007): 349–369.

    DOI: 10.1093/jrs/fem019Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article begins the debate in this issue of the Journal of Refugee Studies by laying out the debate between “refugee” and “forced migration” studies. This essay begins the discussion and is followed by three replies from Cohen, Adelman and McGrath, and DeWind, and finally by a rejoinder from Hathaway. Here, the case for remaining a field focused on refugees as defined in the UN Convention is established.

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  • Wimmer, Andreas, and Nina Glick Schiller. “Methodological Nationalism, the Social Sciences and the Study of Migration.” International Migration Review 37.3 (2003): 576–610.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1747-7379.2003.tb00151.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article challenges the methodological nationalism—the naturalization of the nation-state system that underpins social scientific study—in migration studies. Instead, it argues for a transnational framework rooted in approaches to globalization that remains grounded even while prioritizing fluidity and flexibility.

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Critical Theoretical Perspectives

One of the fastest-growing fields in migration studies and IR is scholarship that is informed by critical re-theorizations of migrant agency. Linked to critical security studies in IR, and beginning from the debates about human rights, this scholarship discusses the figure of the refugee as excluded, and the role of the state–citizen relationship in understanding political agency. Work in this field often begins from the debate about the “state of the exception,” which draws on Agamben 1998 (see State of Exception and the Camp) and is most often applied to discussions of the “camp” and the marginalization and abjection of refugees and noncitizenship. Some challenge this understanding and work instead to assert and to understand the political agency of migrants through studies of activism and protest. Empirically informed by qualitative research and with a very strong conceptual grounding, this scholarship seeks to understand migrant political agency, resistance, and participation in transnational and global terms, and through a rethinking of mobility across international borders, and across status categories.

State of Exception and the Camp

Agamben 1998 is the core text from which theories that engage with the camp and exception spring from and is the crucial text from which to begin when engaging with this literature. Edkins and Pin Fat 2005 is a very clear example of this kind of work, and is a good model of how the philosophy of exception can be applied to an empirical case.

  • Agamben, Giorgio. Homo Sacer. Valencia, Spain: Pre-Textos, 1998.

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    In this text, Agamben builds upon the traditions of Carl Schmidt and others to develop the notion of “bare life” and the “state of exception,” which have become important touchstones for critical scholars who are theorizing refugees and the exercise of sovereign power. The space of “the Camp” has become important in this, leading to a conceptualization of the “space of exception.”

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  • Edkins, Jenny, and Véronique Pin Fat. “Through the Wire: Relations of Power and Relations of Violence.” Millennium 34.1 (2005): 1–26.

    DOI: 10.1177/03058298050340010101Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    In this article, Edkins and Pin Fat build on Foucault’s ideas about the relations of power and resistance with respect to detention centers in particular, and the political agency of migrants and refugees. They posit that relations of violence are the dominant experience in such exceptional spaces, where sovereign power is exercised most brutally, which then precludes the possibilities for resistance and agency.

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Agency and Activism

Building on the early work that applied Agamben’s theories to the migration of refugees, other scholars have begun to challenge the characterization of exception as abjection. Nyers 2003 is one of the first examples of this affirmation of the agency of noncitizens, which is built on in work that focuses on explicit activism of refugees toward policy change in work such as McNevin 2006 or explicit state policy in pieces such as Moulin and Nyers 2007.

  • McNevin, Anne. “Political Belonging in a Neoliberal Era: The Struggle of the Sans-Papiers.” Citizenship Studies 10.2 (2006): 135–151.

    DOI: 10.1080/13621020600633051Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Building on Isin’s notion of acts of citizenship, McNevin here posits a spatial understanding of political belonging in which the state is only one dimension. The article uses the sans-papiers in France as a case study to interrogate the neoliberal state and its response to irregular migrants. As such, this serves as an excellent example of emerging critical scholarship that begins from the grassroots to ask global questions about the politics of migration and identity.

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  • Moulin, Carolina, and Peter Nyers. “‘We Live in a Country of UNHCR’: Refugee Protests and Global Political Society.” International Political Sociology 1.4 (2007): 356–372.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-5687.2007.00026.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Using theories drawn from Foucault, and from Isin’s theorization of citizenship, this article engages in the debate about the political agency of noncitizens and refugees, manifested in political protest by Sudanese refugees in Cairo. Arguing that the protest manifests a disagreement about the meaning of protection between refugees and the UNHCR, and so the state-based system, Moulin and Nyers propose the notion of a “global political society” as a way of understand demands and claims for recognition made by non-status individuals.

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  • Nyers, Peter. “Abject Cosmopolitanism: The Politics of Protection in the Anti-Deportation Movement.” Third World Quarterly 24.6 (2003): 1069–1093.

    DOI: 10.1080/01436590310001630071Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article is one of the first examples of critical scholarship that interrogates the political agency of migrants, refugees, and those without status. It directly addresses the tension between security measures taken by Western states and the right to protection and freedom of movement; Nyers uses the anti-deportation movement in Canada as a case study to interrogate noncitizen activism and protest and the ways they are reshaping our concepts of political belonging.

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  • Rygiel, Kim. “Bordering Solidarities: Migrant Activism and the Politics of Movement and Camps at Calais.” Citizenship Studies 15.1 (2011): 1–19.

    DOI: 10.1080/13621025.2011.534911Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    In this article, Rygiel challenges the portrayal of the Camp in Agamben and Agambian-influenced scholarship as an abject and excluded space. Rather, she uses a grassroots-based case study of Calais to interrogate the ways in which the rights to movement are manifested by irregular migrants against practices of state security and border control.

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Mobility, Autonomy, and Noncitizenship

Critical literature has also shifted toward conceptualizations of mobility itself, which is tied into methodology and strongly connected to qualitative or ethnographic work. Nyers 2006 is a good example of a particularly theoretical approach to this discussion, and Rajaram and Grundy-Warr 2007 is a key volume for scholars interested in interdisciplinary approaches. Johnson 2014 is a key example of empirically informed study that brings both the Global South and North together, a growing trend in the literature.

  • Johnson, Heather L. Borders, Asylum and Global Non-Citizenship: The Other Side of the Fence. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2014.

    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9781107449404Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    In this book, a global perspective on irregular migration is examined. Johnson uses an ethnographic approach to present a bottom-up examination of the global migration and asylum regime, and explores practices of resistance, autonomy, and protest at multiple border “sites.” The cases explored are the refugee camp in Tanzania; the border space itself between Morocco and Spain; and the detention centers of Australia.

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  • Mezzadra, Sandro, and Brett Neilson. “Border as Method, or, the Multiplication of Labor.” Transversal: EIPCP Multilingual Webjournal (2003).

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    Mezzadra is a leading scholar in the “autonomous migration” approach to international migration scholarship, which prioritizes the experience and perspective of migrants over that of states in framing research and understanding. In this piece, Mezzadra and Neilson interrogate the proliferation of borders in the contemporary world and the relations of violence that accompany it. Using the border as an epistemic framework, the theorizations of border relations are supported by a series of global case studies.

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  • Nyers, Peter. Rethinking Refugees: Beyond States of Emergency. New York: Routledge, 2006.

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    Nyers brings Foucauldian biopower to challenge how we understand refugees. Traditional understandings of “refugees” as powerless victim are challenged by asserting the political agency of the refugee. Nyers argues that refugees are treated as other than human and advocates for a redefinition of the refugee as a powerful figure deserving of recognition, and so challenges traditional notions and understandings of humanitarianism.

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  • Rajaram, Prem Kumar, and Carl Grundy-Warr, eds. Borderscapes: Hidden Geographies and Politics at Territory’s Edge. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2007.

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    Twelve different essays from multiple disciplines challenge border studies to go beyond simplistic conceptions of political space to find the border in multiple locations and practices. Chapters connect issues of borders and security to questions of justice. Drawing on Foucault, Agamben, and other post-structural philosophers in particular, the chapters combine empirical case studies and a rethinking of political concepts.

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  • Squire, Vicki. The Exclusionary Politics of Asylum. Hampshire, UK: Palgrave MacMillan, 2009.

    DOI: 10.1057/9780230233614Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    In this book, Squire steps back from the central debate of “protection” versus “security” that is at the core of (Western) state policymaking to ask how the ideas of refugees and migrants as a threat or a problem have become so dominant in the United Kingdom and the European Union in particular. Squire advocates a rethinking of citizenship in contrary to the politics of securitization of asylum and migration.

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  • Squire, Vicki, ed. The Contested Politics of Mobility: Borderzones and Irregularity. New York: Routledge, 2011.

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    This edited volume directly engages with critical debates about irregular migration as they have arisen in Western states, contrasting the “politics of control” with the “politics of migration.” The authors of each chapter take irregularity seriously as a conceptual framework, and engage with critical scholarship in migration, citizenship, security, bringing the sub-fields together in conversation through empirical case studies drawn from Europe and North America.

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Forced versus Voluntary Migration

Migration studies in IR remains roughly categorized according to the traditional legal division: forced versus voluntary migration. This paradigm is at the heart of the international legal regime; it is the fundamental division that guides domestic state policy, and that determines what rights regime applies. As a field of study, and as with much of mainstream IR, migration research tends to be led by policy developments as scholars study empirical realities on the ground and seek to understand their dynamics and patterns. The study of voluntary migration is more common in Comparative Politics as a field. There is no global legal regime or institution that governs voluntary migration; as a policy field, it is entirely state-led and state-based. Most often, voluntary migration is understood as labor migration that is either permanent or temporary, and which is governed by state needs and interests. It has come to the attention of IR scholars, however, in recent years. Although most policy research is focused on the practices of Western states, more recent scholarship has sought to understand the impacts of labor migration from a more global perspective, examining the impacts of diasporas across borders, and of remittances. Scholars are also noting the connection between human mobility and development. The study of forced migration is predominantly focused on refugee migration and its governance, although in recent years scholars have called attention to the “migration/asylum nexus” and the impacts of mixed migration flows. Research seeks to understand the impacts and operations of international refugee law, governed first and foremost through the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (1951) and its Protocol (1967) and operationalized through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (the UNHCR). Although there are of course exceptions, research in this field tends to discuss “refugees,” and particularly issues such as humanitarianism and refugee camps, in the context of the Global South, and “asylum seekers” in the context of the Global North. This reflects the dimensions of North–South power politics highlighted by Chimni 1998 (see General Overviews). Further scholarship in both voluntary and forced migration focuses on questions of international cooperation, both bilateral and multilateral, and the development of international regimes and global governance. Similarly, research that examines migration from the perspective of security, particularly the securitization of migration itself, is growing in scope and influence.

Voluntary Labor Migration

The key debates in IR in the discussion of labor migration focus on the connections between the global economy and migration, particularly the heightened mobility of people in the processes of globalization, and the development (or lack thereof) of a nascent international regime. Hatton and Williamson 2005 is an important introduction in this regard, and is useful for scholars seeking a broad context for understanding. Similarly, the International Labour Organisation 2010 is useful for scholars seeking a formal institutional understanding. Such scholarship in particular asks questions about the influence of international institutions, such as the ILO, and so introduces a discussion of soft power, norms, and influence in world politics. In developing a conceptual understanding, Salt, et al. 2004 is particularly helpful.

  • Hatton, Timothy J., and Jeffrey G. Williamson. Global Migration and the World Economy: Two Centuries of Policy and Performance. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 2005.

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    This book provides an economic assessment of the patterns, developments, and impacts of migration on the world economy across two key historical periods: from 1820 to World War I; and from 1950 to the present day. Building an understanding of political economy, the authors compare the economic implications of migration in the two periods in the context of OECD policy responses. A significant contribution of the work can be found in its attention to both sending and receiving countries, as well as on the migrants themselves.

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  • International Labour Organisation. International Labour Migration: A Rights-Based Approach. Geneva, Switzerland: ILO, 2010.

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    Published by the ILO, this book presents an overview of contemporary labor migration patterns and the work of the ILO to protect the rights of workers through the development of international norms. The book also provides an overview of current governance structures and processes, including the ILO’s Multilateral Framework on Labour Migration.

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  • Ruhs, Martin, and Philip Martin. “Numbers vs. Rights: Trade-Offs and Guest Worker Programs.” International Migration Review 42.1 (2008): 249–265.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1747-7379.2007.00120.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    In this article, Ruhs and Martin reveal an empirical inverse correlation between the number of migrants and the rights that are made possible. With a particular focus on low-skilled migrants in high-income countries, they highlight that a clear policy choice is being made in the apparent trade-offs between numbers (labor supply) and rights.

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  • Salt, John, James Clarke, and Philippe Wanner. International Labour Migration, Population Studies No. 44. Strasbourg, France: Council of Europe, 2004.

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    Part of a series published by the Council of Europe, this report is particularly helpful in outlining the central issues relating to migration and labor. The text first examines migration flows and then interrogates the conditions of foreign workers within European member states. The statistics are dated, but the conceptual work is a very strong introduction.

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Migration and Development

Scholars of international political economy (IPE) have long been attentive to the impacts of globalization on processes of development. Research in IPE with a focus on development has examined global trade patterns and agreements, international finance, and the role of international organizations (such as the IMF and World Bank) in promoting development goals and in governing development loans and assistance. De Haas 2010 is an important framing of the direction that this scholarship has taken, and provides a useful theoretical framework for connecting migration and development. Clemens 2013 is similarly an excellent example of policy work in the area, and highlights the ways in which this scholarship is practically applied. In recent years, the role of migration in development processes has received increased attention as the impacts of migration on sending states have come to the attention of scholars, and as South–South migration flows have increased. Hujo and Piper 2007 is an important example of the attention being paid to South–South connections, while Delgado Wise, et al. 2013 is an important example of the broadening of the focus beyond economic effects, to bring in human rights.

  • Clemens, Michael A. What Do We Know about Skilled Migration and Development?. MPI Policy Brief No. 3. Washington, DC: Migration Policy Institute, 2013.

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    Policy briefs are an excellent source for current policy debates and research about the real-world practice of border and migration management and control. This brief is an excellent example, engaging with the debate about “brain drain” to question the assumption that skilled emigration has a negative impact on developing countries. The brief assesses the current state of research, and then advocates for a partnership in a “mobile world” between sending and receiving countries to achieve positive development outcomes.

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  • De Haas, Hein. “Migration and Development: A Theoretical Perspective.” International Migration Review 44.1 (2010): 227–264.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1747-7379.2009.00804.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This is an excellent overview of the “state of the field” in development-related migration research. De Haas argues that shifts in the debate mirror those in development and social theory. De Haas presents a framework for a more heterogeneous approach, integrating approaches that privilege structure or agency with one another while highlighting the role of the state in shaping outcomes.

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  • Delgado Wise, Raúl, Humberto Márquez Covarrubias, and Ruben Puentes. “Reframing the Debate on Migration, Development and Human Rights.” In Special Issue: Migration, Development and the “Migration and Development Nexus.” Edited by Raúl Delgado Wise, Humberto Márquez Covarrubias, and Ruben Puentes. Population, Space and Place 19.4 (2013): 430–443.

    DOI: 10.1002/psp.1783Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article frames the subsequent debates by laying out key concepts. It situates the question of remittances in global migration policy as a very limited focus. The authors highlight the questions of uneven development, labor rights and working conditions, and global relations of exploitation to reframe the debate in global relations of power.

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  • Hujo, Katja, and Nicola Piper. “South–South Migration: Challenges for Development and Social Policy.” Development 50 (2007): 1–7.

    DOI: 10.1057/palgrave.development.1100419Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article is an important intervention that works to address the overemphasis on South–North migration in the literature, drawing attention to South–South migration as an under-researched area—particularly given that these flows constitute the majority of international migration. In doing so, the authors also challenge the overemphasis on monetary impacts in development outcomes, as well as the focus on skilled migration over other flows.

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  • Skeldon, Ronald. “Of Skilled Migration, Brain Drain and Policy Responses.” International Migration 47.4 (2009): 3–30.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2435.2008.00484.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article begins from questions of globalization, and situates the debate about skilled migration in the context of North–South power relations and associated responsibilities. Skeldon provides an overview of contemporary scholarship in the area, and uses health professionals as an illustrative case study to provide concrete recommendations for state–state policy partnerships that are intended toward achieving development goals rather than migration control.

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Forced Migration of Refugees

Research concerning refugees is fundamentally interdisciplinary, as indicated by the trans-discipline “Refugee” or “Forced Migration” studies discussed in Migration and Development. However, from an IR perspective it touches upon and deals with many of the key debates: international cooperation, international law and governance, and the function and role of international regimes, norms, and institutions. Bradley 2013 is a key example of classic IR concerns brought into migration studies, and touches on issues of conflict intervention and peacebuilding. Research in this field is both “top-down,” investigating the role of international law through the UNHCR (e.g., Goodwin-Gill and McAdam 2007) and state cooperation in both bilateral and multilateral forums around issues of protection, and “bottom-up,” interrogating the experiences of refugees themselves in processes of migration and in humanitarian interventions such as refugee camps. Agier 2011 is a key example of this work, which centers the migrant experience and brings political geography to bear in the field, while Hyndman 2000 brings a practitioner’s perspective to bear with a rich theoretical approach. Questions of the validity and application of human rights, of the sanctity and changing norms of sovereignty, and of humanitarian responsibility are all raised throughout the field, particularly in scholarship that begins from questions of international law. Goodwin-Gill is a leading scholar in international refugee law, and Goodwin-Gill and McAdam 2007 is an essential starting place for scholars interested in law.

  • Agier, Michel. Managing the Undesirables: Refugee Camps and Humanitarian Government. Cambridge, UK: Polity, 2011.

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    Agier tackles the politics of humanitarianism used by contrasting the demands of humanitarian action as the only response to the “emergency” of migration, Agier argues that the practices that have emerged are totalitarian in logic. Based upon empirical field research in camps, the central argument traces the emergence of political subjects in the camps, and their transformation into city-like spaces.

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  • Bradley, Megan. Refugee Repatriation: Justice, Responsibility and Redress. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013.

    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9781139207089Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Bradley argues that a consideration of minimum conditions for a just return must be related to the duties of states to citizens, and focuses on theorizing state responsibility in resolving displacement. She bases her study upon empirical cases of repatriation processes to Mozambique, Guatemala, Bosnia, and Palestine, in order to undertake a moral and legal analysis.

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  • Crépeau, François, Delphine Nakache, Michael Collyer, et al., eds. Forced Migration and Global Processes: A View from Forced Migration Studies. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2006.

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    This is a multidisciplinary collection of chapters that focuses upon developing solutions to the challenges of forced migration, connecting these to the processes and patterns of globalization. The authors focus on the global economy and free trade, the environment, the role of diaspora in shaping community, and shifting patterns and politics of global power and security challenges. The collection has a focus on practice and on the consequences of migration trends and patterns, with a global focus.

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  • Goodwin-Gill, Guy, and Jane McAdam. The Refugee in International Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.

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    An essential introduction to refugee law and the issues in refugee protection, this is a comprehensive text that provides an overview of the international legal regime. It is divided into three sections: refugee (including definitions and status); asylum (including non-refoulement); and protection (including forms of protection and treaties). The text also includes key annexes: the basic instruments of refugee law; the key regional instruments; the states who are party to the Convention and regional agreements.

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  • Haddad, Emma. The Refugee in International Society: Between Sovereigns. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2008.

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    Another key text in refugee studies, Haddad’s book gives an excellent historical overview of the development of the concept of the “refugee.” Writing from IR, Haddad explicitly addresses the interaction between the system of sovereign states and the figure of the refugee. Taking a normative approach to the discussion, Haddad uses the concept of international society to investigate the global responses to refugees, arguing that refugees are a consequence of political borders.

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  • Hyndman, Jennifer. Managing Displacement: Refugees and the Politics of Humanitarianism. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000.

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    This book systematically draws upon ethnographic research in refugee camps in Kenya and Somalia, using a practitioner’s perspective to theorize the interactions between humanitarianism and the refugees. Hyndman interrogates the processes of distancing and the disciplining practices of international humanitarian organizations, particularly the UNHCR. She argues that humanitarian actors are implicated in the short-term, emergency frameworks of crisis management rather than long-term solutions for refugees themselves.

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  • Lischer, Sarah. Dangerous Sanctuaries: Refugee Camps, Civil War and the Dilemmas of Humanitarian Aid. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2005.

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    Lischer addresses how and why the migration of refuges can lead to the spread of conflict. She uses a comparative framework to examine Afghan, Bosnian, and Rwandan refugees and challenges the portrayal and assumption of refugees as nonpolitical. Challenging the socioeconomic explanations for militarism in refugees, Lischer argues that the political context of the conflict itself must be considered.

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Regional Politics

Research on regionalism and regionalization is a growing field of study in IR, particularly as patterns that were once explained through theories of globalization have seemingly shifted to regional processes, regimes, and institutions. Migration flows and regulation have developed a regional character, with multilateral agreements and the development of patterns that are geographically focused. The leading focus of research, as with IR as a whole, has been on Europe and the frameworks and institutions of the European Union; however, other regions have also been the focus of growing bodies of research that give the study of migration in this area a global dimension.

Africa

Migration research in Africa has traditionally been focused on the refugee question, and on mass forced displacements. This remains the most significant focus, which is driven by empirical realities. The refugee and forced migrant population in Africa remains the largest in the world; long-term, protracted situations are also the most common in this region. Partially as a result of these trends, the African continent is significant to the study of humanitarianism in forced migration and to the exercise of North–South power relations and cooperation in the realm of migration, as in de Haas 2008. However, emerging research also connects migration to development processes and so is attentive to the patterns and practices of voluntary migration in the region. Adepoju, et al. 2008 is an important volume in this respect, and examines the consequences of international migration from the perspective of the sending countries, and so is an important addition to a literature that overwhelmingly focuses on receiving countries, while Milner 2009 provides a full-length consideration of the regional politics of refugee hosting.

  • Adepoju, Aderanti. “The Dimension of the Refugee Problem in Africa.” African Affairs 81.322 (1982): 21–35.

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    This is a very early article that raises attention to the refugee situation in Africa in the early 1980s, and represents an African perspective on the emerging challenges. This is an important read for scholars who wish to give historical depth to their assessments of refugee politics in Africa.

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  • Adepoju, Aderanti, A. L. van Naerssen, and E. B. Zoomers, eds. International Migration and National Development in Sub-Saharan Africa: Viewpoints and Policy Initiatives in the Countries of Origin. Leiden, The Netherlands, and Boston: Brill, 2008.

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    The chapters curated by Adepoju together address two themes: the connections between migration and development, and current policymaking trends. Drawing on case studies primarily from Africa, but with comparative cases from Mexico, the Philippines, and China, the scholars work to investigate how a “coherent” international migration policy can address global poverty.

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  • Baldwin-Edwards, Martin. “Between a Rock & a Hard Place: North Africa as a Region of Emigration, Immigration & Transit Migration.” Review of African Political Economy 33.108 (2006): 311–324.

    DOI: 10.1080/03056240600843089Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article highlights the implications of the security paradigm that guides current approaches to migration to Europe via the Mediterranean. It investigates North Africa as a region of both immigration and transit. Baldwin-Edwards puts into focus the human rights records of North African states that are partnering with Europe in the securitization of migration, connecting emerging policies with the continued underdevelopment of Africa.

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  • De Haas, Hein. Irregular Migration from West Africa to the Maghreb and the European Union: An Overview of Recent Trends. Geneva, Switzerland: International Organization for Migration, 2008.

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    Hein de Haas is a leading scholar in understanding migration from Africa, and North Africa to Europe in particular. This report was prepared for the IOM with the intention of creating a clearer empirical foundation for policymaking. The report challenges assumptions about trafficking and smuggling, which have led to a policy focus on policing and control. The paper also focuses on the Maghreb as a destination region, and the motivations for migration as a conscious decision for both legal and irregular migrants.

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  • Milner, James. Refugees, the State and the Politics of Asylum in Africa. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave MacMillan, 2009.

    DOI: 10.1057/9780230246799Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This book is an excellent full-length examination of the current and historical politics of asylum in Africa. Milner examines the response of African states to the mass arrival of refugees and ongoing protracted situations, interrogating the policies of encampment in particular that have emerged as the common “solution.” With connections to border studies, the book outlines an alternative approach to the challenge of asylum in Africa.

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The Americas

From an IR perspective, two trends of research are significant with relation to the Americas: the role of the United States in security and migration policies of the “sending states” in Central America, and Mexico in particular; and the regional refugee regime shaped by the Cartagena Declaration on Refugees, which amends the international refugee regime to adapt to the specific context of the conflicts and migrant flows of the Americas. The US–Mexico relationship is bilateral, and the literature is comparative in focus or located in American studies. However, the security focus has wider implications and is influential in critical scholarship emerging in IR. Doty 2010 is particularly important in the consideration of this relationship, providing a study that begins from the grassroots perspective. Literature on the Cartagena Declaration, meanwhile, is an important example of non-Eurocentric international cooperation, an important overview of which is provided by Reed-Hurtado 2013.

  • Bastia, Tanja. “Should I Stay or Should I Go? Return Migration in Times of Crisis.” Journal of International Development 23.4 (2011): 583–595.

    DOI: 10.1002/jid.1794Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This is a particularly timely article, and examines the impact of economic crisis on countries of origin. These findings disturb the traditional assumptions about the development role of remittances. Drawing on the case of Argentinian financial crisis in 2001 and the current crisis in Spain, Bastia uses the same group of migrants over time to trace how migration decisions are made.

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  • Doty, Roxanne Lynn. The Law into Their Own Hands: Immigration and the Politics of Exceptionalism. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2010.

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    This book focuses on the anti-immigrant movement in the United States, exemplified by the Minutemen, as a way into a larger discussion of the politics of migration at the United States–Mexican border and the question of “illegal” migration. Throughout, she raises important questions about who is responsible for security, and how, and what the consequences of private citizens taking on this issue are.

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  • Reed-Hurtado, Michael. The Cartagena Declaration on Refugees and the Protection of People Fleeing Armed Conflict and Other Situations of Violence in Latin America. Legal and Protection Policy Paper Research Series No. 32. Geneva, Switzerland: UNHCR, 2013.

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    The UNHCR produces several series of policy review and research papers, and this is an excellent example of the ways in which such reports support scholarship. It also provides an effective literature review on the generation of and challenges to the Cartagena Declaration, reflecting on its impact on domestic state policy and on the politics of cooperation in the region.

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Asia-Pacific and the Middle East

The role of migration in the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East from an IR perspective is relatively understudied. The edited volume Iredale, et al. 2003 stands out as an important contribution toward filling this gap, and provides an important overview. However, the role of Asian states as sending states in patterns of global labor migration is receiving increased attention, as is the development of regional migration processes under the auspices of ASEAN and the Asia Pacific Forum, while research in the Middle East has a focus in voluntary, and particularly labor, migration (see Buckley 2012). Seol and Skrentny 2009 is a good example of emerging comparative research that seeks to understand the differences in policy responses in Asian states.

  • Buckley, Michelle. “From Kerala to Dubai and Back Again: Construction Migrants and the Global Migration Crisis.” Geoforum 43.2 (2012): 250–259.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2011.09.001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article touches on one of the most significant industries for labor migration, and especially temporary labor migration, and it is both highly politicized and underexplored in the regional politics. It is also an area that is particularly hard-hit by economic crisis, which gives Buckley an excellent entry point for discussing Harvey’s secondary circuits of capital, and the ways in which migrants themselves bear so much of the risk in the global economy.

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  • Iredale, Robyn, Charles Hawksley, and Stephen Castles, eds. Migration in the Asia Pacific: Population, Settlement and Citizenship Issues. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2003.

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    This edited volume is an important contribution to the regional politics of migration in the Asia-Pacific. Based upon empirical research, the chapters examine the politics of labor migration (primarily), and their relationship with the receiving states and societies. The collection takes the growing importance of transnationalism, diaspora, and identity politics as a starting point, and the rights of migrant workers figure prominently in several chapters.

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  • Seol, Dong-Hoon, and John Skrentny. “Why Is There So Little Migrant Settlement in East Asia?” International Migration Review 43.3 (2009): 578–620.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1747-7379.2009.00778.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Using South Korea and Japan as empirical case studies, the authors begin from the premise that family reunification is a precursor to migrant settlement. The argument focuses on migrant rights, asserting that in an ongoing political culture of a “developmental state,” economic development is prioritized over rights.

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Europe

The European Union is the most advanced and institutionalized region in the world, and is by far the most institutionalized. The processes of developing common immigration and asylum policies have long been a core concern within the European Union, and questions of cooperation, interdependence, burden-sharing, norms, and multilateral policymaking that is binding on states have been the focus of scholarship. Huysmans 2000 brings out the implications of integration, linking into an understanding of how migration became securitized—constructed as a security issue—within the European space. Further research has also developed insights into the role of the European Union as an actor itself, and its engagement in relations with other states for the purposes of migration control. Europe is a policy leader globally, and insights developed in the interstate relations in developing these policies have provided scholars with potential insights into the trajectories of other world regions. Geddes 2005 and Geddes 2003 are key in understanding the European region. In both pieces, the author draws out the key debates and concepts in migration studies, and so uses Europe as a starting place to discuss debates about international cooperation and the development of supranational institutions and policy. Meanwhile, both Haddad 2008 and Boswell 2003 take note of the externalization of European policy, and the ways in which Europe as a region directly impacts the policy of other states.

  • Adepoju, Aderanti, Femke Van Noorloos, and Annelies Zoomers. “Europe’s Migration Agreements with Migrant-Sending Countries in the Global South: A Critical Review.” International Migration 48.3 (2010): 42–75.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2435.2009.00529.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Agreements focused on the control of migration are a central component of the European strategy and cooperative relationship with many migrant-sending countries, and they are frequently tied to development issues. Focusing particularly on the states of Southern Europe, this article is a critical review of the impacts of both bilateral and multilateral agreements, arguing that they fail to achieve equal partnerships between Global North and Global South.

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  • Boswell, Christina. “The ‘External Dimension’ of EU Immigration and Asylum Policy.” International Affairs 79.3 (2003): 619–638.

    DOI: 10.1111/1468-2346.00326Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article focuses on the efforts by the European Union to develop external partnerships in migration and border control via bilateral partnerships toward: the dissemination of tools and practices of migrant management through development assistance; and efforts to prevent migration and refugee flows. Examining the determinants of policy, the article asks which direction will take precedence and argues that pressures toward externalization are an impediment to a successful long-term refugee and migration policy.

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  • Geddes, Andrew. The Politics of Migration and Immigration in Europe. London: SAGE, 2003.

    DOI: 10.4135/9781446280492Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This book examines whether a common European politics of migration can be identified to link member states in their policy responses and to common EU policy processes. Geddes examines the different forms of migration and their historical patterns and policy trajectories, using a comparative framework across three categories of “older” and “newer” immigration countries, and enlargement states in the East.

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  • Geddes, Andrew. “Europe’s Border Relationships and International Relations.” JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies 43.4 (2005): 787–806.

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    This article examines the shifting nature of borders and border regimes in Europe in the post–Cold War era. In particular, it traces the differences between the external and internal border regimes, and patterns of international migration in Europe. These are then connected to Europe’s cooperation with its neighboring states.

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  • Haddad, Emma. “The External Dimension of EU Refugee Policy: A New Approach to Asylum?” Government and Opposition 43.2 (2008): 190–205.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1477-7053.2007.00250.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article uses an examination of the “Regional Protection Programmes” to interrogate the externalization of European policy through Commission and Council conclusions that integrate migration policy directly into Europe’s external relations. The paper also discusses the normative dynamics of regional protection before suggesting how space for protection has been altered.

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  • Huysmans, Jeff. “European Union and Securitization of Migration.” JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies 38.5 (2000): 751–777.

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    This article examines how migration became securitized—constructed as a security issue—within the European space, and how the integration process itself is implicated in the process by including migration. Huysmans connects the process to a wider politicization that constructs migration as a challenge to national identity and welfare provisions.

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  • Juss, Satvinder. “The Decline and Decay of European Refugee Policy.” Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 25.4 (2005): 749–792.

    DOI: 10.1093/ojls/gqi036Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article takes a critical look at the process of supranationalization and intergovernmental cooperation at the European level, arguing that the drive for a common asylum policy is in part compensatory for the perceived loss of security member states experienced with the advent of the area of free movement. Juss argues that transnationalism (as opposed to supranationalism) remains a significant player as states opt in and out of certain elements of the agreement, and that restrictive and securitized immigration policy will remain the dominant policy dimension, despite changes to the voting rules.

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Institutions, Regions, and Global Frameworks

As noted in the Introduction, international institutions and their role are a significant sphere of interest in research concerning refugees and forced migration. In particular, the dynamics of international cooperation are raised; Castles 2007 and Kneebone and Rawlings-Sanaei 2007 in particular focus on this issue at a regional level. Because of the intimate connections between migration, border control, and sovereignty, understanding international cooperation in migration provides us with insights about the drivers of migration, the power of norms and regimes over state decision-making, and the dynamics of interstate relations. In the context of understanding processes of globalization and of regionalism, it provides insights about the changing nature of global governance and the efficacy and power of international and supra-state law and regulation. Betts 2011 brings together a group of experts to provide an analytical framework for understanding what the global governance of migration might look like. The edited volume Kneebone 2003, meanwhile, is a useful complement to the chapters in the Betts volume that focus on asylum and forced migration. Here, there is an emphasis on the legal dimensions of the regime, and an examination on the use of regulatory frameworks and laws to govern refugee processes.

  • Betts, Alexander, ed. Global Migration Governance. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.

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    Recognizing the lack of an international regime of governance and cooperation in migration, this volume effectively spans the divide between forced and voluntary migration. Its chapters span low- and high-skilled labor migration, asylum and forced migration, and international travel and tourism but also address the causes and consequences of migration across institutional, political, and normative dimensions of migration governance.

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  • Castles, Stephen. “The Migration-Asylum Nexus and Regional Approaches.” In New Regionalism and Asylum Seekers: Challenges Ahead. Edited by Susan Kneebone and Felicity Rawlings-Sanaei, 25–42. New York: Berghahn, 2007.

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    This chapter in particular is an important intervention in the discussion as it provides an emerging framework for the challenges of “mixed migration,” and the way it impacts state asylum practices.

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  • Keely, Charles B. “The International Refugee Regimes: The End of the Cold War Matters.” International Migration Review 35.1 (2001): 303–314.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1747-7379.2001.tb00016.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    In this article, Keely situates the response of states to refugee migration during the Cold War, focusing on the period between the creation of the UNHCR Convention and 1989. It builds upon Keely’s analysis in his 1996 piece, and argues that the challenges states are currently facing can be traced to developments and structures established in this first period of international cooperation and regulation.

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  • Kneebone, Susan, ed. The Refugees Convention 50 Years On: Globalization and International Law. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2003.

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    This collection brings together scholars and practitioners to examine the international refugee regime as it stands after fifty years. The authors particularly focus upon the implications of globalization for the international refugee regime and human rights, and also the effectiveness of the UNHCR as an institution and of the Convention as an instrument of international law.

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  • Kneebone, Susan, and Felicity Rawlings-Sanaei, eds. New Regionalism and Asylum Seekers: Challenges Ahead. New York: Berghahn, 2007.

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    In the absence of a global regime of migration governance, most cooperation occurs at the regional level. This volume seeks to understand asylum procedures as they cross borders and argues that the impacts—and organized responses—are more perceptible at the regional than the global level. Further, authors provide a global perspective, focusing in particular on ASEAN and on Europe.

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The UNHCR

Created in 1951 with the signing of the “1951 Refugee Convention”—the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees—the UNHCR is the institutional embodiment of the international refugee regime, and governs the operation and enforcement of the international regime. The UNHCR is a humanitarian organization, and is concerned with both refugees that have Convention status, and “persons of concern,” who include Internally Displaced Persons and Stateless Persons. In countries that lack their own domestic processes, the UNHCR oversees the processing of asylum applications. It is also deeply involved with the operation and practices of refugee protection, including refugee camps. As an institution, however, the UNHCR lacks hard compliance mechanisms (and mandatory funding sources) and relies upon a regime of norms, influence, and soft power for its effectiveness. As such, the UNHCR is a prime site for investigating questions of international power and influence, the interaction between states and international institutions, and global governance mechanisms. Loescher is a key scholar for understanding the development of the UNHCR. His 2001 article in the International Migration Review is an important starting place for scholarship that directly touches on the central themes of IR, and the politics behind the practices of the UNHCR. His coauthored volume with Betts and Milner (Loescher, et al. 2012) provides a comprehensive overview of the organization. Crisp and Desesalegne 2002 draws out the challenges the UNHCR faces in meeting its mandate, written from a practitioner perspective. Baines 2004, meanwhile, applies a gender lens to the study of the UNHCR, and is a good example of critical scholarship of the UNHCR.

  • Baines, Erin K. Vulnerable Bodies: Gender, the UN and the Global Refugee Crisis. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2004.

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    This book uses three cases—Bosnia, Rwanda, and Guatemala—to situate the UNHCR in the study of humanitarianism. By focusing on the local actions of the UN and the implementation of international policies on gender equality, Baines uses empirical data to test feminist insights into global politics. She argues, ultimately, that there is a critical gap between policy and practice with respect to gender and gender advocacy.

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  • Crisp, Jeff, and Damtew Desesalegne. Refugee Protection and Migration Management: The Challenge for UNHCR. New Issues in Refugee Research Working Paper No. 64. Geneva, Switzerland: UNHCR, August 2002.

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    The “New Issues in Refugee Research” Working Paper Series is an important set of cutting-edge, policy-based research. This article is an excellent start for understanding the challenges that are currently facing the UNHCR. It situates the movement of refugees and asylum seekers in the context of international migration overall, highlighting the ways “mixed flows” impact the context and frameworks in which the UNHCR operates and the ways its practices are changing (and perhaps must change).

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  • Loescher, Gil. “The UNHCR and World Politics: State Interests versus Institutional Autonomy.” International Migration Review 35.1 (2001): 33–56.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1747-7379.2001.tb00003.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article interrogates the independence of the UNHCR. It directly addresses key questions that are at the center of the study of world politics: the sovereignty and autonomy of states contra international institutions. Loescher argues that the office is independent, and while it is driven by state interests, it is not passive but has evolved since the mid-20th century in ways neither expected by a state-based understanding of cooperation, nor predicted by the interests and behaviors of states.

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  • Loescher, Gil, Alexander Betts, and James Milner. UNHCR: The Politics and Practice of Refugee Protection into the 21st Century. 2d ed. London: Routledge, 2012.

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    This book interrogates the dimensions of international cooperation and the interaction between state interests in international legal frameworks, in fostering international cooperation, and in providing protection for refugees and protecting the rights of asylum seekers. It also brings into focus new challenges for the UNHCR, including environmental refugees, and new frameworks for action, such as the UN peacebuilding commission.

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Security and Securitization

Perhaps the most significant turn in migration-related research in IR has been the attention paid to the securitization of migration and the impacts of security concerns on migration policy. Adamson 2006 is an excellent introduction to the securitization of migration and borders post-9/11. Andreas 2003 is particularly useful when read alongside Adamson 2006. While Adamson focuses on migration, Andreas focuses on borders and efforts on border security against a series of threats, and so the two together give a good introduction to the different perspectives on security issues and migration. In recent years, and particularly since the attacks of 11 September 2001 in New York and Washington, migration has been identified as a potential source of insecurity for states; Dauvergne 2007 is a good example of these dynamics, situating migration law in a post-9/11 security context. Further, the dynamics of “us/them,” “insider/outsider,” “citizen/foreigner”—all of which are fundamentally related to migration—that are at the heart of statecraft have been identified by scholars in critical security studies in particular as significant sites of inquiry for understanding the creation, practice, and consequences of migration policy. Guild 2009 is an excellent example of this scholarship. Writing from a critical security studies perspective, Guild places the individual at the center of the analysis; the book begins with a treatment of citizenship, and then of expulsion. The consequences of the securitization of migration policy for questions of rights, protection, and humanitarian responsibilities—and the central tension this creates for states in policymaking between rights and security—are at the core of inquiry in this field.

  • Adamson, Fiona B. “Crossing Borders: International Migration and National Security.” International Security 31.1 (2006): 165–199.

    DOI: 10.1162/isec.2006.31.1.165Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Adamson outlines the major ways which security and migration are related in policy with respect to autonomy, the balance of power (particularly regionally), and the spread of conflict. She argues that migration management is a key element of contemporary statecraft, and that the states that are able to most effectively achieve this are those that will be the most secure.

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  • Andreas, Peter. “Redrawing the Line: Borders and Security in the Twenty-first Century.” International Security 28.2 (2003): 78–111.

    DOI: 10.1162/016228803322761973Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    In counter-narrative to the assertion that territory is becoming less important in a globalized world, Andreas argues that the emphasis has simply shifted to specific actors which he terms “Clandestine Transnational Actors,” in effect, terrorists, traffickers, and smugglers, and unauthorized migrants. He draws on insights regarding the internalization and externalization of security to assess shifting patterns of border control.

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  • Dauvergne, Catherine. “Security and Migration Law in the Less Brave New World.” Social and Legal Studies 16.4 (2007): 533–549.

    DOI: 10.1177/0964663907082734Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Dauvergne examines patterns of legal developments in Western countries, with a particular focus on the detention of non-nationals. She draws attention to emerging permissibility of indefinite detention, and argues that the conflation of security and migration law has brought traditional exceptionalism into practice. There are significant implications for the study of asylum and the implications of security for asylum law.

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  • Guild, Elspeth. Security and Migration in the 21st Century. Cambridge, UK: Polity, 2009.

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    This book provides an in-depth analysis of contemporary migration and security law to interrogate how the two fields have come to be co-constitutive. It provides an important introduction and summary analysis of the key legal conventions and regulations that govern contemporary migration and borders, and investigates major themes: refugees, human rights, torture and rendition, and privacy and data protection.

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  • Taylor, Caroline S., Daniel Joseph Torpy, and Dilip K. Das, eds. Policing Global Movement Tourism, Migration, Human Trafficking, and Terrorism. International Police Executive Symposium Co-Publications. Boca Raton, FL: CRC, 2013.

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    This book provides a useful insight from a security practitioner’s perspective on the policing of mobility globally. The collection includes discussion of both international and domestic issues that concern mobility, ranging from sex tourism and drug trafficking to organized crime and policing reform. It includes discussions from all regions and highlights practices of international cooperation in policing.

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Policies of Prevention, Detention, and Return

One of the most noted consequences of the shift to security as the dominant frame for migration policy (although it has deeper historical roots, as Chimni points out; see Chimni 1998, cited under General Overviews) has been the attempt of states to deflect and “push” migration away from their borders. This is a dominant trend in Western states in particular, but is not limited to the Global North. The key manifestations of the desire to keep migration, specifically forced and irregular migration, elsewhere are policies of prevention, detention, and return. Prevention involves interception, interdiction, and elaborate modes of deterrence in domestic policies for those who do arrive. Detention is a key element of deterrence efforts, but is also part of the control and security measures that are being taken. In some states, such as Australia, detention is mandatory for all unauthorized arrivals, while other states use detention for individuals who have been identified as suspected security threats. There is a continuum between these policies, and the diffusion of detention and control policies is a strong case study for policy cascades across states, as well as the tension between rights and security. De Genova and Peutz 2010 is an interdisciplinary edited volume that brings together critical scholars with attention to the different aspects and expressions of deportation and removal, in particular the practices that have emerged with the nexus between migration and security, and provides an excellent introduction. De Boer 2015 brings the extraterritorialization of migration controls into focus as an emerging global trend, and radically changes the status of international law in immigration and refugee management. It also raises important questions about sovereignty. Levy 2010 supports the later findings of de Boer, but provides a useful counterpoint to some of the critical literature about camps and processing centers. Finally, policies of return manifest both in repatriation, which has been identified by the UNHCR as the “only” durable solution to refugee crises, and in deportation. Baldaccini 2009 is an important example of scholarship that assesses the legal processes and developments in the European Union, and particularly the treatment of irregular migrants who have transited through third countries.

  • Baldaccini, Anneliese. “The Return and Removal of Irregular Migrants under EU Law: An Analysis of the Returns Directive.” European Journal of Migration and Law 11.1 (2009): 1–17.

    DOI: 10.1163/157181609X410566Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The Returns Directive highlights the key concern for EU member states—namely, removal—but also speaks to a wider trend throughout migration law, where several developed states have sought to return migrants to “safe third countries” or “countries of first asylum.” As a codified example of this practice that emerges through international cooperation, it is an important object of analysis.

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  • Canetta, Emanuela. “The EU Policy on Return of Illegally Staying Third-Country Nationals.” European Journal of Migration and Law 9.4 (2007): 435–450.

    DOI: 10.1163/138836407X250490Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article highlights how new regulations need to be integrated with existing provisions, and also how nonstate interests play a role. The approach taken is legal analysis, but there are significant implications for understanding state cooperation in managing noncitizens. It also discusses the pressing questions of fundamental rights for migrants and noncitizens, and the need for clarity in policy.

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  • De Boer, Tom. “Closing Legal Black Holes: The Role of Extraterritorial Jurisdiction in Refugee Rights Protection.” Journal of Refugee Studies 28.1 (2015): 118–134.

    DOI: 10.1093/jrs/feu024Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article discusses three court cases in the European Court of Human Rights to examine whether human rights laws and protections are also being expanded beyond traditional borders. The findings examine the ways in which courts—particularly those with a supra-state focus—are reacting to close perceived loopholes created by extraterritorial practices.

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  • De Genova, Nicholas, and Nathalie Peutz, eds. The Deportation Regime: Sovereignty, Space, and the Freedom of Movement. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2010.

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    The book has a global focus and, as a collection, brings attention to the historical development of the practices of removal, the theoretical dimensions of sovereignty, control, and “deportability,” individual rights, and the conflicting legal frameworks that shape state practice. Although several of the chapters discuss asylum seekers, the focus is not exclusively on this population and addresses noncitizens more generally.

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  • Levy, Carl. “Refugees, Europe, Camps/State of Exception: ‘Into the Zone’, the European Union and Extraterritorial Processing of Migrants, Refugees, and Asylum-Seekers (Theories and Practice).” Refugee Survey Quarterly 29.1 (2010): 92–119.

    DOI: 10.1093/rsq/hdq013Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article brings a theoretical analysis to the practice of extraterritorial processing, and the beginning experiments with it in the European context. Rather than leading to “bare life,” Levy suggests that extraterritorial processing in the European context may actually lead to liberalization of the regime.

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“Illegal” and Irregular Migration

Irregular migration—migration that occurs outside of the normal frameworks of the state, and that is sometimes also referred to as “illegal” or “unauthorized”—is a major new field of study within forced migration studies. Particularly in public discourse, irregular migration is most often associated with so-called “economic” migration, which implies that it is voluntary in impetus. It is interesting, therefore, that attention to irregularity is most often found in scholarship that addresses forced migration and asylum. This is largely the result of what Betts has referred to as the “asylum/migration nexus,” and what is elsewhere discussed as mixed migration. The tension between rights and protection on one hand, and security on the other, has for many increased border security to the extent that access to asylum via border crossing is difficult and in some cases, almost impossible. The closure of these routes has driven asylum migration toward the states of Global North into the smuggling and trafficking networks also used by unauthorized “economic” migrants, generating flows that are mixed in their motivations. The task for states has become to effectively disaggregate the different migrant flows while preserving security and for advocates to ensure that refugee protection remains accessible and effective, raising the issue of migration control and bringing a strong focus on policy and practice to scholarship. Policy briefs, reports, and practitioner perspectives are thus crucial. François Crépeau, the UN Special Advisor for migration, coauthors a useful and important overview of global patterns in migration control (Hastie and Crépeau 2014). The IOM, meanwhile, regularly publishes very useful background papers. Irregular Migration and Mixed Flows: IOM’s Approach focuses in particular on irregular migration, and outlines the issue in preparation for the high-level meetings that created policy. The IOM is a key area of interstate cooperation and provides guidance in policy. Importantly, it takes a global view of migration and addresses all forms of movement and is an important resource for migration scholars. The interaction between new flows and state policy has also highlighted the applicability of the 1951 Convention and raised questions of what legitimately constitutes “forced” migration, thus entitling individuals to protection and any associated rights. In this respect, Dauvergne 2008 examines the forces of globalization that drive migration and, more importantly, state practice from the perspective of a legal scholar; Khosravi 2010 is an essential example of a different approach, beginning from the perspective of migrants themselves.

  • Carens, Joseph H. “The Rights of Irregular Migrants.” Ethics and International Affairs 22.2 (2008): 163–186.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1747-7093.2008.00141.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Carens takes on the assumption that states are limited to responsibility to citizens by positing a series of rights for noncitizens. Carens extends his arguments beyond universal human rights, to more traditionally state-based rights such as to wages and workplace protections, and observes that immigration controls need to be separate from other rights provisions.

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  • Dauvergne, Catherine. Making People Illegal: What Globalization Means for Migration and Law. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2008.

    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511810473Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Dauvergne argues that migration policy is the last reserve of sovereign state power. The text is an effective examination of globalization theory as well as of migration law and policy. The book is organized around key areas, particularly asylum, trafficking, labor, security, and citizenship.

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  • Hastie, Bethany, and François Crépeau. “Criminalising Irregular Migration: The Failure of the Deterrence Model and the Need for a Human Rights-Based Framework.” Journal of Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Law 28.3 (2014): 213–236.

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    The article gives a genealogical overview of policy developments as punitive criminal approaches to control are conflated with migration policy and place migration regulation in terms of “threat.” The authors carefully deconstruct state justifications for the security paradigm, and argue that this approach undermines human rights and, in so doing, undermines the central conceptions of state law and justice.

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  • International Organisation for Migration. Irregular Migration and Mixed Flows: IOM’s Approach. International Organization for Migration Ninety-Eighth Session. MC/INF/297, 19 October 2009.

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    This particular paper is critical for understanding the policy frameworks that address so-called “mixed migration,” calling on states to strike an effective balance between sovereign control and human rights. The paper also calls attention to the full journey migrants take, bringing multiple states together into a single frame and laying the foundation for understanding migration through interstate relations.

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  • Khosravi, Shahram. “Illegal” Traveller: An Auto-Ethnography of Borders. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2010.

    DOI: 10.1057/9780230281325Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This is an excellent example of an auto-ethnography. Khosravi tells of his own migration experience through irregular channels, from Iran and into Europe. While this is a compelling first-hand account, it is also theoretically rich in analysis and reflects crucial scholarship on how to study and understand practices of irregular migration and the consequences of the state responses to mobility.

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Human Smuggling, Human Trafficking

A significant aspect of the development of asylum/migration nexus has been the growth of human smuggling and human trafficking networks. There are important distinctions to be made between smuggling and trafficking; smuggling, at its root, lacks overt coercion on the part of the smugglers in the actual act of border crossing. In other words, in a smuggling situation, migrants pay to cross borders and the mobility is undertaken voluntarily. Trafficking, in contrast, is the coercive and forcible moving of people across borders and is associated with modern-day slavery, including sex slavery and sex trafficking. None of this is meant to indicate that smuggling does not, at times, involve exploitation or coercion. However, the two forms of border crossing are traditionally separate. With the advent of increased border security measures, the two networks have become increasingly intertwined; moreover, the irregular movement of people is being connected to issues of transnational crime, both by states and by perpetrators. The study of smuggling and trafficking networks is thus related to security scholarship, and to questions of criminality and international policing. As with other dimensions of research in forced migration, questions of human rights, particularly with regard to whether those who have undertaken to be smuggled or who are victims of trafficking should be able to access protection, are also raised. Aronowitz 2009 is a comprehensive discussion of the challenges of human trafficking, and engages both the active debates in the literature as well as the gaps, while Cameron and Newman 2008 brings together ten experts into a single volume to highlight the underlying factors that drive policy. Kyle and Koslowski 2001, meanwhile, challenges and dissects dominant understandings. The importance of the volume lies in two elements: the global scope of the discussion, and the inclusion of new issues such as climate change, which are largely unexamined.

  • Aradau, Claudia. “The Perverse Politics of Four-Letter Words: Risk and Pity in the Securitisation of Human Trafficking.” Millennium 33.2 (2004): 251–277.

    DOI: 10.1177/03058298040330020101Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article focuses on the trafficking of women, examining how which the “victims” of trafficking are treated both as objects of pity and as threats. Aradau examines how the politics of pity and the politics of threat are not exclusive. Instead, the treatment of women who have been trafficked reveals that humanitarianism and security are on a mutually reinforcing continuum within migration politics.

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  • Aronowitz, Alexis A. Human Trafficking, Human Misery: The Global Trade in Human Beings. Global Crime and Justice. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2009.

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    Aronowitz goes beyond the narrow focus on sex trafficking to examine the other “markets” for forced movement and exploitation of persons—including forced labor—and the internal patterns of movement. The book takes a victim-centered approach, and focuses on the criminal networks engaged in trafficking, drawing on practitioner experiences from around the world.

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  • Cameron, Sally, and Edward Newman. Trafficking in Humans: Social, Cultural, and Political Dimensions. Tokyo: United Nations University Press, 2008.

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    This volume is divided into two sections. The thematic discussion is overwhelmingly focused on discussions of women. However, the regional discussion has a good global focus, including chapters on Latin America, Southeast Asia, and the former Soviet bloc. The volume brings forward a critical theoretical perspective, which refuses and challenges positions that disempower victims and instead focuses on their rights.

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  • Kyle, David, and Rey Koslowski. Global Human Smuggling: Comparative Perspectives. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001.

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    This book examines the historical, social, economic, and cultural dimensions of smuggling to assess its political consequences. The continuing failure of efforts to combat smuggling and trafficking is at the heart of the volume, as the authors ask why states have been largely unsuccessful. The historical examinations are case study based, while the “agents” responsible for smuggling are also questioned.

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  • Mountz, Alyson. Seeking Asylum, Human Smuggling and Bureaucracy at the Border. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010.

    DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816665372.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Mountz examines the “long tunnel thesis” to argue that states use crisis to sustain the securitization of migration through ever more restrictive policies. The book discusses three case studies, the English-speaking settler societies of Canada, the United States, and Australia, and uses empirical examples to demonstrate how states are extending their powers beyond territorial borders while also subverting the rights of migrants.

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Maritime Space

An emerging field of interest that highlights the dynamics of international cooperation is research in migration through the maritime space. Australia is a key case study in this issue-area, as a policy leader in maritime migration policy that is guided by security, as discussed by Klein 2014. As it moves through non-sovereign spaces, addressing migration across seas and oceans demands state cooperation and the development of an international legal regulatory regime. The question of maritime space also reveals in stark relief the humanitarian dimensions of forced migration, as recent crises in the Mediterranean Sea and a massive rise in the number of drowning deaths through 2014 and 2015. Klug 2014 in particular examines how new forms of international cooperation and burden sharing are developed, specifically in the wake of the war in Libya and subsequent crossings to the Europe, and included proposals such as mobile protection response teams.

  • Klein, Natalie. “A Case for Harmonizing Laws on Maritime Interceptions of Irregular Migrants.” International & Comparative Law Quarterly 63.4 (2014): 787–814.

    DOI: 10.1017/S0020589314000360Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article takes up Australia’s Operation Sovereign Borders (2013). Klein argues that maritime interceptions are centrally concerned with four areas of international law: the law of the sea, search and rescue, refugee law, and human rights law. The tensions that have emerged have resulted in a fragmentation of this law, and Klein suggests a way forward to harmonize the laws.

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  • Klug, Anja. “Strengthening the Protection of Migrants and Refugees in Distress at Sea through International Cooperation and Burden-Sharing.” International Journal of Refugee Law 26.1 (2014): 48–64.

    DOI: 10.1093/ijrl/eeu008Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article discusses the proposals that resulted from the UNHCR expert meeting in Djibouti in 2011 concerning “sea movements.” Klug makes the argument that government commitment is required for such a framework to have any success, and situates the incentives for such a commitment in broader efforts to manage irregular movements, rather than rescue and protection concerns.

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Environmentally Induced Migration

Since the beginning of the 21st century, the question of “climate refugees” has been significant in policy circles, but has only more recently attracted a significant amount of scholarship. Under the current regime, and the 1951 Convention, environmentally induced displacement is not a legitimate basis for an asylum claim. However, climate migration will only increase in the face of a consistent failure of the international community to address it in a systematic way. There is also significant debate as to the definition of “climate-induced” migration; displacement due to actual loss of land, due to natural disasters, or due to development-related issues, particularly food security as arable land is affected, are all significant concerns that arise in scholarship and policymaking debates. McAdam 2012 is a leading scholar in this emerging field, and provides a full-length treatment of the issue that provides an excellent overview and introduction to the key themes.

  • McAdam, Jane. Climate Change, Forced Migration and International Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.

    DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199587087.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This monograph systemically interrogates whether existing legal frameworks have the capacity to effectively address climate change migration, and what gaps might exist. The innovation in the approach, however, is to base the analysis on clear field research in Bangladesh and in Pacific island states to address how and why migration decisions are made. From this perspective, McAdam asks whether climate change can be incorporated into existing legal frameworks or if new mechanisms and tools are needed.

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