Randall Hansen – States, Migration, and International Cooperation: Can there be a global migration regime?

 

States, Migration, and International Cooperation: Can there be a global migration regime?

Seminar to be held in ERC 115 at 2:00 pm.

Within the migration literature and policy circles, there is a enthusiasm for the international governance of migration. At their most ambitious, scholars hope to see the emergence of a global migration governance regime that would do for voluntary migration what the UNHCR has done for forced migration. Drawing on a three-year research project, Hanson’s paper critically examines global migration governance and explores the extent to which there can be any international cooperation of migration.

The paper begins with the assumption that cooperation in the area of migration is not natural; indeed, it is exceptionally difficult. States are rational, not altruistic (that is, they are motivated by that which benefits them and their electorates), and they are jealous guardians of power. It then makes three arguments. First, migration is not, as some argue, a public good (a good whose benefits are non-excludable), and therefore not an area in which there is a natural incentive to cooperate. Second, where cooperation occurs it is likely to be bilateral if it is formal, regional if it is informal, and rarely if ever global. The greatest scope for international cooperation is, therefore, to be found in informal, regional cooperation over migration Third, in terms of institutionalization, more is less: international cooperation will achieve more in substantive policy terms when it is informal, non-binding, and relatively closed to public scrutiny.

Randall Hansen is a Full Professor and Canada Research Chair in Immigration & Governance in the department of political science at the University of Toronto. His work covers immigration and citizenship and political history. He is author of  Citizenship and Immigration in Post-War Britain (OUP, 2000), Towards a European Nationality (w. P. Weil, Palgrave, 2001), Dual Nationality, Social Rights, and Federal Citizenship in the U.S. and Europe (w. P. Weil, Berghahn, 2002), Immigration and asylum from 1900 to the present [w. M. Gibney, ABC-CLIO, 2005]. His website is www.randallhansen.ca