Lea Müller-Funk / Christiane Fröhlich / André Bank

State(s) of Negotiation: Drivers of Forced Migration Governance in Most of the World

GIGA Working Paper, No. 323, August 2020

Abstract
Between normative aspirations and national interests, forced migrants often become pawns in host states’ negotiations with internal and external actors. Focusing on North Africa, the Middle East, and the Horn of Africa, this paper offers an analytical framework to better understand forced migration governance across space and time from a more global, pluralist perspective in a logic of iterative theory-building. We hypothesise that some drivers of forced migration governance are distinct from drivers of migration governance – for example, global policy and conceptions of humanitarian norms and principles play a larger role in the former. We hypothesise that while forced migration governance is negotiated around humanitarian principles, in which international actors, externalisation, and civil society play a crucial role, it also functions as a regime strategy and is driven by certain characteristics of forced migrant groups, including size and perceived identity proximity. Finally, forced migration governance is characterised by strong path dependency.

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GIGA Authors

Lea Müller-Funk is a research fellow at the German Institute for Global and Area Studies. She holds a PhD in Politics and Arabic Studies, and is currently part of the research project Migration Governance and Asylum Crises. Lea was the principal investigator of SYRMAGINE at the University of Amsterdam.

Dr. Christiane Fröhlich is a research fellow at the GIGA Institute for Middle East Studies. Her work focuses on forced migration, human mobility in the context of political and environmental crises, the North–South divide, and the interlinkages between resource scarcity and violent conflict.

Dr André Bank is a senior research fellow at the GIGA Institute of Middle East ­Studies. He was formerly the speaker of the International Diffusion and ­Cooperation of Authoritarian Regimes (IDCAR) research network, which was funded by the Leibniz Association from 2014 to 2019. His research focuses on authoritarianism, conflict dynamics, and regional order in the Middle East.

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