Global Migration Governance | News and Media

Global Migration Governance

Edited by Alexander Betts

Unlike many other trans-boundary policy areas, international migration lacks coherent global governance. There is no United Nations migration organization and states have signed relatively few multilateral treaties on migration. Instead sovereign states generally decide their own immigration policies. However, given the growing politicization of migration and the recognition that states cannot always address migration in isolation from one another, a debate has emerged about what type of international institutions and cooperation are required to meet the challenges of international migration. Until now, though, that emerging debate on global migration governance has lacked a clear analytical understanding of what global migration governance actually is, the politics underlying it, and the basis on which we can make claims about what better migration governance might look like.

In order to address this gap, the book brings together a group of the worlds leading experts on migration to consider the global governance of different aspects of migration. The chapters offer an accessible introduction to the global governance of low-skilled labour migration, high-skilled labour migration, irregular migration, international travel, lifestyle migration, environmental migration, refugees, internally displaced persons, human trafficking and smuggling, diaspora, remittances, and root causes. Each of the chapters explores the three same broad questions: What, institutionally, is the global governance of migration in that area? Why, politically, does that type of governance exist? How, normatively, can we ground claims about the type of global governance that should exist in that area? Collectively, the chapters enhance our understanding of the international politics of migration and set out a vision for international cooperation on migration.


  • Introduction: Global Migration Governance Alexander Betts
  • Chapter 1: Low-Skilled Labour Migration Christiane Kuptsch and Philip Martin
  • Chapter 2: High-Skilled Labour Migration Alexander Betts and Lucie Cerna
  • Chapter 3: Irregular Migration Franck Duvell
  • Chapter 4: International Travel Rey Koslowski
  • Chapter 5: Lifestyle Migration Caroline Oliver
  • Chapter 6: Environmental Migration Jane McAdam
  • Chapter 7: UNHCR and the Global Governance of Refugees Gil Loescher and James Milner
  • Chapter 8: Internally Displaced Persons Khalid Koser
  • Chapter 9: Human Trafficking and Smuggling Susan Martin and Amber Callaway
  • Chapter 10: Remittances Anna Lindley
  • Chapter 11: Diasporas Alan Gamlen
  • Chapter 12: Root Causes Stephen Castles and Nicholas Van Hear
  • Conclusion Alexander Betts

Advance Praise:

Alexander Betts is one of a handful of scholars who have mastered the complex field of Global Migration Governance. This large and impressive volume covers the topic from every conceivable angle, and it gets the difficult mix of empirical analysis and policy recommendation right. As the global conversation about migration governance continues over the coming years, this work will remain the standard reference.

-Randall Hansen, Canada Research Chair in Political Science, University of Toronto

Global Migration Governance is an invaluable contribution to migration research and studies of global governance more broadly. Drawing on useful concepts derived from International Relations, the excellent contributions draw a picture of a multilayered, fragmented and yet quite encompassing set of formal and informal governance arrangements that mirror the diversity of challenges associated with global population flows.

-Sandra Lavenex, Professor of International Politics, University of Lucerne

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