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date: 16 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Regional initiatives play an important role in the governance of migration flows. This chapter discusses two types of regional migration governance: intra-regional free movement provisions that have developed as part of broader economic integration projects; and the regional consultation processes (RCPs) that address extra-regional flows from a stronger migration control perspective. The analysis highlights the diversity of regional migration regimes reaching from full internal mobility such as in the case of the EU, ECOWAS, and Mercosur to more limited and strictly trade-related openings in NAFTA and ASEAN. While these cases document the prevalence of domestic and regional drivers over international diffusion processes, the proliferation of RCPs is more the product of active regional engineering on the part of major destination countries of migrants. While the regional level has acquired a central role in the global governance of migration, the effects of regional regulations on migration flows are ambiguous at best.

Keywords: regional migration governance, migration, free movement, regional consultation processes, diffusion

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