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Andrew Geddes, Marcia Vera Espinoza, Leila Hadj Abdou and Leiza Brumat

This chapter surveys the book’s three theoretical debates: regions and regionalism; international migration; and governance. It looks at each in turn and pays close attention to the ways in which it is governance systems themselves – through their organisational modes and practices as well as the ideas that animate them – that can play a key role in defining the migration challenge and its regional dimension. This means ascribing a direct role to governance systems and not seeing them as passive recipients of various forms of international migration to which they must then respond. The chapter then outlines the various contributions to the book as they develop these analytical themes and explore the dynamics of regional migration governance in highly diverse settings.