The Dynamics of Regional Migration Governance
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The Dynamics of Regional Migration Governance

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

This book analyses the dynamics of regional migration governance and accounts for why, how and with what effects states cooperate with each other in diverse forms of regional grouping on aspects of international migration, displacement and mobility. The book develops a framework for analysis of comparative regional migration governance to support a distinct and truly global approach accounting for developments in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Central Asia, Europe, the Middle East, North America and South America and the many and varying forms that regional arrangements can take in these regions.
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Chapter 10: Between depoliticisation and path dependence: the role of Mexico in regional migration governance in North America

Marcia Vera Espinoza


This chapter analyses the role of Mexico within regional migration governance in North America. By exploring regional cooperation from the perspective of Mexico’s elite decision-makers on migration, the chapter argues that Mexico has moved from a ‘policy of no policy’ approach to a policy characterised by both depoliticisation and path dependence. The ‘policy of depoliticised policy’ acts through technocratic bilateral migration cooperation in order to deal with emigration and return migration. On the other hand, I identify a path dependence approach to deal with immigration and transit dynamics, which repeats previous policies furthering the United States’ (US) security interests through the securitisation of border control. Both serve as a dual strategy attempting to deal with the uncertain scenario triggered by the migration policy in the US, characterised by increasing restrictions and an even more securitised approach to migration. As a result, Mexico’s strategy ultimately reinforces the status quo of weak regionalism that characterises North America.

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