The International System of Refugee Protection: A Regime Analysis
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Magister)Student thesis
The thesis examines the international refugee protection system in order to discover whether or not the system constitutes an international regime, as defined by international relations literature. To do so, it formulates a theoretical framework combining neoliberal and constructivist approaches to regime theory. It closely examines the legal documents that provide the normative and procedural framework of the protection system (such as the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, various regional agreements, as well as certain human rights documents) and discusses the legal, political, and moral obligation that these documents instill upon the member states of the protection system. It evaluates the principles, norms, rules, and decision- making procedures provided by the system, and compares them to the necessary criteria of an international regime in neoliberal theory. The purpose of trying to discover whether the refugee system constitutes an international regime is to show that if it is a regime, states are no longer afforded the full freedom of action and decision-making under the doctrine of sovereignty and that they have a certain level of obligation to abide by regime rules and help in the upkeep of the regime. After showing that the system constitutes a ‘strong promotional’ international regime, it discusses the importance of the regime within the international state system. It evaluates how it brings about cooperation and increasedstability within the regime, and lowers the costs of bargaining in order to bring about mutual gains for regime members. The thesis then examines the pre- and post-entry restrictive measures used by countries and attempts to prove whether or not the use of the measures constitutes a change in, or of, the regime, or a potential weakening of the regime. The thesis concludes that while the refugee regime itself is not changing, there is increasing incoherence between the proscribed behaviour of the regime and state action, which translates into a weakening of the regime. The regime analysis discusses the role the refugee protection regime plays within the international system as a whole and how this role is evolving through the use of restrictive measures.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Ekonomiska institutionen , 2005.
Social sciences, international regime, refugee, asylum-seeker, neoliberalism, constructivism, UNHCR, international system of refugee protection, humanitarianism
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-2708ISRN: LIU-EKI/INT-D--05/006--SEOAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-2708DiVA: diva2:20049