Governance beyond boundaries.

This collection arises from a panel entitled “Governance Beyond Boundaries”, organized by Martin Jones and Susan Kneebone for the 12th Conference of the International Association for the Study of Forced Migration, hosted by the University of Nicosia, Cyprus, 28 June to 2 July 2009. The theme of the conference was “Transforming Boundaries” in the context of forced migration, with an emphasis on boundaries of identity, community, and policy. Boundaries can be associated with State borders and policies but, as the themes of the Conference emphasized, they often have multiple and complex reference points to, and overlaps with, individual, community, and national identity.

The purpose of this collection is to explore the idea of “Governance Beyond Boundaries” in the context of forced migration. For this purpose, we accept that, under orthodox international law theory, boundaries represent the power of sovereign States. This fact is recognized at the international level by consensual arrangements for global governance.1 The mandate of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), under Article 35 of the 1951 Refugee Convention2 to monitor implementation of the Convention, is a relevant example. Today, however, there are many formal and informal governance arrangements which States support to regulate international and forced migration as they transcend boundaries in many ways. In one direction, we see the emergence of new norms of governance that focus on regulating and controlling forced migration outside the State’s domestic jurisdiction. This includes transnational, supranational and extra-territorial regulation. In the opposite direction, we see that the international refugee protection regime can no longer claim to be unique in providing protection to forced migrants, as internally displaced persons (IDP) who remain within their own State increasingly require protection to be linked to assistance.

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