Peaks and pitfalls of multilevel policy coordination: The South American Conference on Migration
Keywords:migration governance, migration management, multilevel policy, regional consultative processes, South America
Regional Consultative Processes (RCPs) have become a central component of migration governance; these are the loci of interstate migration policy discussions. Currently, 15 RCPs meet worldwide in every region, except the Caribbean, to form non-binding agreements and to coordinate migration policy approaches. Building on previous reports, migration governance literature, and existent thematic analyses specific to the region, we evaluate RCPs’ multilevel migration policy coordination by comparing national laws to regional topics and accords. We compare two decades of national legislation in all 12 South American countries to regional discussion at the South American Conference on Migration (SACM) since its first annual meeting in 2000. We find synergies and discrepancies between translating regional migration governance strategies from the RCP into national-level migration management. The SACM has reinforced the member states’ focus on regional integration and provided a space for dialogue to agree on approaches and best practices. Yet, countries have not uniformly incorporated these into national legislation. Our multilevel analysis reveals the complexities that RCPs face in overcoming regional-national discrepancies in immigration policy coordination.
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