Refugee commodification: the diffusion of refugee rent-seeking in the Global South

Freier, L. F., Micinski, N. R. and Tsourapas, G. (2021) Refugee commodification: the diffusion of refugee rent-seeking in the Global South. Third World Quarterly, 42(11), pp. 2747-2766. (doi: 10.1080/01436597.2021.1956891)

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Do states in the Global South learn from each other regarding the management of forced migration? Although research has shown that refugees have recently been recast as an economic benefit for non-Western host states, little scholarly work exists on whether and how such a normative change is adopted across regions. In this article, we identify the diffusion of refugee rent-seeking behaviour, namely the use of host states’ geopolitical position as leverage to extract revenue from other states in exchange for maintaining refugees within their borders. We identify three types of diffusion – learning, cooperation and emulation – occurring at state, regional and international levels across the Global South. Drawing on a range of primary sources, we demonstrate the working of these three types across a range of empirical examples drawn from the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa and South America. Overall, we identify a rising trend in the commodification of forced migration across refugee rentier states, while highlighting the need for further interregional research on policy diffusion outside the Global North.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Funding: This project has received funding from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement No. 822806. The content reflects only the authors’ views, and the European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Tsourapas, Professor Gerasimos
Authors: Freier, L. F., Micinski, N. R., and Tsourapas, G.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Politics
Journal Name:Third World Quarterly
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN (Online):1360-2241
Published Online:13 August 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in Third World Quarterly 42(11): 2747-2766
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence

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