1st Edition

UN Global Compacts Governing Migrants and Refugees

By Nicholas R. Micinski Copyright 2021
    180 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    180 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    UN Global Compacts is a concise introduction to the key concepts, issues, and actors in global migration governance and presents a comprehensive analysis of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, the Global Compact on Refugees, and the Global Compact for Migration.

    The book places the declaration and compacts within their historical context, traces the evolution of global migration governance, and evaluates the implementation of the compacts. Ultimately, the global compacts were the result of three wider shifts in global governance from hard to soft law, from rights to aid, and from Cold War politics to nationalism. The book is an important contribution to international relations and migration studies and provides essential information on the NY declaration and the global compacts, in addition to an examination of the:

    • Negotiating blocs and strategies

    • Populist backlash to the Global Compact for Migration

    • Responsibility sharing for refugee protection

    • Human rights of migrants

    • Principle of non-refoulement

    • Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework

    • UNHCR, IOM, and the UN Network on Migration

    The book will be of interest to practitioners, students, and scholars of international cooperation, global governance, migrants, and refugees, and will be essential reading for graduate and undergraduate courses on international law, international organizations, and migration.


    1 History of Global Migration Governance

    2 New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants

    3 Negotiations for the Compacts

    4 Global Compact on Refugees

    5 Global Compact for Migration

    6 Implementation



    Nicholas R. Micinski is Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at the University of Maine, USA.

    "Nicholas Micinski’s book is a deep investigation into the motivations behind the negotiations and the drafting of the Global Compacts on Refugees and Migrants. The book is incredibly valuable in understanding the politics behind the drafting of the Global Compacts; the significance of the Compacts in the current international framework of refugee and migration policies; and the impetus for the overwhelming majority of states to arrive at consensus on solutions for migrants and refugees. The real addition of this book to existing literature on the Global Compacts is the fieldwork Micinski conducted over the course of several years. His interviews with state and UN ‘insiders’ and experts give critical insight to the negotiation process behind the Compacts and the multi-level stakeholder interests that brought the Compacts to fruition. This book highlights the reasons that 181 states voted in favor of the Compact on Refugees and 152 in favor of the Compact on Migrants and unpacks the important coalitions that developed within and among states. Understanding these dynamics is an important insight into how civil society and other stakeholders can build on the momentum of the Compacts to guarantee and ensure the core bundle of rights and obligations owed to refugees and migrants—and hopefully advance solutions for resolving the current global massive human displacement crisis."

    Professor Susan M. Akram, Director, International Human Rights clinic, Boston University School of Law, USA


    "Micinski provides an essential, accessible guide to the Global Compacts on Refugees and Migration, explaining their genesis and significance for the global governance of mobility. Rich in detail yet clear and incisive, this book shows the trade-offs that made the compacts possible, convincingly locating them in the context of broader geopolitical and normative shifts. Micinski offers a balanced view on the achievements, compromises and failings of these agreements and the processes surrounding them. His book will be a touchstone in efforts to understand the compacts and their consequences."

    Megan Bradley, McGill University, Canada