James Milner, LERRN Project Director, Mustafa Alio, R-SEAT Managing Director, and Rez Gardi, R-SEAT Co-managing Director, have co-authored Meaningful Refugee Participation: An Emerging Norm in the Global Refugee Regime in Refugee Survey Quarterly, the peer-reviewed, multidisciplinary journal from Oxford University Press. The full article is available for download here:
Is meaningful refugee participation a norm within the global refugee regime? Despite growing attention since 2016, we argue that meaningful refugee participation in the governance of the global refugee regime is not yet an established norm. By drawing on the norm lifecycle framework developed by Finnemore and Sikkink and an analysis of recent initiatives, we argue instead that meaningful refugee participation is an emerging norm that has the potential to become the standard of appropriate behaviour in global decision-making fora. Despite this progress, we argue that the pursuit of differentiated approaches to refugee participation by norm entrepreneurs may constrain efforts to advance the norm. By examining efforts by States, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and refugee-led initiatives in recent years, we seek to highlight the similarities and differences between these initiatives and the extent to which they meet the threshold for norm emergence. Through this analysis, we consider the current state of the norm of meaningful refugee participation and present some possible scenarios for the future of the norm. While meaningful refugee participation is not yet a norm in the global refugee regime, we argue that a deeper understanding of its steady emergence holds important lessons for future research, policy, and practice.