What are the factors that shape the institutional design of recently adopted migration partnerships at a international, national and regional level?


The regulation of international migration flows forms an exception in the general trend towards the internationalisation of public policy. In contrast to the flows of goods, services and capital, no strong international institutions have been set up as yet to regulate the flows of people. In the 1990s nation states became more aware of the global problem of migration and the notion of “migration partnerships” has emerged as a win-win solution in the political management of migration flows, both at the international (e.g. Global Commission on International Migration, UN High Level Dialogue), regional (e.g. EU) and national (e.g. Switzerland) levels.

As a concept, migration partnerships have in common that they link migration issues with other policy areas such as development, trade, finance or security. Examining four cases of migration partnerships (EU-third countries, Mexico-USA, Mexican Government-Mexican Migrants, Switzerland-Kosovo, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina) the team has investigated the factors shaping their institutional design.

Project Keywords

  • Development Nexus
  • Global governance
  • Migration
  • Public policy
  • Trade


  • Demography
  • Development
  • Economics
  • Political science

Relevant Countries

  • Switzerland
  • United States of America


This project, started in 2008, has been completed.

Contact the project team

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Research team

Sandra Lavenex
University of Lucerne

Christin Achermann
Principal Member
Université de Neuchâtel

Rahel Kunz
Principal Member
University of Lucerne

Frank Laczko
Principal Member
International Organisation for Migration

Erika Laubacher-Kubat
Principal Member

Rachel Nellen Stucky
Principal Member