Type: Working Paper
Faith actors and the global compact on refugees : a local role, a global norm?
Working Paper, EUI, RSC, Working Paper, 2023/64, [Migration Policy Centre]
ACKER, Stephanie, BRUMAT, Leiza, Faith actors and the global compact on refugees : a local role, a global norm?, EUI, RSC, Working Paper, 2023/64, [Migration Policy Centre] - https://hdl.handle.net/1814/76113
Retrieved from Cadmus, EUI Research Repository
The Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) named faith-based actors as a relevant stakeholder and in doing so marked the first time that they were explicitly included in an international agreement of this scope. This article sheds light on the role of faith actors in global refugee and asylum governance. More specifically, it unpacks the bottom-up and top-down dynamics involved in the localization and globalization of global norms and standards by looking at (1) the evolution of faith actors’ role in global refugee and asylum governance and (2) the inclusion of faith actors in the GCR. The article uses a framework of localization and globalization to analyse how local actors may become global actors and how the actorness of civil society actors in global South countries can have an impact on global refugee and asylum governance. To develop our analysis, we draw from literature on faith actors in humanitarian and refugee response, UNHCR publications, and the empirical data from the Global Asylum Governance Project’s (ASILE) country case studies, which were based on 99 semistructured interviews. We conclude that within the UN system, faith actors in the 21st century have gained ground in their recognition as legitimate actors in global asylum and refugee governance. Their role was globalized and legitimized as part of a three-step process: justification, formalization and finally normalization. Their incorporation in the GCR has arguably ‘formalized’ their role. However, this does not mean that the role of faith actors has led to isomorphic tendencies. The recognition of such actors in the international refugee regime is recent and thus, more research is needed to understand how this norm is playing out at a local level. Currently data on the implementation of the GCR offers limited evidence on the role of faith actors. Our fieldwork in six case countries shows that, when asked about the GCR implementation, only actors in two countries specifically highlighted the role of faith actors, and they marginally referred to them when talking about policies in the framework of the GCR. We can thus estimate that the main dynamics that played out at the domestic level, such as the informality that has characterised the role of faith actors in refugee and asylum governance, still persists. This means that the role of faith actors has not led to isomorphic tendencies via the GCR. Instead, their agency has impacted the global level via a bottom-up dynamic.
Cadmus permanent link: https://hdl.handle.net/1814/76113
Series/Number: EUI; RSC; Working Paper; 2023/64; [Migration Policy Centre]
Publisher: European University Institute