Call for Papers: Global Migration Governance


Rights-based Governance and Decent Work for Migrants:  a global perspective

For a Special Issue in

Global Public Policy and Governance

Submission of proposals: Sep 4 2020

Submission of full papers: Jan 15 2021

Guest editors

Nicola Piper, Queen Mary University of London

Elspeth Guild, Queen Mary University of London

Background and purpose

Since the early 2000s concerted efforts have been made at the multilateral level at coordinating responses to the growing global phenomenon of large movements of people, ranging from the set-up of the Global Commission on International Migration, two UN High Level Dialogues on International Migration and Development, renewed ILO efforts to strengthen its rights-based framework for migrant workers, to the explicit mentioning of migrants in the Sustainable Development Goals Agenda 2030. The latest addition to these initiatives are the two Global Compacts which signify another milestone in the gradual emergence of a globally coordinated, multilateral approach to the regulation of international migration, or ‘global migration governance’. In addition, there are also initiatives and processes external to the UN which have taken place for a number of years, such as the Global Forum for Migration and Development, and other, non-traditional global players have entered the fray who influence, or take an (at times reluctant) interest in the hiring and employment practices of migrant workers which is our focus.

We invite contributions to this Special Issue on the subject of the emerging global migration governance and public policy applied to labor migration, from a range of disciplines (law, political science/IR, sociology, political economy, geography, anthropology, development studies), approached by any methodological or analytical perspective. The papers are to pay particular attention to the opportunities and obstacles organizational actors are presented with in the advancement of a rights-based and socially fair approach to the global regulation of worker migration.

Individual papers will address any of the following questions:

How to advance a ‘decent work’ agenda for migrants in light of the widespread occurrence of un-decent work (forced labour, exploitation/violations)? Who takes leadership and how? What does the political arena for advocacy efforts look like?What does “decent work for migrants” look like from a “global” governance perspective in relation to: UN processes/frameworks and other processes (GFMD, Global Compacts, SDGs) (normative/binding; informal/non-binding)The role of specific international organisations and regional bodies (e.g. EU, ASEAN) or regional consultative processesThe role of civil society and labour unions, their networks; labour market institutions and employers; public-private interactionsThe specific role of the ILO and its tripartite constituents (labour unions, employers, governments); The global-regional-national-local linkages or disconnects in policy making and its implementation; Normative frameworks, norm development or diffusion: discursive shifts, institutionalisation and institutional politics; advocacy politics; Issue of institutional leadership or leadership within institutions – collective, organisational, specific individuals as change agents or norm entrepreneurs(Dis)Advantages of a “sectoral” approach (i.e. specific labour market sectors) versus “group” approach (migrant worker specific instruments)

Methodology/analytical frameworks:  inter(cross/trans-)disciplinary lens (legal, institutional, political, experiential), multi-level/multi-actor perspective; intersectionality, transnationality, postcoloniality; critical policy studies; global political ethnography

Working plan

Proposals should be submitted to ( by Sep 4 2020. Proposals shall be 1-2 pages and include author names, affiliations, titles, emails, and the research ideas including topic, research question, theoretical framework, methods and preliminary conclusions.  

Invited authors shall submit full draft papers by 15 January 2021.

Please note that the expected publication date is Dec 2021. Papers revised according to comments from the guest editors should be submitted directly to the online submission system of GPPG in the middle of 2021 and go through double-blind peer review processes.  

The format of research papers should comply with the styles of GPPG, with APA reference style and a word limit of 8,000 words. More details will be provided later.  

Please send your proposals and full draft papers to Professor Piper

Guest editors

Nicola Piper, a political sociologist, is Professor of International Migration and is currently a British Academy Global Professor Fellow hosted by Queen Mary University of London’s School of Law. She has published widely on international labour migration in the global as well as Asian context. Nicola is assistant editor of the international journal Global Social Policy and co-editor of the Routledge book series Asian Migration.

Elspeth Guild is a Professor of Law at Queen Mary University of London who specialises in migration and asylum law and practice both nationally, in Europe and internationally. She has written widely including on the subject of labour migration standards and is the co-editor of the book series (Brill) Immigration and Asylum Law and Practice in Europe.