Regulation of Law & Policy

Regulation of Law and Policy

This initiative seeks to understand the de facto regulation of territory and people in spaces characterised by on-going mobility and heightening socio-economic heterogeneity. Drawing from international relations, public administration and law & society, it both documents the social and legal frameworks governing movement and migrants’ activities while questioning their practical outcomes and relative significance.  It works from the perspectives that while the most important regulations may be linked to formal structures – laws, by-laws, and official regulation – across much of Africa regulation comes via radically decentred institutional systems of power and authority.  The objective of research undertaken under this initiative is largely non-normative: to neither condemn nor condone. Nor is it to guide immediate policy interventions. The emphasis instead is on understanding the nature of these complex, potentially dynamic regulatory regimes and to reveal the mechanisms through which they are forged and legitimized within or beyond the law. In doing so, projects document and theorise potentially competing systems of legitimacy, rights, and political authority. Through its focus on systems regulating access to space (e.g., land ownership, housing, business locations) and mobility (e.g., transport, rights to settle, ability to trade and engage elsewhere), work under this theme will begin to reveal the contours, components and potential consequences of individual and collective poverty reduction strategies as well as speaking to a broader literature on territoriality, the regulation of urban space, the meaning of law, and the meaning and practice of diversity in contemporary Africa.

Programmes of work under this theme include the Migrating out of Poverty consortium. Migrating out of Poverty is a seven-year research programme consortium (RPC) funded by the UK’s Department for International Development. It focuses on the relationship between internal and regional migration and poverty and is located in six regions across Asia, Africa and Europe. The goal of the Migrating out of Poverty RPC is to maximise the poverty reducing and developmental impacts of migration and minimise the costs and risks of migration for the poor. This includes generating new knowledge related to migration and poverty; creating new datasets; engaging policymakers, and building capacity to understand and research migration and poverty linkages. A global research programme is complemented by focused programmes in the regions of the Consortium’s core partners. See below for the most recent publications under this theme.


2017 publications

Achiume, T. 2017. Protracted refugee situations: Sharing responsibility and addressing root causes, the global refugee crisis. Connecticut Journal of International Law, 31.

Jinnah, Z. 2017. In the shadow of a state: Self-settlement strategies and informal governance amongst Somalis in Johannesburg. Journal of International Migration and Integration, 18, 881-895.

Kihato, C.W., Landau, L.B. 2017. Migration, membership, and multi-level governance: Incentivising inclusion in an era of urban mobility. International Development Planning Review, 39, 371-374.

Landau, L.B. 2017. Southern urbanism, legalization, and the limits of migration law. American Journal of International Law (AJIL) Unbound, 111, 165-171.

Landau, L.B. 2017. Southern urbanism and the rescaling of migration law and policy. Migration Research Leaders Syndicate in Support of the Global Compact on Migration. Geneva: International Organisation for Migration.

Landau, L.B., Achiume, E.T. 2017. Misreading mobility?: Bureaucratic politics and blindness in the United Nations’ migration reports. Development & Change, 48, 1182-1195.

2016 publications

Jinnah, Z., 2016. In the Shadow of a State: Self-Settlement Strategies and Informal Governance Amongst Somalis in Johannesburg. Journal of International Migration and Integration 18, 1–15.

Misago, J.P., 2016. Responding to Xenophobic Violence in Post-Apartheid South Africa: Barking Up the Wrong Tree? African Human Mobility Review 2, 443–467.

Palmary, I., and de Gruchy, T., 2016. Changing Policy: Case Study on the Trafficking in Persons Act (2013) of South Africa. WP39. Migrating out of Poverty RPC. Sussex: University of Sussex.

2015 publications

Amit, R., and Gastrow, V., 2015. Lawless Regulation: Government and civil society attempts at regulating Somali informal trade. ACMS: Johannesburg.

Amit, R., 2015. From Protection to Exclusion: Asylum Seekers and Immigration Detention in Democratic South Africa,’ in Amy Nethery and Stephanie J. Silverman, eds., Immigration Detention: the Migration of a Policy and its Human Impact.

Amit, R., 2015. Queue here for corruption: Measuring irregularities in South Africa’s asylum system. Pretoria: Lawyers for Human Rights.

Misago, J.P., Freemantle, I., Landau, L.B., 2015. Protection from Xenophobia: An Evaluation of UNHCR’s Regional Office for Southern Africa’s Xenophobia Related Programmes. University of Witwatersrand, ACMS.

Vanyoro, K.P. 2015. Pragmatic pathways: Critical perspectives on understanding research uptake in the global South.WP390. Migrating out of Poverty RPC. Sussex: University of Sussex.

2014 publications

Amit, R., Kriger, N., 2014. Making migrants’ il-legible’: The policies and practices of documentation in post-apartheid South Africa. Kronos 40, 269–290.

Blaser, C., Landau, L.B., 2014. Managing Migration in Southern Africa: Tools for Evaluating Local Government Responsiveness. WP 19. Migrating out of Poverty RPC. Sussex: University of Sussex.

Landau, L.B., Amit, R., 2014. Wither policy? Southern African perspectives on understanding law, ‘Refugee’ policy and protection. Journal of Refugee Studies 27, 534–552.

Mthembu-Salter, G., Amit, R., Gould, C., Landau, L.B., 2014. Counting the Cost of Securitising South Africa’s Immigration Regime. WP 20. Migrating out of Poverty RPC. Sussex: Sussex University.