Chapter out now: “Multi-Level #Migrant Civil Society Activism in Southeast Asia” – Full handbook open access

The “Routledge Handbook of Civil and Uncivil Society” in #SoutheastAsia has just been published. These handbooks usually provide a very comprehensive overview of the field – but on the downside tend to be very pricey (175 pounds for the printed version in this case). Therefore it is great, that the whole book can be downloaded for free, including my article on “Multi-Level Migrant Civil Society Activism in Southeast Asia”. You cann find the download link here:

The Routledge Handbook of Civil and Uncivil Society in Southeast Asia explores the nature and implications of civil society across the region, engaging systematically with both theoretical approaches and empirical nuance for a systematic, comparative, and informative approach. The handbook actively analyses the varying definitions of civil society, critiquing the inconsistent scrutiny of this sphere over time. It brings forth the need to reconsider civil society development in today’s Southeast Asia, including activist organisations’ and platforms’ composition, claims, resources, and potential to effect sociopolitical change.

Here is the abstract for my chapter:

This chapter discusses the advocacy of migrant civil society in Southeast Asia. The term migrant civil society encompasses a wide range of actors, including migrant self-organising, i.e. migrant-led organisations, as well as various support organisations. The main focus, though, is on the political dimension of migrant civil society activism and thus the political representation of an often-marginalised sector: temporary labour migrants. Migrant rights activism mirrors the various spaces and levels in which policies are negotiated and enacted that affect the situation of the migrants. The aim of this chapter is to map these various levels of advocacy. After a brief overview on the conceptual and theoretical literature on migrant civil society activism, with particular focus on Southeast Asia, the chapter will analyse and illustrate the (trans)national, regional, and global levels of advocacy. The Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA) is presented as a case study for a network that encompasses the grassroots as well as the global level of migration policies and advocacy. The conclusion will discuss how these levels are connected and if this multi-level engagement is expanding the space for and influence of migrant civil society.

If you are interested in a perspective beyond Southeast Asia, I have very recently published a chapter in another handbook, this one on “Global Governance and Regionalism”

Global and regional migration governance: an emerging multi-level structure?

Transnational migration is a global phenomenon and most migration takes place within regions. This would make migration a prime issue for regional and global migration governance; however, since it effects core issues of sovereignty, many nation-states have been reluctant to engage in multilateral collaboration. The past two decades have seen a new dynamic and a proliferation of regional and global processes which have been helped by the framing of migration as a potentially positive contribution to development. This chapter provides an overview of the nascent theories of migration governance beyond the state and traces the processes that led to the adoption of the Global Compact for safe, orderly and regular migration. It discusses the (not exclusively beneficial) interplay between the regional and global levels and the role of non-state stakeholders, in particular migrant civil society. It is argued that, ultimately, multi-level migration governance must lead to concrete improvements on the ground.

This handbook is unfortunately not open access but comes highly recommended – find more info here:


About Dr. Stefan Rother

Senior Lecturer and Researcher at the Arnold-Bergstraesser-Institute at the University of Freiburg -- Freelance journalist -- You can find my CV at the links below:
This entry was posted in Gfmd, GFMD Civil Society Days, global compact, Migration and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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