The Changing Landscape of Multilateral Financing and Global Migration Governance

Elaine Lebon-McGregor, Nicholas Micinski

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


The United Nations (UN) charter did not include voluntary contributions because some feared it would undermine multilateralism. Since the 1990s, UN agencies have increasingly been financed through earmarked contributions from a diverse set of donors. A growing body of literature examines the relationship between funding and global governance. This chapter examines the role that money has played in the origin and evolution of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) as a case study of earmarking in the wider UN system. The chapter uses a new dataset of earmarked contributions to IOM to examine thematic and temporal patterns in the contributions of main donors. Contributions have largely focused on issues relating to migration management that reflect the specific interests of donors, lending weight to the argument that the earmarking of financing has allowed bilateral interests to dominate multilateral responses. On the other hand, earmarked funding has also allowed the international community to extend protection to displaced populations not covered by the refugee convention as well as to push forward migration, often a contentious issue, at the international level.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMoney Matters in Migration
Subtitle of host publicationPolicy, Participation, and Citizenship
EditorsTesseltje de Lange, Willem Maas, Annette Schrauwen
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
ISBN (Print)978-1-316-51750-5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • international organization for migration
  • funding
  • migration management
  • donors

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