My dissertation examines refugee regime structural designs and the constitutional politics of such agreements by foreign policy leaders. Although crises produce uneven, unpredictable distribution of refugees globally, states do not negotiate arrangements to distribute the burden of refugees according to some equitable formula. Numerous international and regional agreements provide frameworks of rights, responsibilities, and policies that exhibit characteristics of legal regimes, institutional oversight, and obligation, yet refugee policy can seem erratic. Even more puzzling is that some of the states that host large populations of refugees are not party to international agreements governing refugees.
Why do refugee admissions not align with regime design? This dissertation offers three reasons: structures of international agreements push costly obligations to peripheries; variation in treaty domestication by legal systems creates patchwork laws; and differences between foreign policy strategies and domestic immigration regulations create frameworks of temporary protection rather than durable solutions.