7 Νοεμβρίου 2015

Weapons of Mass Migration. Forced Displacement, Coercion, and Foreign Policy by Kelly M. Greenhill: I) Seminar (Oxford Department of International Development) II) Book Description, Contents and Reviews (Cornell University Press) III) Forced Displacement as an Instrument of Coercion (Article).

Seminar by Professor Kelly M Greenhill
Oxford Department of International Development

In this seminar, Professor Greenhill examines an understudied, yet relatively common, bargaining tool and method of persuasion: namely, the use of migration and refugee crises as non-military instruments of state-level coercion. Who employs this unconventional weapon, how often it succeeds and fails, how and why this kind of coercion ever works, and how targets may combat this unorthodox brand of coercion will be explored. Contemporary cases, including Libya, Syria, North Korea, Cuba and Kosovo are discussed, as are the sometimes-devastating humanitarian implications of engineered migration crises. The talk is drawn in part from Professor Greenhill's book of the same name, which received the International Studies Association's Best Book of the Year Award. Listen to the 7 May seminar by Professor Kelly M Greenhill (Tufts University), part of the Trinity term 2014 Public Seminar Series

The Refugee Studies Centre (RSC) was founded in 1982 as part of the Oxford Department of International Development (Queen Elizabeth House) at the University of Oxford.

Weapons of Mass Migration
Forced Displacement, Coercion, and Foreign Policy
Kelly M. Greenhill

Description, Contents and Reviews

Winner, 2011 International Studies Association Best Book Award. Cornell University Press | Cornell Studies in Security Affairs


At first glance, the U.S. decision to escalate the war in Vietnam in the mid-1960s, China's position on North Korea's nuclear program in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and the EU resolution to lift what remained of the arms embargo against Libya in the mid-2000s would appear to share little in common. Yet each of these seemingly unconnected and far-reaching foreign policy decisions resulted at least in part from the exercise of a unique kind of coercion, one predicated on the intentional creation, manipulation, and exploitation of real or threatened mass population movements.

In Weapons of Mass Migration, Kelly M. Greenhill offers the first systematic examination of this widely deployed but largely unrecognized instrument of state influence. She shows both how often this unorthodox brand of coercion has been attempted (more than fifty times in the last half century) and how successful it has been (well over half the time). She also tackles the questions of who employs this policy tool, to what ends, and how and why it ever works. Coercers aim to affect target states' behavior by exploiting the existence of competing political interests and groups, Greenhill argues, and by manipulating the costs or risks imposed on target state populations.

This "coercion by punishment" strategy can be effected in two ways: the first relies on straightforward threats to overwhelm a target's capacity to accommodate a refugee or migrant influx; the second, on a kind of norms-enhanced political blackmail that exploits the existence of legal and normative commitments to those fleeing violence, persecution, or privation. The theory is further illustrated and tested in a variety of case studies from Europe, East Asia, and North America. To help potential targets better respond to—and protect themselves against—this kind of unconventional predation, Weapons of Mass Migration also offers practicable policy recommendations for scholars, government officials, and anyone concerned about the true victims of this kind of coercion—the displaced themselves.


Introduction - 1. Understanding the Coercive Power of Mass Migrations - 2. The 1994 Cuban Balseros Crisis and Its Historical Antecedents - 3. “Now the Refugees Are the War”: NATO and the Kosovo Conflict - 4. An Invasion to Stop the Invasion: The United States and the Haitian Boatpeople Crises - 5. North Korean Migrants, Nongovernmental Organizations, and Nuclear Weapons - 6. Conclusions and Policy Implications - Appendix: Coding Cases of Coercive Engineered Migration.


Press Reviews
"Greenhill explains the use of state-engineered migration as a tool of coercive statecraft in the post–World War II era. She rightly points out that this rather insidious means of political suasion has been used numerous times over the relatively short period examined, and with a striking degree of success. Weapons of Mass Migration is innovative, well written, rigorously researched, and timely. It is both theoretically innovative and policy relevant, and will likely spur several new paths for IR research and migration studies."—Perspectives on Politics

"An innovative and beautifully written analysis of how, and to what extent, refugee flows are exploited by states in order to affect policy options taken and decisions made by their counterparts."—Journal of Refugee Studies

"A new, authoritative look at forced displacement, skillfully linking politics to migrations. This combination moves beyond migration as a single focused topic and connects it to choices within foreign policy. Any student of demography, conflict, and politics will be well served by this exploration of the interaction between government control, migration, and the willingness of populations to move."—Political Science Quarterly

"Weapons of Mass Migration is the most theoretically developed and well-researched study of the strategic uses of emigration to date. It not only is a valuable contribution to the literature on forced migration but speaks to broader themes in IR. Greenhill highlights how weak actors use forced migration as a coercive tool, how humanitarian norms interact with tangible costs, and how actors use political discord within their targets to their advantage. This book places the study of migration squarely within the field of IR."—International Studies Review

"Kelly M. Greenhill's Weapons of Mass Migration shines a bright light on strategically engineered migration. And this is, unfortunately, no minor issue. The reader is astounded by how many times states have engaged in such violent action. Greenhill gives the subject the attention it deserves, skillfully unpacks why some states engage in forced migration while others do not, discovers interesting theoretical twists, and derives tractable policy recommendations."—Michael Barnett, Harold Stassen Chair at the Hubert H. Humphrey School, University of Minnesota

"Weapons of Mass Migration is a truly valuable contribution. This incisive book highlights an unconventional and nonmilitary method of state-to-state coercion—why and how weak states increasingly deploy the threat or reality of 'strategic engineered migration' to achieve political goals that would otherwise be unattainable. The book argues convincingly that this underappreciated form of interstate 'political blackmail' is both more frequent and more effective than commonly supposed. Its most likely targets are liberal democracies whose human rights commitments and diverse political interest groups can be exploited to impose what the author terms 'hypocrisy costs' upon any government that resists such coerced outmigration. Yet even authoritarian states such as modern China are vulnerable, as the North Koreans have shown. This book unveils an effective weapon of asymmetric statecraft that has been 'hiding in plain sight.' It deserves attention from all those interested in emerging patterns of international relations and human rights."—Michael S. Teitelbaum, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and Harvard Law School

"Kelly M. Greenhill’s fine analysis gives a double meaning to the notion of weapons of the weak: tin-pot dictators try to get bargaining leverage over neighboring democracies by threatening to swamp them with refugees. This has happened on average once a year over the past half century. Those interested in refugees or in creative bargaining tactics will be fascinated by this tale."—Jack Snyder, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Relations, Columbia University

Weapons of Mass Migration: Forced Displacement as an Instrument of Coercion
Article by Kelly M. Greenhill

Coercion is generally understood to refer to the practice of inducing or preventing changes in political behavior through the use of threats, intimidation, or some other form of pressure—most commonly, military force. This article focuses on a very particular nonmilitary method of applying coercive pressure—the use of migration and refugee crises as instruments of persuasion. Conventional wisdom suggests this kind of coercion is rare at best. Traditional international relations theory avers that it should rarely succeed. In fact, given the asymmetry in capabilities that tends to exist between would be coercers and their generally more powerful targets, it should rarely even be attempted. However, as this article demonstrates, not only is this kind of coercion attempted far more frequently than the accepted wisdom would suggest but that it also tends to succeed far more often than capabilities-based theories would predict.

The article is organized as follows: I begin by outlining the logic behind the coercive use of purposefully created migration and refugee crises and discuss its relative—if under-recognized—prevalence. In the second section, I briefly describe the kind of actors who resort to the use of this unconventional weapon as well as highlight the diverse array of objectives sought by those who employ it. I also show that this kind of coercion has proven relatively successful, at least as compared to more traditional methods of persuasion, particularly against (generally more powerful) liberal democratic targets. In the third section, I propose an explanation for why democracies appear to have been most frequently (and most successfully) targeted. I also advance my broader theory about the nature of migration-driven coercion, including how, why, and under what conditions it can prove efficacious. I conclude with a brief discussion of broader implications and further applications of the theory.

About Kelly M Greenhill
Kelly M Greenhill is Associate Professor at Tufts University and Research Associate and Chair of the Conflict, Security and Public Policy Working Group at Harvard Kennedy School of Government's Belfer Center (BCSIA). Shel also serves as Associate Editor of the journal Security Studies. Much of her research focuses on the use of military force and what are frequently called 'new security challenges', including civil wars; the use of forced migration as a weapon; military intervention and (counter-) insurgency; foreign and defence policy; and international crime as a challenge to domestic governance.

She is author of Weapons of Mass Migration: Forced Displacement, Coercion and Foreign Policy (Cornell Studies in Security Affairs), co-author and co-editor of Sex, Drugs and Body Counts: The Politics of Numbers in Global Crime and Conflict (Cornell) and The Use of Force, 8th edition.

Outside of academia, Professor Greenhill has served as a consultant to the US government as well as to the Ford Foundation, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the World Bank.