PROTECT was officially launched on February 1st, 2020. To read more about PROTECT, visit this page.
Theoretical framework and scope
PROTECT will study the impacts of the United Nations’ ‘Global Refugee Compact’ and ‘Global Migration Compact’ on the functioning of the international refugee protection system. This investigation will be done from the perspectives of political theory, legal theory, cleavage theory, public sphere theory, multilevel global governance, and ethnography. The entities focused on are the UNHCR and IOM (the global level), the European Union and the African Union (regional level), EU countries, Canada and South Africa (state level), and Canadian, South-African and South-European border zones (the local level). Empirically, PROTECT engages in an extensive legal, institutional, attitudinal, and media content data collection. As part of its empirical work, it aims to identify the changes in the notion of refugee protection due to the introduction of the two UN Global Compacts. Conceptually, PROTECT endeavors to develop a notion of refugee protection that is sensitive to the current political realities. Theoretically, it aspires to develop a theory explaining why a notion of refugee and refugee protection governance, and not other competing notions, wins the race at the global level.
We will (i) develop the conceptual, theoretical, and methodological tools needed to understand the right to international protection as a multilevel and trans-level phenomenon, (ii) identify whether or how the objectives and substance of the Global Compacts are aligned with the right to international protection (the rights dimension), (iii) assess which governance modes (actors, structures, and networks) serve best the goal of aligning the Global Compacts with the right to international protection (the governance dimension), (iv) detect societal discourses which promote the recognition of the primacy of human rights and the right to international protection (the recognition dimension), and (vi) based on the above, discover ways of aligning the Global Compacts with human rights and the right to international protection.