A Fair Share: Refugees and Responsibility-Sharing
Alexander Betts, Cathryn Costello, Natascha Zaun
Responsibility-sharing relates to the distribution of costs and benefits between states for addressing a particular global challenge. The global refugee regime has historically had relatively weak norms relating to responsibility-sharing. In the aftermath of the so-called ‘refugee crisis’ in the Middle East and Europe, there have been renewed calls to create effective mechanisms for responsibility-sharing. But how should such institutional mechanisms be designed? The report’s central argument is that under current political conditions responsibility-sharing is unlikely to be achieved through the creation of a single legal mechanism or centralised allocation system. Rather, it requires a range of complementary mechanisms – analytical, political, and operational –to overcome the collective action failure that has historically beset the refugee system. This project studies states’ and non-state actors’ assistance to refugees. It offers a method of measuring the extent of responsibility-sharing and discusses different possible models of sharing responsibility. A short policy brief is also available.