Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

This paper explores the current Geneva-level debate on targeting development assistance to enhance refugee protection capacity in regions of origin. It draws on the insights available from the international relations theory relevant to international cooperation as a means to illuminate the prospects for overcoming polarisation. Moreover, it surveys the existing literature on ‘burden-sharing’ in the global refugee regime, placing it in the broader context of regime theory, the body of international relations theory on which it implicitly and selectively draws. This paper argues that, ‘collective action failure’ is not an inevitable outcome of attempts to achieve north-south cooperation and identifies a number of factors that may be conducive to improving the prospects for cooperative outcomes. It concludes by examining how the conceptual logic of Convention Plus’ approach to north-south cooperation could be further developed as a means to facilitate future multilateral cooperation and thereby overcome sources of past and present polarisation.

More information


Working paper


Refugee Studies Centre

Publication Date




Total pages