Unsupported Innovation in Migration Governance

Comparing Colombian and Brazilian State Responses to Venezuelan Mixed Migration


  • Benjamin Stevenson American University
  • Colin Zentmeyer


Remaining cognizant of state and international actors and their respective roles in global migration governance, this paper will offer a comparative analysis of two contemporary and innovative state responses – those of Colombia and Brazil – to the rise of Venezuelan mixed migration since 2014. Both responses have been lauded by the international community for innovation in their response. However, on closer inspection, both systems have failed in key areas to adequately manage the crisis. We analyze how domestic and international conditions of Colombia and Brazil drive differences in state response and contribute to implementation failures, jeopardizing the safety and wellbeing of Venezuelan refugees. We then critically examine international engagement, outlining responses of different relevant actors. The fact that this crisis did not capture the attention of the Global North, as the Syrian migration crisis has, is indicative of larger postcolonial narratives that prioritize addressing crises only when they prove to be a major inconvenience to the Global North. Finally, we suggest areas for improved international engagement and connect implications of this crisis to future mass displacement events.




How to Cite

Stevenson, B., & Zentmeyer, C. (2021). Unsupported Innovation in Migration Governance: Comparing Colombian and Brazilian State Responses to Venezuelan Mixed Migration. Journal of International Service - American University SIS, 2(1). Retrieved from https://au-jis.org/index.php/jis/article/view/1392