Regional Mobility Spaces? Visa Waiver Policies and Regional Integration


Visa policies today are a central instrument for filtering wanted and unwanted types of travellers, leading to a hierarchy of mobility rights. While there is evidence of a “global mobility divide”, we still know little about the role of regional integration when it comes to the distribution of mobility rights and the (re)structuring of mobility spaces. Against this background, the article examines the structure of visa relations in different bodies of regional integration (EU, MERCOSUR, ASEAN, ECOWAS, EAC, NAFTA, SADC and SICA). The article compares visa policies in the member states of these institutions in 1969 and 2010 from a social network perspective. While one would generally expect each institution’s member states to become more similar with regard to both internal and external mobility regulations, we find that not all regional clusters align their visa policies. Potential explanations for this state of affairs are investigated.

In International Migration

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