Calculated Informality in Governing (Non)return: An Evolutionary Governance Perspective

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Afghans’ protracted displacement is a geopolitical legacy from the Cold War. Although Pakistan’s return policymaking has foreseen the complete voluntary return of Afghans since the end of the Cold War, then as now, about three million Afghans reside in Pakistan. This article advances the notion of calculated informality to dissolve this seeming contradiction. Pakistan’s policymakers have excelled in calculated informality by successfully navigating the domestic and geopolitical arena over time based on practices of deregulation and ambiguity. Methodologically, the article applies Evolutionary Governance Theory (EGT) to reconstruct Pakistan’s return governance path based on the analysis of legal documents, previous research and secondary literature. EGT reveals the dependencies and layering at work in return governance and points out how the geopolitical positionality of Pakistan has determined its return policymaking. The structured interconnectedness of path-, goal- and interdependencies illustrates rigidities of the governance path and why opacity and ambiguity in return governance persist.
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@article{Mielke2022, author = "Katja Mielke", title = "Calculated Informality in Governing (Non)return: An Evolutionary Governance Perspective", latexTitle = "Calculated Informality in Governing (Non)return: An Evolutionary Governance Perspective", booktitle = "Geopolitics", type = "Journal Article", pages = "1-24", year = "2022", doi = "10.1080/14650045.2022.2052854", }


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Afghanistan , Pakistan