Prof Alexander Betts

Professor of Forced Migration and International Affairs, and Director, RSC

Alexander Betts is Professor of Forced Migration and International Affairs and a Fellow of Green-Templeton College at the University of Oxford, where he was previously the Hedley Bull Research Fellow in International Relations. He received his MPhil (in Development Studies, with Distinction) and DPhil (in International Relations) from the University of Oxford. 

His research focusses on the international politics of asylum and migration, with a geographical focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. He is author or editor of numerous books, including Protection by Persuasion: International Cooperation in the Refugee Regime (Cornell University Press, 2009), Global Migration Governance (Oxford University Press, 2011), Refugees in International Relations (with Gil Loescher, Oxford University Press, 2011).

He is author of over 50 articles, book chapters and working papers and his work has appeared in a range of peer reviewed journals including Global Governance, Perspectives on Politics, Journal of Refugee Studies, International Journal of Refugee Law, and Refugee Survey Quarterly.

He has worked for UNHCR and as a consultant to the Council of Europe, IOM, and the Commonwealth Secretariat, and his work has been funded by, amongst others, the MacArthur Foundation, the Leverhulme Trust, and the Economic and Social Research Council. He has also served on the Executive Committee of the International Association for the Study of Forced Migration (IASFM) and has held teaching and research positions at Universite Libre de Bruxelles and Stanford University.

Research
Teaching
Publications
News
In the media
Humanitarian innovation project
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Refugees in international relations
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UNHCR and international cooperation
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Refugee economies in Uganda: creating new market-based opportunities
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Survival migration: refugee or voluntary migrant?
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The politics of the Syrian refugee crisis
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Alexander Betts teaches the Introduction to the Study of Forced Migration course for the MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies.

Research Students supervised

Evan Easton-Calabria
Research Student
Muireann Meehan Speed
Research Student
Alejandro Olayo Mendez
Research Student
Angela Pilath
Research Student

Books and monographs

Betts, Alexander (with Will Jones) (2016) 'Mobilising the Diaspora: How Refugees Challenge Authoritarianism', Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Betts, Alexander (with L Bloom, N Omata, Josiah Kaplan) (2016) 'Refugee Economies: Forced Displacement and Development', Oxford: Oxford University Press
Betts, Alexander (with Phil Orchard) (2014) 'Implementation and World Politics: How International Norms Change Practice', Oxford: Oxford University Press
Betts, Alexander (2013) 'Survival Migration: Failed Governance and the Crisis of Displacement', Ithaca: Cornell University Press (Monograph)
Betts, Alexander (ed) (2011) 'Global Migration Governance', Oxford: Oxford University Press
Betts, Alexander (with G Loescher) (eds) (2011) 'Refugees in International Relations', Oxford: Oxford University Press
Betts, Alexander (with G Loescher, J Milner) (2011) 'UNHCR: The Politics and Practice of Refugee Protection (2nd edition)', London: Routledge
Betts, Alexander (2009) 'Protection by Persuasion: International Cooperation in the Refugee Regime', Ithaca: Cornell University Press
Betts, Alexander (with Gil Loescher, James Milner) (eds) (2008) 'The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR): The Politics and Practice of Refugee Protection into the 21st Century', London: Routledge

Journal articles and special issues

Betts, Alexander (2015) 'The normative terrain of the global refugee regime', Ethics & International Affairs 29 (4) 363-75
Betts, Alexander (with Gil Loescher) (eds) (2014) 'Special Issue: Emerging Issues in Refugee Policy Around the World', Refugee Survey Quarterly 33 (1)
Betts, Alexander (with Gil Loescher) (2014) 'Introduction: Continuity and Change in Global Refugee Policy', Refugee Survey Quarterly 33 (1) 1-7
Betts, Alexander (2013) 'Regime Complexity and International Organizations: UNHCR as a Challenged Institution', Global Governance 19 69-81
Betts, Alexander (2010) 'Survival Migration: A New Protection Framework', Global Governance 16(3) 361-82
Betts, Alexander (2010) 'The Refugee Regime Complex', Refugee Survey Quarterly 29(2) 12-37
Betts, Alexander (2010) 'Towards a Soft Law Framework for the Protection of Vulnerable Irregular Migrants', International Journal of Refugee Law 22(2) 209-36
Betts, Alexander (2010) 'Soft Law and Vulnerable Migrants', Georgetown Journal of Immigration Law 24(4)
Betts, Alexander (2009) 'Institutional Proliferation and the Refugee Regime', Perspectives on Politics 7(1) 53-8
Betts, Alexander (2008) 'North-South Cooperation in the Refugee Regime: The Role of Linkages', Global Governance 14(2) 157-78

Chapters

Betts, Alexander (forthcoming) 'UNHCR, Autonomy and Mandate Change'. In J Oestreich (ed) International Organizations as Self-Directed Actors , London: Routledge
Betts, Alexander (with Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar & Aparna Surendra ) (2016) 'Humanitarian innovation, integration, and the architecture of refugee protection'. In R Hsu & C Reinprecht (eds) Migration and Integration: New Models for Mobility and Coexistence , Vienna: Vienna University Press
Betts, Alexander (2016) 'Global governance and forced migration'. In Anna Triandafyllidou (ed) Routledge Handbook of Immigration and Refugee Studies , London: Routledge
Betts, Alexander (with N Omata, L Bloom) (2015) 'Humanitarian Innovation and refugee protection'. In K Brennan (ed) Making Global Institutions Work , Oxford: Routledge
Betts, Alexander (2014) 'International Relations and Forced Migration'. In E Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, G Loescher, K Long, N Sigona (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Refugee and Forced Migration Studies , Oxford: Oxford University Press
Betts, Alexander (2014) 'The Global Governance of Crisis Migration'. In S Martin, S Weerasinghe, A Taylor (eds) Humanitarian Crisis and Migration: Causes, Consequences and Responses , London: Routledge
Betts, Alexander (2014) 'Commentary: The UK and Immigration Policy'. In J Hollifield, P Martin, P Orrenius (eds) Controlling Immigration: A Global Perspective , Palo Alto: Stanford University Press
Betts, Alexander (2014) 'Commentary: The European Union and global migration governance'. In J Hollifield, P Martin, P Orrenius (eds) Controlling Immigration: A Global Perspective , Palo Alto: Stanford University Press
Betts, Alexander (2014) 'From Persecution to Deprivation: How Refugee Norms Adapt at Implementation'. In A Betts, P Orchard (eds) Implementation and World Politics: How International Norms Change Practice , Oxford: Oxford University Press
Betts, Alexander (with Phil Orchard) (2014) 'The Normative Institutionalization-implementation Gap'. In A Betts, P Orchard (eds) Implementation and World Politics: How International Norms Change Practice , Oxford: Oxford University Press
Betts, Alexander (2014) 'Survival Migration: Conflicting Refugee Identities in Africa'. In S Kneebone, D Stevens, L Baldassar (eds) Refugee Protection and the Role of Law: Conflicting Identities , London: Routledge
Betts, Alexander (2012) 'The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees: Autonomy and Mandate Change'. In J Oestreich (ed) International Organizations as Self-Directed Actors: A Framework for Analysis , London: Routledge
Betts, Alexander (2011) 'The Refugee Regime and Issue-Linkage'. In R Koslowski (ed) Global Mobility Regimes , Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

Reports

Betts, Alexander (2016) 'Humanitarian Innovation: The State of the Art', OCHA Occasional Policy Paper United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Betts, Alexander (with Louise Bloom, Nina Weaver) (2015) 'Refugee Innovation: Humanitarian innovation that starts with communities', Oxford: Humanitarian Innovation Project
Betts, Alexander (with L Bloom, N Omata, Josiah Kaplan) (2014) 'Refugee Economies: Rethinking Popular Assumptions', Oxford: Humanitarian Innovation Project
21 March, 2017
New book: Refuge by Alexander Betts and Paul Collier
09 February, 2017
Forced Migration Review 54 on Resettlement now online
12 December, 2016
Alexander Betts, Paul Collier named as 2016 Leading Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy
21 November, 2016
New book on refugee economies by HIP team
18 November, 2016
New book: Mobilising the Diaspora: How Refugees Challenge Authoritarianism by Alexander Betts and will Jones
20 September, 2016
Alexander Betts speaks at UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants side event on self-reliance
01 July, 2016
Alexander Betts wins Vice Chancellor’s Award for Public Engagement for work on refugee economies
16 March, 2016
Alexander Betts Named 2016 Young Global Leader by World Economic Forum
04 September, 2015
RSC Director Alexander Betts Comments Across Media on Refugee Crisis
29 July, 2015
Alexander Betts Discusses Idea of Refugee Nation on BBC Radio 4: 'There are Better Solutions'

Pages

22 Mar, 2017
'Why denying refugees the right to work is a catastrophic error'. New book by Alexander Betts and Paul Collier extracted in the Guardian
28 Feb, 2017
'Around the world, refugees face significant restrictions on their economic lives'. Alexander Betts quoted in Guardian article on refugee entrepreneurs
19 Feb, 2017
'Are refugees good for the economy?'. Alexander Betts featured in Global Citizen magazine
22 Jan, 2017
'Refugees can be used as a political resource to help those left behind'. Alexander Betts writes in The Observer
17 Jan, 2017
'Righting the wrongs of the refugee system'. Alexander Betts interviewed by Center for Public Impact
08 Jan, 2017
'World Hacks: Jobs for Syrian Refugees'. Alexander Betts interviewed by BBC
10 Dec, 2016
'We will see displacement and mobility as defining issues of the 21st century'. Alexander Betts quoted in New York Times
03 Nov, 2016
'Give refugees basic human freedoms and everyone will be better off'. Alexander Betts featured by WIRED
18 Oct, 2016
'Why Uganda is one of the world’s most hospitable refugee destinations'. Alexander Betts speaks to PBS Newshour
20 Sep, 2016
'The question that remains is what kinds of pledges will be made and followed through on'. Alexander Betts quoted in Guardian article on US-led Leaders Summit on Refugees

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Research interests:

International politics of asylum and migration, with particular regard to Sub-Saharan Africa