Migration and Refugees in a Global Context

Migration in its various forms has become a central feature of international development in its economic, political, legal, social and cultural dimensions. Oxford now leads the world in research on this vital subject.

The department has recognised strength in the fields of forced migration and migration studies, including internal and international displacement driven by conflict, poverty and insecurity. In a world where almost all refugees come from the global South, our research engages in the analysis, modelling and understanding of migration flows, both between the global South and the global North, and within regions of the global South.

Along with individual faculty members, the research group working on this theme is the internationally renowned Refugee Studies Centre, winner of the Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2002. Research in the department has particularly focussed on Africa, the Middle East and Europe and has been influential in its exploration of the economic impact of forced migration on host communities; urbanisation, inclusion and the governance of migration; citizenship, deportation and refugee law; humanitarianism and forced migration; refugee self-reliance and agency; and the history, development, and consequences of border control regimes.


Photo: Mstyslav Chernov / Wikimedia commons

In the media
Refugee Studies Centre
Building the plane as you fly it: young diasporan engagement in Ethiopian development
Family strategies of migrants in West Africa
Refugees in international relations
UNHCR and international cooperation
International mobility, local economics and European cooperation policies in the central Sahara (M...
Transnational migration, citizenship and the circulation of rights and responsibilities (TRANSMIC)...
Migrants at work
The human rights of migrants and refugees in European law


Ruben Andersson
Professor of Social Anthropology
Olivia Berthon
Forced Migration Review Deputy Editor, RSC
Alexander Betts
Professor of Forced Migration and International Affairs and and Director, Refugee Studies Centre
Francesco Bosso
Research Student
Raphael Bradenbrink
Research Student
Federica Cerruti
Research Student
Dawn Chatty
Fellow Emeritus and Professor of Anthropology & Forced Migration
Robin Cohen
Professor Emeritus of Development Studies
Cathryn Costello
Professor of Refugee and Migration Law


17 May, 2023
Venice Architecture Biennale installation gives voice to migrant women in Johannesburg
14 Mar, 2023
Ashwiny O Kistnareddy selected to participate in BA/Humboldt Foundation symposium
03 Oct, 2022
New issue of Forced Migration Review with feature on ‘Knowledge, voice and power’ now online
09 Aug, 2022
Professor Stephen Castles, 1944-2022
04 Aug, 2022
New report examining energy issues in humanitarian settings launched
29 Jun, 2022
Naohiko Omata wins Teaching Excellence Award
22 Jun, 2022
Refugee-led Research Hub wins Vice Chancellor's diversity award
26 May, 2022
Sarah Rosenberg-Jansen wins ISRF fellowship to study refugee energy use
20 May, 2022
RSC launches online course for learners affected by displacement
12 May, 2022
Refugee-Led Research Hub holds inaugural Refugee-Led Research Festival


17 Apr, 2023
'South Africa plans to deport thousands back to Zimbabwe'. Loren Landau speaks to The World
15 Mar, 2023
'UK is "abandoning the right to asylum" with new immigration policy, says expert'. Alexander Betts is interviewed on CNN's Christiane Amanpour
08 Oct, 2022
'Putin’s war is illegal – and Russians fleeing the draft may have the right to asylum'. Nicole Stybnarova writes for the Guardian
28 Jul, 2022
'Should there be freedom of movement between African countries?'. Loren Landau discussed some of the barriers in a debate for Debating Africa
21 Apr, 2022
'Will the Rwanda plan work?'. Alexander Betts outlines a brief history of failed attempts at offshoring/outsourcing asylum for BBC Radio 4's 'The Briefing Room'
19 Apr, 2022
'Asylum plan ignores viable alternatives'. Alex Betts co-authors piece for The Times in response to the UK's plan to send some asylum seekers to Rwanda
13 Apr, 2022
'How LGBT refugees from Ukraine are highly vulnerable'. Sam Ritholtz co-authors piece for the Washington Post
10 Apr, 2022
'Immigration Debate | SA reaping the fruits of misrule - Researcher'. Loren Landau interviewed on independent national South African news station ENCA
08 Apr, 2022
'Does Europe have a double standard for refugees?'. Loren Landau takes part in discussion for Debating Africa
06 Apr, 2022
'How Facebook couchsurfing groups became an essential tool for Ukrainians fleeing to Poland'. Emre Eren Korkmaz quoted in article for Insider