Migration and Refugees in a Global Context

The integration of global markets now permits free movement of capital, goods and services, but the same is not true of people. 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 refugee studies – including forced migration and internal displacement – in a world where almost all refugees come from developing countries; and in the analysis, modelling and understanding of international migration flows both between developing and developed countries, and within developing regions themselves.

Our strength in this field is due primarily to the Refugee Studies Centre (RSC) and a group of migration-focussed academics in the department, who between 2006 and 2017 worked as part of the International Migration Institute (IMI).


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


Saja Taha Al Zoubi
Visiting Researcher and Postdoctoral Fellow, Christ Church
Ruben Andersson
Professor of Social Anthropology
Nora Bardelli
Research Student
Alexander Betts
Professor of Forced Migration and International Affairs
Francesco Bosso
Research Student
Raphael Bradenbrink
Research Assistant, Refugee Economies Programme, RSC
Catherine Briddick
Martin James Departmental Lecturer in Gender and Migration
Dawn Chatty
Fellow Emeritus and Professor of Anthropology & Forced Migration
Robin Cohen
Professor Emeritus of Development Studies


08 Feb, 2021
Gil Loescher memorial fund
18 Nov, 2020
Anne Irfan wins Alixa Naff Article Prize for paper on Palestinian refugee education
13 Nov, 2020
'Shelter Without Shelter' wins Best Research Film in AHRC awards
06 Nov, 2020
Documentary Shelter Without Shelter shortlisted for AHRC film award
01 Oct, 2020
Tom Scott-Smith awarded Leverhulme Research Fellowship
22 Sep, 2020
New article co-authored by Marie Godin explores use of digital devices by migrants in transit
21 Sep, 2020
New article co-authored by Alexander Betts and Evan Easton-Calabria explores provision of assistance by refugees
24 Aug, 2020
New article by Catherine Briddick evaluates residence rights of migrant victims of domestic violence in Europe
20 Aug, 2020
Anne Irfan wins Contemporary Levant's Best Paper Award for 2020
03 Jun, 2020
New book co-edited by Tom Scott-Smith explores refugee shelter


22 Sep, 2020
'Cash transfers can help refugees, but they also carry risks. Insights from Kenya'. Cory Rodgers, Jade Siu and Olivier Sterck write for the Conversation
20 Sep, 2020
'Migrants crossing the English Channel in dinghies – stupid, dangerous, and criminal acts?'. Dawn Chatty writes for Culturico
19 Jun, 2020
'Making home on the move'. DPhil Shivangi Kaushik writes about 'fictive kinships' and why some internal migrants in India might have elected not to return 'home' during the pandemic
20 May, 2020
'Many refugees living in Nairobi struggle to survive because of COVID-19'. Naohiko Omatta writes for the Conversation on the ways in which the pandemic are disrupting refugees' ability to support themselves
04 May, 2020
'Cash-based food assistance for refugees: lessons for the COVID-19 response'. Cory Rodgers, Alexander Betts, Olivier Sterck, Jade Siu and Maria Stierna of the RSC discuss cash-based food assistance for refugees, and the unintended consequence of debt accumulation
28 Apr, 2020
'Why refugees are an asset in the fight against coronavirus'. Alexander Betts, Evan Easton-Calabria and Kate Pincock write for the Conversation on the how the work of refugee-led organisations is now more relevant than ever to respond to the consequences of COVID-19
14 Apr, 2020
'COVID-19 has Kenyan refugee camp on edge'. Dr Cory Rodgers wrote in The New Humanitarian on preparations at the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya ahead of a potential outbreak of the virus
08 Apr, 2020
'The Marooned Malaise: Covid-19 and Africa’s stolen futures'. Prof Loren Landau reflects on what the Covid-19 containment means for sub-Saharan African imaginations and politics
31 Mar, 2020
'"Unprecedented" pandemic and the crisis of mobility in India'. DPhil candidate Vyoma Dhar Sharma writes on the crisis of mobility in India in light of the COVID19 pandemic
30 Mar, 2020
'The norms that hold together international refugee protection are in a perilous state'. Writing for World Politics Review, Matt Gibney asks how much has really changed since the 2015 refugee crisis