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
Danielle Bishop
Student Visitor, RSC
Francesco Bosso
Research Student
Raphael Bradenbrink
Research Student
Hanno Brankamp
Departmental Lecturer in Forced Migration
Catherine Briddick
Departmental Lecturer in Gender and International Human Rights and Refugee Law
Dawn Chatty
Fellow Emeritus and Professor of Anthropology & Forced Migration


12 May, 2022
Refugee-Led Research Hub holds inaugural Refugee-Led Research Festival
05 Apr, 2022
Loren Landau, Alexander Betts honoured with ISA awards
30 Mar, 2022
New issue of Forced Migration Review with feature on climate crisis and displacement now online
28 Feb, 2022
New book co-edited by Derya Özkul explores struggles of Alevis in Turkey
20 Dec, 2021
New issue of Forced Migration Review with major feature on externalisation now online
25 Nov, 2021
New hub to support refugee-led research
19 Nov, 2021
Research on refugee-led social protection during COVID wins ESRC Outstanding International Impact award
A busy market scene
16 Nov, 2021
New joint Oxford-Wits project to study human mobility in Global South
02 Nov, 2021
RSC team nominated as finalists for ESRC Celebrating Impact Prize
13 Aug, 2021
Olivier Sterck wins Teaching Excellence Award


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
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
06 Apr, 2022
'Vigilantism on the rise in SA'. Loren Landau interviewed on The John Perlman Show
06 Apr, 2022
'What's behind the rise of vigilantism in South Africa?'. Loren Landau interviewed on Newzroom Afrika
30 Mar, 2022
'Operation Dudula sparks xenophobic tensions'. Loren Landau interviewed on 'Afternoon Drive with John Maytham'
28 Mar, 2022
'The Ukraine crisis is a rare chance for Europe to create refugee policies fit for the twenty-first century'. Alexander Betts writes for Foreign Policy
11 Mar, 2022
'How many Ukrainian refugees can Europe receive?'. Alexander Betts particpates in discussion for Aljazeera's Inside Story