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.
Let refugees be economic contributors: a personal perspective
MPhil in Development Studies student Matai Muon reflects on the barriers he encountered as a refugee in Kenya seeking education and employment, and argues new changes to the law there must be fully applied to enable others to fulfil their potential.
Adaptation strategies vs adaptive capacity – the difference is crucial to effective climate resilience policies
The most effective way to foster resilience in the face of climate challenges is by supporting people’s capacity to adapt – rather than pushing specific adaptation strategies which dictate how people respond.
Humanitarian fables: morals, meanings and consequences for humanitarian practice
What do fables have to do with understanding structures of inequality in humanitarian aid? Research in Democratic Republic of the Congo shows how personal stories become fables in humanitarian organisations, and help justify decisions that maintain unequal power structures.