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


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
Hanno Brankamp
Departmental Lecturer in Forced Migration
Catherine Briddick
Martin James Departmental Lecturer in Gender and Migration
Dawn Chatty
Fellow Emeritus and Professor of Anthropology & Forced Migration


27 Apr, 2021
Alexander Betts publishes new book on unlocking potential contribution of refugees
09 Apr, 2021
New article co-authored by Olivier Sterck measures effect of shift to refugee self reliance model
19 Mar, 2021
New article co-authored by Loren Landau reflects on 'timespace trap' in Europe's response to African migration
09 Mar, 2021
Latest issue of Forced Migration Review with focus on mental health now online
08 Feb, 2021
Gil Loescher memorial fund
25 Jan, 2021
New article by Tom Scott-Smith explores politics of humanitarian architecture
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


17 Apr, 2021
'Biden’s Refugee Policy Is a Profile in Cowardice'. Alex Betts quoted in Foreign Policy article
09 Apr, 2021
'Whether or not Kenya closes its camps, much damage has been done'. Cory Rodgers and Mohamed Talil write for African Arguments
17 Mar, 2021
'The imagined immorality of refuge, Africa Is A Country'. Hanno Brankamp writes for Africa Is A Country
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