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
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
Robin Cohen
Professor Emeritus of Development Studies
Alessandro Corso
ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow


13 Aug, 2021
Olivier Sterck wins Teaching Excellence Award
11 Aug, 2021
New article by Hanno Brankamp explores methodological import of emotions in refugee research
10 Aug, 2021
RSC launches new fellowship for aspiring researchers with displacement background
09 Aug, 2021
Latest issue of Forced Migration Review now online
27 Jul, 2021
Alessandro Corso draws on research on irregular migration to develop resource for schools
28 Jun, 2021
Oxford, Wits University to launch jointly directed Mobility Governance Lab
20 Jun, 2021
OUP publishes Oxford Handbook of International Refugee Law co-edited by Cathryn Costello
30 May, 2021
New article co-authored by Loren Landau examines informal migration and Johannesburg’s socio-spatial transformation
28 May, 2021
Gil Loescher's final book 'Refugees: A Very Short Introduction' published
20 May, 2021
New article from RSC explores international agencies' blindness to refugee cross-border activity


21 Sep, 2021
'The Global North Is Closing Its Doors to Migration'. Professor Matthew Gibney writes for World Politics Review on the measures taken by states in the Global North to prevent the arrival of unwanted asylum seekers and other migrants
24 Jun, 2021
'The United States Can Afford More Refugees'. Alexander Betts draws on the experience of three African countries to suggest lessons for the US
12 May, 2021
'Refugee-Run Organizations Deserve More Money'. Alexander Betts quoted in Foreign Policy article
11 May, 2021
'OPINION: LGBT+ refugees should be resettled with their chosen families'. DPhils Sam Ritholtz and Rebecca Buxton write for Thomson Reuters Foundation News
17 Apr, 2021
'Biden’s Refugee Policy Is a Profile in Cowardice'. Alex Betts quoted in Foreign Policy article
13 Apr, 2021
'Sex and race discrimination are pervasive features of British immigration law'. Catherine Briddick quoted in inews article about the impact of the UK's Domestic Abuse Bill on migrant women
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'. Hanno Brankamp writes for Africa is a Country
24 Nov, 2020
'Tom Scott-Smith on the history of famine relief'. Tom Scott Smith spoke to Helen Carr as part of the Hidden Histories series
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