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
International migration of medical doctors: trends, drivers and policies
The liberal state and the expulsion of members: banishment, denationalisation and deportation
Irregular migrant children and the right to education
How the 'real' refugee is created and contested: inequalities, governmentality and agenc...
The end of the railway line: Malian women, mobility and trade in Dakar
Financial constraints, development, and migration: the role of social policy and financial develop...
The remittance debate reconsidered: Reverse remittance practice among Ghanaian migrants in the UK...
Humanitarian nutrition
Emergency shelter


Robin Cohen
Professor Emeritus of Development Studies
Cathryn Costello
Professor of Refugee and Migration Law
Faith Cowling
Research Student
Imogen Dobie
Research Student
Evan Easton-Calabria
Senior Research Officer
Matthew J Gibney
Elizabeth Colson Professor of Politics and Forced Migration and Director, Refugee Studies Centre
Marie Godin
British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow
Loren Landau
Professor of Migration and Development
Diletta Lauro
Research Student


01 Jul, 2019
Forced Migration Review 61 on ethics now online
28 Jun, 2019
RSC launch new Rethinking Refuge platform
15 May, 2019
Robtel Neajai Pailey to give keynote at Development Studies Association Conference
08 May, 2019
New article by Catherine Briddick investigates gender discrimination in UK immigration law
18 Apr, 2019
New article by Naohiko Omata examines complexity of refugee-host economic relationships
17 Apr, 2019
Memoirs in My Suitcase: new exhibition at the Pitt Rivers museum
25 Mar, 2019
New book by Ruben Andersson explores how the West has created a 'political geography of fear'
14 Mar, 2019
RSC publishes new research brief on Venezuelan migration to Colombia
27 Feb, 2019
Cathryn Costello appointed visiting professor at Norwegian Centre for Human Rights
27 Feb, 2019
ODID alumni set up new online magazine to explore migration


21 Feb, 2019
'Why Sajid Javid’s decision on Shamima Begum cheapened British citizenship'. Matthew Gibney writes for Metro
18 Dec, 2018
'Inaccuracies spreading about UN migration pact'. Cathryn Costello contributes to Full Fact article on UN global compact on migration
13 Dec, 2018
'The Responsibility to Protect: Time to move on?'. Noele Crossley writes for In the Long Run
23 Nov, 2018
'Refuge, Reformed'. Alex Betts writes about innovations in Kenyan refugee camps for Foreign Policy
14 Oct, 2018
Race-based citizenship in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Robtel Neajai Pailey discusses her postdoctoral work on BBC World Service's Weekend
05 Oct, 2018
'How Europe Can Reform Its Migration Policy'. Alexander Betts and Paul Collier write in Foreign Affairs
19 Sep, 2018
'Refugees expert: ‘More displacement’ to come as returning Syrians face myriad obstacles back home'. Syria Direct interviews Ali Ali
06 Jul, 2018
'Fear versus reality when it comes to migration'. Alexander Betts interviewed on CNN's Amanpour
27 Jun, 2018
'What Europe could learn from the way Africa treats refugees'. Alexander Betts writes for the Guardian
22 Feb, 2018
'Don’t Make African Nations Borrow Money to Support Refugees'. Alexander Betts writes for Foreign Policy