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


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
Muireann Meehan Speed
Research Student


30 Mar, 2020
New article from RSC explores role of mayors in response to refugee arrivals in Turkey and Lebanon
26 Mar, 2020
Tom Scott-Smith named one of ten new BBC/AHRC New Generation Thinkers
05 Mar, 2020
Latest issue of Forced Migration Review on 'Cities and towns' now online
17 Jan, 2020
New book by Robin Cohen, Nicholas Van Hear sets out proposal for transnational polity for refugees
18 Dec, 2019
New article by Matthew Gibney explores history of banishment
03 Dec, 2019
New article by Matthew Willner-Reid on UNHCR discourse and returning refugees in Afghanistan
15 Nov, 2019
New article by Tom Scott-Smith critiques Ikea’s ‘universal’ refugee shelter
06 Nov, 2019
RSC publishes report in Somali to aid dissemination to refugee and host communities
15 Oct, 2019
Latest issue of Forced Migration Review on 'Return' now online
07 Oct, 2019
Refugee Economies programme publishes four new reports


18 Nov, 2019
'The West’s Obsession With Border Security Is Breeding Instability'. Ruben Andersson and David Keen write for Foreign Policy magazine
23 Oct, 2019
'Nowhere to Go: How Governments in the Americas Are Bungling the Migration Crisis'. Alexander Betts writes for Foreign Affairs
27 Sep, 2019
'Anthropology at, and of, the Limit'. Ruben Andersson responds as part of an Allegralab book symposium about his new book 'No Go World'
13 Sep, 2019
'The Cobra Effect: “Fighting” Migration Gets Europe Nowhere'. Ruben Andersson interviewed about his new book 'No Go World' in the Green European Journal
24 Jun, 2019
'How the West is withdrawing into a bunker of its own making'. Ruben Andersson writes for The Conversation
14 Jun, 2019
'How fear is redrawing our maps and infecting our politics'. Ruben Andersson discusses his new book on The Majority Report
29 Apr, 2019
'Sex discrimination in British immigration law is likely to get worse after Brexit'. Catherine Briddick writes for the Conversation
28 Mar, 2019
'"Self-reliance" for refugees? Badly handled it can make matters worse'. Evan Easton-Calabria writes for The Conversation
27 Feb, 2019
'Why Venezuelan migrants need to be regarded as refugees'. Alexander Betts writes for IRIN
21 Feb, 2019
'Why Sajid Javid’s decision on Shamima Begum cheapened British citizenship'. Matthew Gibney writes for Metro