Ms Diletta Lauro

Research Student
Completed in
Completed in : 

Diletta Lauro is a DPhil Candidate affiliated to the Refugee Studies Centre. Her doctoral research explores the ethical and political controversies raised by the state practice of deportation by looking at civil society contestations of deportation. Focusing on the United Kingdom, this research traces the historical evolution of anti-deportation activism from the late 1970s until 2016. Her research aims to contribute to theoretical debates on the ethics of migration and boundaries of state membership from an empirically informed, non-ideal, contextual and bottom up perspective.

This research has been funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) UK.

Diletta holds an undergraduate degree in International Relations with a specialization in Political Philosophy from the University of St Andrews and an MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies from the University of Oxford.

Outside academia, she has conducted policy-oriented research. She consulted for the Overseas Development Institute on the drivers of irregular migration to Europe and reporting to the UN Special Representative on International Migration on the Global Compact for Migration’s ‘UK Civil Society Consultation Event’.

She organised and chaired various community engagements events, linking academics with civil society activists, NGOs and refugees. For example: in 2016, she co-organised the two-day conference ‘From Fortress Europe to Sanctuary Europe: A Movement for Inclusive Asylum’, organised by the Refugee Studies Centre, the British Red Cross and City of Sanctuary. In Trinity 2018, she co-convened a Seminar Series on The Ethics and Politics of Borders at Linacre College.


Teaching Assistant

Diletta has been a Seminar Leader for the ‘Foundations Course’ for the Master of Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Governance, Oxford University. As part of the course she attended lectures and chaired the seminar discussion of two groups composed of 14 to 17 students. She marked weekly essays and assessments as part of the course.

Diletta presented on research methodology – qualitative interviews and archival research - for the Research Methods course as part of the MSc in Refugee and Migration Studies.

Tutorial-Based Teaching

Diletta designed and taught tutorial-based courses for visiting students on the ‘The EU Response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis’ and ‘Introduction to Refugees and Forced Migration Studies’ in collaboration with Christ Church College. 

She also covered tutorials on ‘International Relations in the Cold War’ for the Department of Politics and International Relations. 

Guest Seminars and Lectures

Diletta held guest seminars on ‘Political Theory and Refugees’ for History graduate students at the University of Warwick and on ‘The Historical Evolution of Anti-Deportation Movements’ at a public workshop on ‘Challenging Dominant Discourses on Immigration’ at the University of West Bristol.

Diletta has given a guest lecture on ‘The Politics of Deportation in the United Kingdom’ for a graduate course on ‘Refugee law and International Human Rights Law’ at the Orientale, University of Naples, Italy. 

She will give another guest lecture in September 2019 on ‘Migration and Justice’ at the Summer School on ‘Media and Migration’ organised by the Erich-Brost-Institute for International Journalism in Rabat, Morocco.


Research Students supervised


Lauro, Diletta (2015) 'The Morality and Politics of Deportation', Refugees Studies Centre Annual Report University of Oxford

Working papers

Lauro, Diletta (with C. Cummings, J. Pacitto and M. Foresti) (2015) 'Why People Move: Understanding the Drivers and Trends of Migration to Europe', ODI Working Paper

Other publications

Lauro, Diletta (2019) 'Rethinking the Controversies of Deportation: Discrimination, Mobility and the Legacy of Historical Injustice', Rethinking Refuge University of Oxford
Research interests:

Deportation, ethics of migration, activism and social movements, identity and membership