Professor Loren Landau

Professor of Migration and Development

Loren Landau is Professor of Migration and Development at the Oxford Department of International Development and Associate Professor with the African Centre for Migration & Society (ACMS) at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg where he was the founding director. He has previously held the South African Research Chair on Mobility & the Politics of Difference and visiting or faculty positions at Georgetown, Princeton, and Tufts Universities. He is a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa.

His interdisciplinary scholarship explores mobility, multi-scale governance, and the transformation of socio-political communities across the global south. Along with continued work on xenophobia, inclusion, and representation, he currently oversees a multi-year initiative exploring mobility, temporality, and urban politics in Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa. To help realign the politics of knowledge production on human mobility, he spearheads multiple initiatives supporting critical migration and urban studies across sub-Saharan Africa including the Academy for African Urban Diversity and the African Research University Alliance’s programme on ‘emerging urban subjectivities’ supporting doctoral students in Nairobi, Cape Town, Harare, Accra, and Johannesburg.

A frequent media resource on regional and global migration policy debates, he has published widely in the academic and popular press including the New York Times, Foreign Affairs, and Foreign Policy. Publications include, The Humanitarian Hangover: Displacement, Aid, and Transformation in Western Tanzania (Wits Press); Forging African Communities: Mobility, Integration, and Belonging (Palgrave); I Want to Go Home Forever: Stories of Becoming and Belonging in South Africa’s Great Metropolis (Wits Press); Contemporary Migration to South Africa (World Bank); and Exorcising the Demons Within: Xenophobia, Violence and Statecraft in Contemporary South Africa (UN University Press/Wits Press). He has consulted with the European Union, the World Bank, UNDP, UNHCR, UNECA, the Cities Alliance, and others. As chair of the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa  (2004-2012) he served on the South African Immigration Advisory Board. Now a member of the Academy of Science of South African, he holds an MSc in Development Studies (LSE) and a PhD in Political Science (Berkeley).

Teaching & Supervision
In the media
Mobility, temporality, and Africa’s future politics

Loren teaches Qualitative Methods for Migration Research and the Politics of Urban Mobility in the Global South

Research Students supervised

19 Jun, 2020
'A Time Capsule for Future Social Science Researchers: Loren B Landau'. In an interview with the Social Science Research Council, Loren Landau says COVID-19 offers oppressive states new powers to manage, exploit or sacrifice certain populations
28 Apr, 2020
'Coercion or the social contract? COVID-19 and spatial (in)justice in African cities'. In this co-authored open-access article, Loren Landau argues that the disease and the policy interventions intended to address the novel virus will inadvertently erode what resilience the urban poor have built to survive
08 Apr, 2020
'The Marooned Malaise: Covid-19 and Africa’s stolen futures'. Prof Loren Landau reflects on what the Covid-19 containment means for sub-Saharan African imaginations and politics
Research interests:

Urbanisation, migration, governance, politics, citizenship