Events: Refugee Studies Centre Public Seminar Series

Refugee Studies Centre Michaelmas term Public Seminar Series

Theme: Refugee Economies

Series convenors: Professor Alexander Betts and Dr Naohiko Omata.

In recent academic and policy arenas in forced migration, the issue of how to understand refugees’ economic lives has emerged as one of the most pressing agendas. This seminar series will therefore gather leading scholars who have been working on related issues in order to consolidate the empirical and theoretical knowledge of refugee economies. Speakers will be convened from diverse and inter-disciplinary backgrounds from anthropology, economics, and political science. In addition to knowledge building, this seminar series is intended to initiate nurturing wider networks of researchers working on economic lives of refugees and to establish a common space for exchanging ideas, discussing findings and challenges.

Links to each seminar, as well as speaker biographies, can be found below. Seminars take place on Wednesdays at 5pm in Seminar Room 1, Queen Elizabeth House, 3 Mansfield Road, Oxford, except for the Annual Harrell-Bond Lecture which will take place at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. There is also an additional special seminar on Tuesday 13 October at 1-2pm, details below. For any enquiries, please contact

13 October, Special lunchtime seminar, 1-2pm Africa after neo-abolition: asylum politicization, expert testimony, and the legacy of anti-trafficking advocacy Professor Benjamin N. Lawrance (Rochester Institute of Technology, NY, USA)

Location: Meeting Room A, Queen Elizabeth House, 3 Mansfield Road

14 October

no seminar

21 October

Refugee economies: forced displacement and development Professor Alexander Betts (RSC)

28 October

“Displacement economies: thinking through the paradoxes of crisis and creativity”

Professor Amanda Hammar (University of Copenhagen)

4 November


‘We do not want to become refugees’: Human mobility in the age of climate change Professor Walter Kälin (Envoy of the Chairmanship of the Nansen Initiative, and Professor of Constitutional and International Law, University of Bern)

Location: Oxford University Museum of Natural History. Registration is required for this lecture. Please contact:

11 November

Navigating Nakivale: the borderland economy of a refugee camp Professor Morten Bøås (The Norwegian Institute of International Affairs)

18 November

The economic consequences of refugee return: evidence from Burundi and Tanzania Professor Carlos Vargas-Silva (COMPAS, University of Oxford)

25 November

Being Oromo in Nairobi’s ‘Little Mogadishu’: Eastleigh’s Ethiopian refugees and their livelihoods Dr Neil Carrier (African Studies Centre, University of Oxford)

2 December

From macro-economy to political economy: situating the refugee development discourse at the large scale Professor Roger Zetter (RSC)


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