Department of Politics and International Studies

Professor Fiona B Adamson

Key information

Department of Politics and International Studies Professor of International Relations Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies Member Centre for Ottoman Studies Member
BA (Stanford), MA, PhD(Columbia)
Russell Square, College Buildings
Email address


Fiona B. Adamson is Professor of International Relations with research interests in the international politics of migration, mobility and diaspora, with a particular focus on conflict and security. She is currently Associate Editor of Security Studies, and co-president (with Erin A. Chung) of the Migration and Citizenship section of the American Political Science Association. She serves as an adjunct faculty member of the Queen Elizabeth II Academy for Leadership in International Affairs at Chatham House. In addition, Fiona is a researcher in the EU H2020-funded project MAGYC (Migration Governance and Asylum Crises) and co-convenes (with Eiko Thielemann) the London Migration Research Group (LMRG).

Fiona received her PhD from Columbia University in New York, and her BA from Stanford University in California. She joined SOAS in 2007 and served as Head of Department 2010-2013, and Research Director 2018-2021. Previously, was Director of the Programme in International Public Policy at University College London (UCL). She has held visiting and honorary appointments at Harvard University, Stanford University, University of Basel, University of Toronto and Humboldt University, Berlin. Her research has been funded by the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), Guggenheim Foundation, Ford Foundation, Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Leverhulme Trust, and British Academy.

Research interests

Fiona’s current research projects include a British Academy-funded project on the Diplomacy of Forced Migration (with Kelly M. Greenhill and Jente Althuis). The project will produce a dataset on the diplomatic and foreign policy dimensions of state-organized involuntary migration, ranging from historical cases of population exchanges and transfers to contemporary practices of forced returns and repatriation. In addition, she is working on several diaspora-related projects, including a comparative study of diasporic geopolitics and the role of diaspora mobilization in anti-colonial and separatist conflicts. In the context of her EU H2020 funded project, she is leading a study of Kurdish refugees, migrants and diaspora organisations in Europe, examining the geopolitical and diasporic aspects of refugeehood. More generally, Fiona has a longstanding interest in the relationship between migration, mobility and contestations over nation- and state-building.


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