Aims and themes

Members of this research cluster focus on the broad and deep relationship between migration and development, conceiving these two social processes as dialectically interconnected.

Migration both reproduces and unsettles the structures and forces that shape our globalised world. We study this dialectical relation with historical specificity and empirical detail and we are committed to foregrounding the subjective perspectives, embodied experiences, and situated knowledges of the individual migrants or migrant groups that ultimately animate this relation.

Our research reflects the department’s diverse disciplinary and epistemological concerns, and approaches the study of migration and development through political economy, decolonial, postcolonial, and institutionalist perspectives, drawing from debates in Sociology, Geography, Politics and Anthropology. Our research engages with policy-making processes and strives to conceive innovative avenues for political intervention.

Research themes include:

  • Humanitarianism, IDP and refugee displacement
  • Political economy of labour migration
  • Borders and the governance of migration
  • Asylum and detention
  • Livelihoods, remittances, and sustainable development

The cluster’s research informs teaching across the department’s interdisciplinary programmes, including the MSc Migration, Mobility and Development and MSc Humanitarian, Aid and Conflict, and supports a variety of courses, including Migration and Policy, Borders and Development, Working Poor and Development, Refugee Studies and Global Forced Migration. We organise a Seminar Series and various other activities, including hosting screenings for the London Migration Film Festival, through the SOAS Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies.

Selected recent publications

  • A Lindley (2023). "Reflections on (Im)mobilities in/and Crisis" in N. Piper and K. Datta (ed) Elgar Companion on Migration and the Sustainable Development Goals. Edward Elgar.
  • A Lindley (2023) "The global ordering of remittances: formalisation, facilitation, funnelling and financialisation" in A. Pecoud and H. Thiollet (ed) Handbook of Global Governance of Migration. Edward Elgar.
  • A Lindley (2022) "'Hit and Miss?' Access to legal assistance in immigration detention" Journal of Human Rights Practice 13 (3), 629–653.
  • AM Rivas, M Safi (2022) "Women and the Afghan peace and reintegration process" International Affairs 98 (1), 85-104.
  • L Tilley & Ajl, M. (2022). "Eco-socialism will be anti-eugenic or it will be nothing: Towards equal exchange and the end of population" Politics (OnlineFirst)
  • A Mezzadri, K Banerjee (2022) "When the Lewisian Dream Sours: Industrial Aspirations and Reverse Labour Migration" Journal of South Asian Development 17 (3), 297-326
  • J Lerche, A Shah, I Bosc, M Fajerman, N Wadhawan (2022). Understanding patterns of structural discrimination of migrant and other workers in some countries of South and West Asia ILO Background Paper
  • P Novak (2022). "Re-producing the Humanitarian Border. Geopolitics" ahead of print, 1-22
  • A Lindley (2021). What are we afraid of? Exploring risk and immigration detention. Migration Studies 9 (1), 90-114
  • I Lim (2021) "Exploring Experience at the Intersection of Migration and Digital Democracy in South Korea" Asiascape: Digital Asia, 8(3), 139-163.
  • P Novak (2021) "Deservingness and uneven geographies of asylum accommodation" Social Policy and Society 20 (3), 452-463
  • L Hammond 2021. "Towards Development Solutions to Internal Displacement: A Political Economy Approach" UNDP, New York
  • AM Rivas, M Wardak 2020 Holding the middle ground: Experiences of displacement, community relations, and conflict between IDPs, returnees and host communities in Herat, Nangarhar, and Takhar. Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
  • A Lindley 2020. The global ordering of remittance flows: formalisation, facilitation, funnelling and financialisation. Edward Elgar

Knowledge Exchange highlights

Knowledge Exchange highlights

  • Economic Activities of Syrian Refugees in the Context of Turkey’s Volatile Political Landscape (Dege Yonca, 2022)
  • Makers, Brokers, and Migrants: Experiences of Digital Government in South Korea and the United Kingdom (Lim Iris, 2022)
  • The Camp, Housing, and the City. On Migrant Camp Accommodation in Berlin (Sowa Christian, 2022)
  • Diaspora finance for infrastructure development in Nigeria: exploring motivations, mechanisms and impact (Olufemi, 2022) 
  • EU Border Externalisation and the Postcolonial Conditioning of Contemporary Capitalism in Mauritania (Ould Moctar Hassan, 2021)
  • Humanitarian Activist Citizens: Desplazado protests and state humanitarianism in Bogotá, Colombia (Iversen Karen, 2021)
  • Reproducing Racial Capitalism: Interrogating Racialized Labour Migration and Class Formation in the Arab Gulf (Daryn Howland)
  • How do Ethiopian migrants in the United Kingdom understand and experience belonging? (Helina Shebeshe)
  • How do migrant workers in the UK cleaning sector experience precarity in different spheres of life? (Claire Marcel)