SOAS University of London

Department of Development Studies

Paolo Novak

MSc, PhD (London)
  • Overview
  • Teaching
  • Expertise
  • Publications


Paolo Novak
Department of Development Studies

Lecturer in Development Studies

Centre of Contemporary Central Asia & the Caucasus

Academic Staff, Centre of Contemporary Central Asia and the Caucasus

SOAS South Asia Institute

Academic Staff, SOAS South Asia Institute

Centre for the Study of Pakistan

Academic Staff, Centre for the Study of Pakistan

Labour, Movements and Development

Research Cluster Member

Neoliberalism, Globalisation, and States

Research Cluster Member

Dr Paolo Novak
Email address:
020 7898 4214
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
Office No:
Office Hours:
Mon. 3 - 5 (Term 1 & 2); By appointment (Term 3)
On Sabbatical:
Terms 2 and 3 (18/19)


Paolo has degrees in Business and International Finance (Bocconi University, Milan) and Development Studies (SOAS) and has worked for brokerage firms, investment banks, NGOs and UNHCR. His PhD field research was conducted in Pakistan, where he studied processes of institutional change in the protection and assistance regime for Afghan refugees. 

His current research focuses on the notion of transnationality,with particular emphasis on: migration, refugee regime, borders, NGOs. Paolo welcomes potential PhD students in any of these subjects.


Courses Taught
PhD Students supervised
  • Hassan Ould Moctar, EU Border Externalisation and the Social Conditions of 'Deportability' in Mauritania
  • Karen Schouw Iversen, Navigating humanitarian biopolitics: housing policies and desplazado protests in Bogotá (working title)
  • Marco Mogiani, The European and national policies on migration and asylum and their impact on the physiognomy of the port of entries and on the migration patterns in the Greek-Turkish border in the last twenty years. (Working title)


For help in contacting SOAS academics and advice on services to business and the community, please contact SOAS Enterprise on +44(0)20 7898 4837 or email
For all press and media enquiries please call +44 (0)20 7898 4135 or email

Available for
Regional Expertise
  • South Asia
Country Expertise
  • India



Novak, Paolo (2017) 'Back to Borders'. Critical Sociology, (43) 6, pp 847-864.

Novak, Paolo (2017) 'Placing Borders in Development'. Geopolitics, (21) 3, pp 483-512.

Paolo, Novak (2015) 'Refugee Status as a Productive Tension'. Transnational Legal Theory, (6) 2, pp 287-311.

Paolo, Novak (2013) 'The Success of NGOs'. Development in Practice, (23) 7, pp 872-888.

Novak, Paolo (2011) 'The Flexible Territoriality of Borders'. Geopolitics, (16) 4, pp 741-767.

Novak, Paolo (2011) 'The Institutional Incompleteness of Empire'. Central Asian Survey, (30) 3-4, pp 389-406.

Novak, Paolo (2007) 'Accountability to Whom?'. Economic and Political Weekly, (42) 30, pp 3172-77.

Novak, Paolo (2007) 'Place and Afghan Refugees: a Contribution to Turton'. Journal of Refugee Studies, (20) 4, pp 551-578.

Book Chapters

Novak, Paolo (2017) 'Border rhythms'. In: Mavroudi, Elizabeth and Page, Ben and Christou, Anastasia, (eds.), Timespace and International Migration. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, pp 61-76. [Forthcoming]

Paolo, Novak (2015) 'Empire, Imperialism and the Refugee'. In: Ness, Immanuel and Cope, Zak, (eds.), Palgrave Encyclopaedia of Imperialism and Antimperialism. London: Palgrave Macmillan. [Inpress]

Novak, Paolo (2014) 'Tracing connections and its politics'. In: Alff, Henryk and Benz, Andreas, (eds.), Tracing Connections: Explorations of Spaces and Places in Asian Contexts. Berlin: VWB.

Novak, Paolo (2013) 'Political economy of refugees'. In: Ness, Immanuel, (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.

Novak, Paolo (2007) 'Chromatic Boundaries'. In: Narula, M. and Sengupta, S. and Bagchi, J. and Sundaram, R., (eds.), SARAI Reader 07: Frontiers. Delhi: Centre for the Study of Developing Societies.

Book Reviews

Paolo, Novak (2015) 'Review of: 'New Perspectives on International Migration and Development' by Cortina Jeronimo and Ochoa-Reza Enrique. New York: Columbia University Press 2013.'. Journal of Global Faultlines, (2) 2, pp 58-60.

Paolo, Novak (2009) 'Review of: Social Networks and Migration in Wartime Afghanistan. By Kristian Berg Harpviken. Houndmills: Palgrave, 2009.'. Journal of Refugee Studies, (22) 4, pp 529-530.


This list was last generated on Sunday, 19th August 2018, 02:50 Europe/London.