Roger Zetter is Emeritus Professor of Refugee Studies, retiring as the fourth Director of the Refugee Studies Centre in September 2011. His long association with the RSC commenced in 1988 as Founding Editor of the Journal of Refugee Studies, published by Oxford University Press, a position held until 2001.
Following degrees from Cambridge and Nottingham Universities he completed his DPhil at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex; this research on the Greek-Cypriot Refugees from 1974 was the foundation for a career-long engagement with questions of institutional and bureaucratic power and the labelling of refugees. His 1991 paper ‘Labelling Refugees: Forming and Transforming a Bureaucratic Identity’ in the Journal of Refugee Studies is one of the most widely cited papers in the field of refugee studies. For the centenary of Oxford University Press Journals, the paper was selected as one of the 100 most influential papers published over the previous century.
Roger has written over 30 peer reviewed papers, over 20 book chapters, four books, 10 major research reports and numerous op eds. His academic work, motivated by a strong commitment to policy relevance, has been conducted in four broad contexts:
Impacts of the humanitarian regime on refugees and asylum seekers ‒ this first theme is reflected in research and publications on exile, reception and settlement, protracted exile and integration, repatriation and the concept of home, and post-conflict reconstruction. Roger's 1989-93 ESRC-funded research on 'Governments, NGOs and Humanitarian Assistance to Refugees in Central Southern Africa', based on the Mozambican refugee crisis, epitomises many of these concerns. He was a consultant to OXFAM in 1996-8 coordinating the Strategic Evaluation of their Great Lakes Programme in response to the Rwanda crisis. His current research for the World Bank is developing an economic methodology to assess the impacts and costs of forced migration.
Refugees, migrants and society ‒ the profound impacts which the rise of asylum seeking in Europe had on the political landscape of the UK and the EU, motivated a second theme at the end of the 1990s. Against the backcloth of deterrence and restrictionism, Roger's research funded by the ESRC, the Housing Corporation, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the EU investigated the associational life of refugees and migrants, integration, social cohesion and social capital. He was commissioned by the UK Home Office to conduct several research projects on the emerging policy framework.
Land and shelter ‒ shelter and settlement for the forcibly displaced, and urban housing, land and property issues, constitute a third and enduring theme of his work. Roger authored the landmark State of the Art Review for the first UNHCR workshop on Refugee Shelter and Settlement 1995. His work on this theme has culminated in his role as lead consultant, 2009-2011, for the development of the IASC Strategy for Meeting Humanitarian Challenges in Urban Areas.
Environmental change, livelihoods and displacement ‒ the fourth theme, the focus of his current research, explores the linkages between environmental change, livelihoods and displacement, focusing specifically on the protection of rights of those vulnerable to displacement by the impacts of climate change. Funded by the John T and Catherine D MacArthur Foundation from 2011-2013, the project, Environmentally displaced people: rights, labels and policies embodies many of the questions that have motivated his academic career.
The diverse funders of his research and consultancy include: international agencies and organisations - UNHCR, UNHABITAT/IASC, UNDP, UNFPA, IOM UNDP, IFRC, World Bank, Swiss Agency for Development and Co-operation, OXFAM and Brookings-Bern Project; the governments of UK, NZ, Denmark, Norway and Switzerland and the European Commission; and research councils, trust and foundations such as the ESCR, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, MacArthur Foundation.
Zetter, R. (2013) Through an anthropologist’s lens – a retrospective on the work of Peter Loizos, The Cyprus Review 25(1), pps169-182
Zetter, R. (2012) Lands of No Return, Population Exchange and Forced Displacement in the 20th Century, Athens: Anemon Productions.
World Bank (2012) Guidelines for Assessing the Impacts and Costs of Forced Displacement. Washington DC: World Bank.
Zetter, R. (ed.) (2012) IFRC World Disasters Report 2012, Geneva: IFRC.
Zetter, R. (2012) Forced Migration – Changing Trends, New Responses, Migration Policy Practice, October-November 2012, pps 5-11, Geneva: International Organization for Migration/Eurasylum.
Zetter, R. (2012) Shelter and settlement for forcibly displaced people. In: Smith, S. (ed.) International Encyclopaedia of Housing and Home. Oxford: Elsevier, Chapter 24.
Zetter, R. and Long, K. (2012) Unlocking protracted displacement. Forced Migration Review, 40.
Zetter, R. (2011) Conceptualising the land-conflict-restitution nexus: the case of Cyprus. Journal of Conflict, Transformation and Security,1 (1), 63-88.
Zetter, R. (2011) Protecting environmentally displaced people: developing the capacity of legal and normative frameworks. RSC Research Report. Oxford: Refugee Studies Centre.
Zetter, R. (2011) Unlocking the protracted displacement of refugees and internally displaced persons: an overview. Refugee Survey Quarterly, 30 (4), 1-13.
Zetter, R. and Deikun, G. (2011) A new strategy for meeting humanitarian challenges in urban areas. Forced Migration Review, 38.
Zetter, R. (2011) Op-ed: Refugees in a period of globalisation. Jesuit University Unisinos, 23 May.
Zetter, R. (2010) Curtailing Freedoms, Diminishing Rights in Britains Asylum Policy – a Narrative of 'Them and Us. In: McCarthy M. (ed.) Incarceration and Human Rights, The Oxford Amnesty Lectures 2007. Manchester: University of Manchester Press. 42-48.
Zetter, R and Boano, C. (2010) Planned evacuations and the right to shelter during displacement. In: Kälin, W. Williams, R. C. Koser, K.and Solomon, A. (eds.) Incorporating the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement into Domestic Law: Issues and Challenges. Washington: Brookings-Bern and the American Society of International Law, Studies in Transnational Legal Policy No 41. 165-206.
Zetter, R. (2010) Protecting People Displaced by Climate Change: Some Conceptual Challenges. In: McAdam, J. (ed.) Climate Change and Displacement in the Pacific: Multidisciplinary Perspectives. Oxford: Hart Publishing, 131-150.
Zetter, R. (2010) Meeting humanitarian challenges in urban areas. Forced Migration Review. 34,5-7.
Zetter, R and Deikun, G. (2009) The role of legal and normative frameworks for the protection of environmentally displaced people. In: Laczko, F. and Aghazarm, C. Migration, Environment and Climate Change: Assessing the Evidence. Geneva: IOM.
Zetter, R and Boano, C. (2009) Space and place after natural disasters and forced displacement. In: Lizarralde, G. Davidson, C. and Johnson, C. (eds.) Rebuilding after disasters: from emergency to sustainability. London: Taylor and Francis.
Zetter, R and Boano, C. (2009) Gendering Spaces and Places for Forcibly Displaced Women and Children. In: Martin, S. and Tirman, J. (eds.) Women Migration and Conflict: Breaking a Deadly Cycle. Berlin: Heidelberg Springer.
Zetter, R. (2009) The role of legal and normative frameworks for the protection of environmentally induced people. In: Laczko, F. and Aghazarm, C. (eds.) Migration, Environment and Climate Change: Assessing the Evidence. Geneva: IOM. 385-44.
Zetter, R and Boano, C. (2009) Space and place after natural disasters and forced displacement. In: Lizarralde, G. Davidson, C. and Johnson, C. (eds.) Rebuilding after disasters: from emergency to sustainability. London: Taylor and Francis, 206-230.
Zetter, R and Boano, C (2009) Gendering Spaces and Places for Forcibly Displaced Women and Children. In: Martin, S. and Tirman, J. (eds.) Women Migration and Conflict: Breaking a Deadly Cycle. Heidelberg: Springer, 201-228.
Zetter, R. (2009) La securitizzazione e le politiche europee in materia di asilo e rifugiati, (The securitisation of aslyum and refugee policy in Europe). Mondi Migranti, 3, 7-28.
Zetter, R. Bloch, A .and Sigona, N. (2009) No Right to Dream: The Social and Economic Lives of Young Undocumented Migrants in Britain. A report commissioned by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.
Zetter, R. and Boano, C. (2008) Basic Shelter and Adequate Housing. In: Protecting Internally Displaced Persons A Manual for Law and Policy Makers. Brookings Institution-Bern University Project on Internal Displacement, 129-144.
Zetter, R. Boano, C. and Morris, T. (2008) Environmentally displaced People: Understanding the linkages between environmental change, livelihoods and forced migration.Oxford: Refugee Studies Centre. Policy Briefing Series, 1.
Zetter, R. (2008) Protecting environmentally displaced people: exploring the role of legal and normative frameworks. Forced Migration Review, 31, 62-63.
Zetter, R. (2007) More Labels, Fewer Refugees: Making and Remaking the Refugee Label in an Era of Globalisation. Special issue on Research Methodologies and Refugee Studies, Journal of Refugee Studies, 20 (2), 172-192.
Zetter, R. and Boano, (2007) C. Planned evacuations and shelter during displacement. Implementation of the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement in Domestic Law and Policy, an IDP Legislators Manual Project for Brookings-Bern Project on Internal Displacement.
Zetter, R. (2006) Immigration, Social Cohesion and Social Capital: What are the Links? monograph for Joseph Rowntree Foundation. York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
Zetter, R. Griffiths, D. and Sigona, N. (2006) Integrative Paradigms, Marginal Reality: Refugee Community Organisations and Dispersal. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 32 (5), 881-898.
Zetter, R. and Butina-Watson, G. (eds.) (2006) Designing Sustainable Cities in the Developing World. Aldershot: Ashgate.
Zetter, R. Griffiths, D. and Sigona, N. (2005) Social Capital or Social Exclusion? The Impact of Asylum Seeker Dispersal on Refugee Community Based Organisations. Community Development Journal, invited paper for special issue on community development with refugees. 40 (2), 169-181.
Zetter, R. (2005) Le Politiche di Integrazione dei Rifugiati. In: DAngelo, A. and Ricci, A. (eds.) Diritti Rifugiati in Europa – Politiche e Prassi di Integrazione dei Rifugiati. Rome: Relazion Internazionali, 41-71.
Zetter, R. (2005) Land, Housing and the Reconstruction of the Built Environment. In: Barakat, S. (ed.) After the Conflict: Reconstruction and Development in the Aftermath of War. London: I. B. Tauris, 153-172.
Zetter, R. Griffiths, D. and Sigona, N. (2005) Refugee Community Organisations and Dispersal: Networks, Resources and Social Capital. Bristol: Policy Press.
Griffiths, D. Zetter, R. Sigona, N. (2005) Integrative Paradigms, Marginal Reality: Refugee Community Organisations and Dispersal in Britain. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 32 (5), 881-898.
Zetter, R. (2004) Returning to Yerussalem: Exile, Return and Oral History. History Workshop Journal, 58, 296-306.
Zetter, R. Griffiths, D. and Sigona, N. (2004) Refugee Community Organisations - a new era. In Exile, 34, 15-16.
Zetter, R. and Hamza, M. (2004) Market Economy and Urban Change: Impacts in the Developing World. Earthscan.
Zetter, R. (2003) An Assessment of the Impact of Asylum Policies in Europe 1990-2000. Research Development and Statistics Directorate, UK Home Office. Social and Economic Research Publications Series, 259.
Zetter, R. (2003) Refugee Communities. In: Christensen, K. and Levinson, D. (eds.) Encyclopaedia of Community. Sage Publications 3, 1150-1155.
Zetter, R. (2003) Shelter Provision and Settlement Policies for Refugees: A State of the Art Review. Electronic reissue of 1995 monograph on Studies on Emergencies and Disaster Relief. Uppsala, Sweden: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet (The Nordic Africa Institute) and Swedish International Development Agency.
Zetter, R .and White, R. (2003) Planning in Cities: Sustainability and Growth in the Developing World. London: IT Publications.
Zetter, R and M Pearl, (2002) From Refuge to Asylum: Housing as an Instrument of Social Exclusion for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in the UK. In: Sommerville, P. and Steele, A. (eds.) Race, Housing and Social Exclusion. Jessica Kingsley.
Zetter, R. (2000) Asylum Seekers, Refugees and the Impact of Restrictionism in the UK. In: Vgenopoulos, G. (ed.) Population Movements and Development. Athens: Hellenic Centre for European Studies and Papazissis Publishers.
Zetter, R. (2000) From Complex Emergencies to Complex Reconstruction. In: Stenberg, K. (ed.) Recovery and Development after Conflict and Disaster. Trondheim: Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 67-82.
Zetter, R. and Pearl, M. (2000) The Minority within the Minority: Refugee Community Based Organisations in the UK and the Impact of Restrictionism. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 26 (4), 675-698.
Zetter, R. and Pearl, M. (1999) Sheltering on the Margins - Refugees, Asylum Seekers and the Impact of Restrictionism on Social Housing Provision in England. Policy Studies, 20 (4), 235-254.
Zetter, R. (1999) Conceptualising the Myth of Return - Protracted Exile and the Greek Cypriot Refugees. Journal of Refugee Studies, 12 (1), 5-21.
Zetter, R. (1999) International Perspectives on Refugee Assistance. In: Ager, A. (ed.) Contemporary Perspectives on the Experience of Forced Migration. Cassell, 46-82.
Zetter, R. and Pearl, M. (1999) Managing to Survive - Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Access to Social Housing. Bristol: Policy Press.
St Antony’s College
Losers of development-induced displacement and resettlement: uncovering broader developmental impacts of urban infrastructure projects in the Philippines
Green Templeton College
Environmental stress,health, and migration: A study of the Mekong Delta and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Co-supervised with Dr Peter Hornby (Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine)
Green Templeton College
Production of protection space: urban displacement and humanitarian action in cities
Co-supervised with Dr Patricia Daley (School of Geography and the Environment)
T: +44 1865 281702
Environmentally displaced people
Impact and costs of forced displacement
Unlocking crises of protracted displacement for refugees and internally displaced persons
Meeting humanitarian challenges in urban areas
MICROCON: a micro-level analysis of violent conflict
Mapping contemporary Roma mobilities in the EU
Protecting environmentally displaced people: developing the capacity of legal and normative frameworks
Environmental change and migration: Assessing the evidence and developing norms for response
An unsettled future? Forced Migration and Refugee Studies in the 21st Century
Unlocking Protracted Displacement of Refugees and IDPs: Somali and Iraqi displacements and policy responses