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Studying the question of how to rethink refuge and refugee protection from various angles, including politics, international relations, normative political theory, law, history, and anthropology

© C Rodgers
A busy street in Nairobi, home to many Somali refugees

In the context of various refugee crises including the European context, the Refugee Studies Centre conducted this Centre-wide project called ‘Rethinking Refuge’. The project involved scholars both from the RSC and outside, as well as policymakers and practitioners, in a debate on the reform of the global refugee regime and the role refugee studies can play within it. In doing so, the project bridges the gap between scholarly research and policy-making and contributes both to scholarly discourse and policy practice. In this interdisciplinary project, RSC members studied the question of how to rethink refuge from various angles, including politics, international relations, normative political theory, law, history, and anthropology. The goal of this project was to develop ideas to meaningfully engage with the challenges of forced displacement in the 21st century, particularly as concerns responsibility-sharing.

Key outputs include publications and events on the reform of global responsibility-sharing, including a commissioned study for the Swedish Delegation for Migration (Delmi) and a workshop with scholars and practitioners, as well as a new Rethinking Refuge website which offers an accessible way for policymakers to navigate and use the research of the RSC and others. This platform offers short, research-based articles aimed at rethinking refugee issues from various angles, including politics, international relations, normative political theory, law, history, and anthropology. The platform offers articles centred around different core themes of great relevance to the international refugee regime today: refugee protection, emergency and crisis, mobility, refugee agency, humanitarianism, and refugees’ economic lives.

Our team

  • Matthew J Gibney
    Matthew J Gibney

    Elizabeth Colson Professor of Politics and Forced Migration; RSC DIRECTOR

Rethinking Refuge website

Rethinking Refuge logoVisit the project’s website at www.rethinkingrefuge.org, with over 20 articles on topics such as refugee protection, refugees as actors, mobility, and humanitarianism.

Selected publications