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 RSC Conference 2017 Photos: top row left to right, exhibition space, Achim Steiner gives the Endnote Address, reception drinks, Audrey Macklin gives the Keynote Address; bottom row left to right, Filippo Dionigi presents, Alexander Betts opens the conference, Andrea Purdeková presents, O'Reilly Theatre.


Audio podcasts are available of most sessions at the conference - click on session title below for individual sessions. 

The conference playlist is also available on SoundCloud:

Thursday 16 March

Director’s Welcome

Alexander Betts, Director, Refugee Studies Centre

Keynote Address

Audrey Macklin, Professor and Chair in Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto

Resettler Society: The Canadian Model of Private Refugee Sponsorship

Session I

Theorising African Displacement

Nora Bardelli, RSC, University of Oxford: Malian urban refugees in Burkina Faso: integration and hidden statuses

Ayla Bonfiglio, UNU-MERIT/Maastricht University: Mapping refugee movements to Kenya, Uganda and South Africa

Sonja Fransen, University of Amsterdam: The constituents of reintegration of displaced populations in Burundi

Lucy Hovil, International Refugee Rights Initiative: With or without policy? Forging spaces for belonging

Susanne Jaspars, SOAS, University of London: Migration from Darfur: food insecurity, conflict and abandonment

Andrea Purdeková, African Studies Centre, University of Oxford: Beyond the crisis frame: the micro-politics of redisplacement and entrenchment in post-war Burundi

Chair: Alexander Betts, RSC, University of Oxford


Restricted Mobility of Extremely Vulnerable Migrants and the Creation of Safe Spaces

Aurélie Ponthieu, Médecins Sans Frontières: Humanitarian assistance in the context of the fight against irregular migration: challenges in meeting the needs of vulnerable migrants at borders

Kinga Janik, Hans & Tamar Oppenheimer Research Member, McGill University: The notion of extremely vulnerable migrants enshrined in the contemporary mixed migration phenomenon: do fundamental rights have a nationality?

Sandy Irvine, Wilfried Laurier University, and Sonal Marwah, Project Ploughshares: Acknowledging the impacts of interdiction: producing interdiction knowledge and policy change (video presentation and conference call)

Chair: Aurélie Ponthieu, Médecins Sans Frontières


Architecture, Urban Design and Refugee Shelter

Mark Breeze, RSC, University of Oxford: Architecture without building; building without architecture [not podcast]

John Edwards, Cape Craft and Design Institute: The relationship between space-making and the perception of place within two refugee camps on the Turkish-Syrian border

S Tahmineh Hooshyar Emami, Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL: Exploring in-betweeness: space of contradiction in refuge

Toby Parsloe, former MPhil candidate in Architecture and Urban Studies, Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge: The politics of architectural appropriation in the Berlin-Tempelhof refugee camp

Quirino Spinelli, IUAV, University of Venice: Spaces for refugees and asylum seekers in the European city: the case of Turin

Chair: Tom Scott-Smith, RSC, University of Oxford


Refugee Economies

Annika Kaabel, University of Kiel: Losing human(itarian) capital: analysis of labour potential of refugees arriving to Germany

Craig Loschmann, UNU-MERIT/ Maastricht University, and Katrin Marchand, UNU-MERIT/ Maastricht University: Determinants of labour market outcomes of Congolese refugees in Rwanda

William Monteith, International Institute for Environment and Development: Refugee economies and urban humanitarian response in Kampala, Uganda [not podcast]

Chair: Olivier Sterck, RSC, University of Oxford


Refugee Law and its Limits

Basak Cali, Hertie School of Governance, and Cathryn Costello, RSC, University of Oxford: The United Nations treaty bodies: an emerging soft enforcer of refugee law?

Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen, Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law: International refugee law in a post-liberal world

Stefan Schlegel, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity: A property rights approach to refugee law

Maximilian Scholz, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity: The struggle to define the refugee in Europe (1550-1700)

Chair: Cathryn Costello, RSC, University of Oxford


Rethinking Refugee Resettlement as Durable Humanitarian Governance

Adèle Garnier, Université libre de Bruxelles: Durable humanitarian governance, resettled refugees and work in Canada and Québec

Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert, Peace Research Institute Oslo: Humanitarianism, nationalism and economic interests: competing political discourses on burden-sharing in Norway

Kristin Bergtora Sandvik, Peace Research Institute Oslo: Governing resettlement: due process, uncertain duties and undue rights

Discussant: Naoko Hashimoto

Chair: Adèle Garnier, Université libre de Bruxelles


Technology or Technophilia in Refugee Studies?

Nora Danielson Lanier, COMPAS, University of Oxford: ‘It’s hard to get hard’: mistrust and the problem of bad news in humanitarian communication

Giorgia Dona’, University of East London, and Marie Godin, University of Oxford: Agency and mobile telephony among refugees at the Calais border [not podcast]

Victoria Jack, Independent researcher: Humanitarian communication: path to refugee agency or threat to refugee management?

Jamie Cross, University of Edinburgh, Sarah Lester, ODID, University of Oxford, and Charlotte Ray, University of Edinburgh: Renewable energy and the needs of refugees

Cory Rodgers, University of Oxford: Bottom-up energy: the politics of refugee infrastructure in Kakuma, Kenya

Chair: Roger Zetter, RSC, University of Oxford


Session II

The Need for Solidarity and Responsibility Sharing in Global Refugee Protection

Madeline Garlick, UNHCR: From rhetoric to practice: operationalising solidarity for refugee protection after the NY Declaration [not podcast]

Constantin Hruschka, University of Bielefeld: Solidarity as fairness: are there alternatives to the distribution model in the Dublin IV proposal?

Eleni Karageorgiou, Lund University: Solidarity as a value in refugee protection? Swinging from formal international law to capricious national politics

Violeta Moreno-Lax, Queen Mary Law School: Solidarity as a legal obligation and its role in international refugee law

Lilian Tsourdi, European University Institute: Solidarity at work? The prevalence of emergency-driven solidarity in the administrative governance of the Common European Asylum System

Discussant: Stephanie Motz, University of Luzern

Chair: Violeta Moreno-Lax, Queen Mary Law School


Deportation and Denationalisation

Matthew Gibney, RSC, University of Oxford: Banishment and the pre-history of deportation

Diletta Lauro, RSC, University of Oxford: Who belongs to the nation-state? Deportation and its constestations in the United Kingdom

Martin Lemberg-Pedersen, Global Refugee Studies: European deterrence and deportation of child refugees, past and present [not podcast]

Nassim Majidi, Sciences Po Paris / Samuel Hall: Deportation of unaccompanied minors: between autonomy and assistance (video presentation and conference call) [not podcast]

Chair: Matthew Gibney, RSC, University of Oxford


Beyond Eurocentrism: ‘Global Refugee Studies’?

Madeline-Sophie Abbas, University of Manchester: Dis/placing whiteness: decolonising refugee relations

Bonnie Cherry, University of California, Berkeley: The gift and the ghost: a transnational feminist reading of border security in Tohono O’Odham borderlands

Anna Wherry, The Johns Hopkins University: Forced migration in the ‘First World’: challenging the concept’s limit

Chair: Tom Scott-Smith, RSC, University of Oxford


Labour Market Impacts and Opportunities

Alexander Betts, RSC, University of Oxford: Thrive or survive? Explaining variation in economic outcomes for refugees

Gilles Spielvogel, OECD, Université Paris 1 - Panthéon-Sorbonne: An assessment of the impact of refugee flows on labour supply in European countries

Wolter Hassink, Utrecht University, School of Economics: The impact of the Syrian refugee crisis on firm entry in Turkey

Jean-François Maystadt, Lancaster University: The development push of refugees: evidence from Tanzania

Isabel Ruiz, COMPAS, University of Oxford, and Carlos Vargas Silva, COMPAS, University of Oxford: The impact of hosting refugees on the intra-household allocation of tasks: a gender perspective

Roger Zetter, RSC, University of Oxford, and Héloïse Ruaudel, Independent Researcher: Refugees’ right to work – legal and policy challenges and opportunities

Chair: Roger Zetter, RSC, University of Oxford


Children and Vulnerability

Samantha Arnold, Trinity College, Dublin: A children’s rights approach to the Refugee Convention

Melissa Gatter, University of Cambridge: Remaking childhood: humanitarianism and growing up Syrian in Za’atari

Annika Lems, Institute of Social Anthropology, University of Bern: ‘They only help some of us’: the slippery slope between vulnerability and vilification in the treatment of unaccompanied refugee Youth in Switzerland

Carly McLaughlin, University of Potsdam, Germany: Child asylum-seekers and the politics of childhood

Lena Sophia Opfermann, University of York: Beyond vulnerability: undocumented children’s performative agency

Chair: Maryanne Loughry, Jesuit Refugee Service Australia


Energy Solutions with both Humanitarian and Development Pay-offs: The Moving Energy Initiative and Beyond

Simon Collings, Director of Learning and Innovation, Energy4Impact: What can the humanitarian sector learn from the field of energy access? Findings from the Moving Energy Initiative

Fotini Rantsiou, Humanitarian Advisor, Lesvos, Greece: Obstacles and enablement factors for meeting refugee energy needs in Greece: the case of Kara Tepe

Glada Lahn, Senior Research Fellow, Chatham House: Jordan as a laboratory of change in the way humanitarian agencies use and think about energy and water

Chair: Sarah Lester, ODID, University of Oxford


Session III

Responsibility Sharing and Delivering as One: A Protection Based Approach to Solutions

Geoff Gilbert, University of Essex: UNHCR and delivering as one: the operationalization of interoperability

Guy S. Goodwin-Gill, University of Oxford: Responsibility-sharing by and for states

Jackie Keegan, UNHCR: Capacity building of states to promote inclusive rights-based responses [not podcast]

Chair: Cathryn Costello, RSC, University of Oxford


Refugee Crisis in Europe: Ripple Effects of Welcome and Deterrence

John Borton, Overseas Development Institute: The rise of ‘citizen humanitarians’ and ‘refugee helpers’ in Europe – where are they heading and what do they tell us about the international humanitarian sector?

Gonzalo Fanjul, porCausa/Overseas Development Institute: Migration deterrence in Europe: roots, manifestations and consequences of a growing industry

James Kisa, African Population and Health Research Centre (video presentation & conference call) [not podcast], and Karen Hargrave, Overseas Development Institute: Closing borders: the ripple effects of Australian and European refugee policy

Iakovos Michailidis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki: Greek refugees in the Middle East and Africa (1941-1946)

Chair: Jeff Crisp, RSC, University of Oxford and Chatham House


Eritrean Refugees: An Exceptional Case?

Milena Belloni, CeMIS, University of Antwerp: Emotion and decision-making: effervescence among Eritreans in transit

Lior Birger, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem: Intimate strangers: Eritrean men’s perceptions of sexuality

Diddy Mymin Kahn, A.R.T.S ( African Refugee Therapeutic Services): Surviving rape and the stigma of rape: Eritrean asylum seekers

Alebachew Kemisso, Addis Ababa University, and Jennifer Riggan, Arcadia University: Lessons from Ethiopia: an ethnographic investigation of the policy and politics of welcoming Eritrean refugees

Chair: Georgia Cole, RSC, University of Oxford


Forced Migrants in the Labour Market? Inclusion, Exclusion, Rights and Realities

Pieter Bevelander, Malmö University, Marc André Luik, Helmut Schmidt University, and Max Steinhardt, Helmut Schmidt University: The employment patterns of immigrants in Sweden: longitudinal evidence for refugees, family reunion and labour migrants (1997-2011)

Katharina Lenner, University of Bath, and Lewis Turner, SOAS, University of London: Making refugees work? The politics of labour market integration for Syrian refugees in Jordan

Mouna Maaroufi, Freie Universität Berlin: Precarious integration: the activation and flexibilisation of refugees on the German labour market [not podcast]

Lucy Mayblin, Warwick University: Asylum seekers and the right to work in the UK: policy making in the absence of evidence

Chairs: Katharina Lenner, University of Bath, and Lucy Mayblin, Warwick University


Redefining the Challenges of Mass Migration: The Role of Civil Society and Social Entrepreneurship

Ana Maria Alvarez Monge, Migration Hub Network: Civil mobility: the moral obligation taken by civil society

Alexandra Embiricos, Migration Hub Network gGmbH: An introduction to social innovation and migration

Mireia Nadal Chiva, Head of Community Development, ReDI School of Digital Integration: Co-creating impact

Elmedin Sopa, Refugee Law Clinic Berlin e.V: Imparting knowledge and free legal aid on asylum issues through student law clinics

Ghaith Zamrik, Bureaucrazy: A Syrian’s experience in Germany - from asylum seeker to social entrepreneur

Chair: Alexandra Embiricos, Migration Hub Network gGmbH


Higher Education and Youth

Elisheva Cohen, University of Minnesota: Education for inclusion? Refugee education policy in Jordan

Ashley Haywood, Kepler, Carolyn Tarr, Kepler, and Nina Weaver, Southern New Hampshire University: Rethinking refugee self-reliance through a lens of higher education

Torsten Janson, CMES: Learning, belonging, resisting: young Palestinians in higher education

Emma Bonar, University of Geneva – InZone, and Barbara Moser-Mercer, University of Geneva- InZone: Transcending boundaries and borders

Chair: Barbara Zeus, IMI, University of Oxford


Friday 17 March

Session IV

Borders and Forced Displacement: Interdisciplinary Perspectives in the Wake of the Syrian Refugee Crisis

Filippo Dionigi, Middle East Centre, LSE: Borders and civil war: lessons from the Syrian refugee crisis

Leïla Vignal, RSC, University of Oxford: The Syrian borders and borderlands: from the margins of the state to the emergence of new transnational spaces, the Syrian conflict as process of rebordering

Ann-Christine Wagner, University of Edinburgh: Unsteady frontiers, wild growth at the margins: cross-border and rural-urban displacement of Syrian refugees in the north of Jordan

Discussant: Professor Dawn Chatty, RSC, University of Oxford

Chair: Filippo Dionigi, Middle East Centre, LSE


Contemporary Debates on Refugee Resettlement

Adèle Garnier, Université Libre de Bruxelles: Power, politics and refugee resettlement: comparing Canada and Australia’s responses to the Syrian crisis

Naoko Hashimoto, University of Sussex: Reconceiving refugee resettlement in (unforced) migration studies

Suzanne Shanahan, Kenan Institute for Ethics, Duke University, and Catherine Ward, Kenan Institute for Ethics, Duke University: Civic engagement and resettled refugee youth

Marcia Vera-Espinoza, University of Sheffield: Understanding resettlement through refugee integration: paradoxes between the politics of humanitarianism and the politics of belonging

Chair: Marcia Vera-Espinoza, University of Sheffield


Practitioner Perspective: Frameworks to Address Situational and Embodied Vulnerabilities of Migrants

Sanjula Weerasinghe, International Organization for Migration: MICIC Initiative Guidelines to Protect Migrants in Countries in Crisis

Lorenzo Guadagno, International Organization for Migration: Including migrants in disaster risk management

Tiziana Bonzon, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies – IFRC: Smart practices that enhance resilience of migrants with Honduras as a case study

Heather Komenda, International Organization for Migration: Understanding migrant vulnerabilities and capacities: a framework for analysis and programming

Chair: Oliver Bakewell, IMI, University of Oxford


Ethical and Political Issues in Refugee Protection

Benjamin Boudou, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity: Giving shelter or granting rights? Refugees and the rhetoric of hospitality

Matthew Gibney, RSC, University of Oxford: The duties of refugees

David Owen, University of Southampton: Refugees and the politics of indignity

Robin Vandevoordt, Universiteit Antwerpen: The politics of food and hospitality

Chair: Matthew Gibney, RSC, University of Oxford


Protection and Norms: Understanding Commitment, Compliance and their Opposites

Shani Bar-Tuvia, International Relations Department, Hebrew University of Jerusalem: The diffusion of noncompliance: refugee policies of Western countries

Maja Janmyr, University of Bergen: Legitimising Lebanon’s rejection of the 1951 Refugee Convention

Christian Donny Putranto, UNHCR: Explaining the generosity of non-signatories to the 1951 Convention [not podcast]

Christina Velentza, Democritus University of Greece: European refugee crisis: explaining (non) compliance with refugee norms

Chair: Cathryn Costello, RSC, University of Oxford


What About Host Communities?

Gerhard Hoffstaedter, University of Queensland: Attitudes towards refugees in Malaysia: hospitality and fear

Craig Loschmann, UNU-MERIT/ Maastricht University: The labour market impact of refugee camps on host communities

Zsofia Nagy, Eötvös Loránd University: Host populations’ reactions to asylum institutions in Hungary

Caitlin Nunn, School of Applied Social Sciences, Durham University, and Raelene Wilding, La Trobe University: The role of rural and regional communities in hosting refugees

Chair: Georgia Cole, RSC, University of Oxford


Session V

Concepts of the Camp: Defining, Researching and Imagining Encampment in the 21st Century

Marie-Laure Basilien-Gainche, University Jean Moulin Lyon 3, Institut Universitaire de France: The undesirable ones and their encampment: the CAMPS Project

Irit Katz, University of Cambridge: Towards a new genealogy of the camp [not podcast]

Kirsten McConnachie, Warwick University: Camps as containment: a genealogy of the refugee camp

Simon Turner, Centre for Advanced Migration Studies, University of Copenhagen: Refugee camps as sites of depoliticisation and hyper-politics

Benjamin Thomas White, University of Glasgow: Humans and animals in a refugee camp: Baquba, Iraq (1918-21)

Chair: Tom Scott-Smith, RSC, University of Oxford


Refugees in International Relations

Elizabeth Campbell, U.S. Department of State: Leaders’ Summit on Refugees: outcomes and lessons learned [not podcast]

Anne Hammerstad, University of Kent: Global refugee policymaking in a time of resurgent nationalism

Adam Lichtenheld, University of California, Berkeley: Coercive displacement in civil wars: a research agenda

Chair: Alexander Betts, RSC, University of Oxford


Vulnerability Reconsidered

Ana Beduschi, University of Exeter: Vulnerability on trial: human rights courts approaches to the protection of migrant children’s rights

Mary Anne Kenny, Murdoch University: How is vulnerability defined and responded to?

Maryanne Loughry, Jesuit Refugee Service Australia: What does vulnerability look like in a crisis?

Matthew Willner-Reid, RSC, University of Oxford: No neutral arbiter? The role of organisational mandates in assessing comparative vulnerability levels in Afghanistan

Chair: Maryanne Loughry, Jesuit Refugee Service Australia


State Responsibility Beyond and Across Borders

Nikolas Feith Tan, DIHR/University of Aarhus: Judicial reactions to extraterritorial migration control and offshore processing [not podcast]

Pauline Endres de Oliveira, University of Gießen: From territorial to extraterritorial access to asylum – a necessary shift in paradigm for the CEAS?

Dana Schmalz, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity: Layered vs. alternative responsibility: the overlapping schemes of responsibility-sharing for refugees in Europe

Raluca Bejan, University of Toronto: The ‘East/West’ divide and Europe’s relocation system for asylum seekers

Chair: Pauline Endres de Oliveira, University of Gießen


Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Claims of Asylum in Europe

Carmelo Danisi, University of Sussex: The Italian case study

Moira Dustin, University of Sussex: The UK case study

Nuno Ferreira, University of Sussex: The SOGICA project and the EU/CoE Framework

Nina Held, University of Sussex: The German case study

Chair: Nuno Ferreira, University of Sussex


Outside the Box: Big Ideas in Refugee Studies

Alex Aleinikoff, Director of the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility, The New School: The arc of protection: toward a new international refugee regime

Rachel Landry, International Rescue Committee: Histories of race and racism: a blind spot in refugee studies

Etienne Piguet, University of Neuchâtel: The migratory crisis: a geohistorical interpretation

Martin Ruhs, COMPAS, University of Oxford: Welcome and deterrence: assessing alternative pathways to protection

Nicholas Van Hear, COMPAS, University of Oxford: Imagining Refugia

Chair: Alexander Betts, RSC, University of Oxford


Interdisciplinary Approaches and Syrian Refugees

Ali Ali, RSC, University of Oxford, and Fulya Memişoğlu, RSC, University of Oxford: Unpacking national and local policies towards Syrian refugees: views from Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey [not podcast]

Helen Mackreath, Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly, and Şevin Gülfer Sağniç, Boğaziçi University: Civil society and Syrian refugees in Turkey

Kristin Fabbe, Harvard Business School, Chad Hazlett, UCLA, and Tolga Sinmazdemir, Boğaziçi University: Violence and political attitudes: a study of Syrian refugees in Turkey [not podcast]

Josepha Ivanka Wessels, CMES Lund University: From a state of shock to agency in liminality: IDP camps inside Syria

Chair: Leïla Vignal, RSC, University of Oxford


Negotiating Citizenship, Inclusion and Exclusion in Forced Migration

Azza Ahmed Abdel Aziz, CEDEJ, Khartoum: The slippery slope of citizenship: Southern Sudanese in the landscape of Khartoum [not podcast]

Katarzyna (Kasia) Grabska, GMC, The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva: Negotiating citizenship and belonging in displacement: Nuer in Khartoum

Milena Belloni, CeMIS, University of Antwerp: Refugees and citizens: understanding Eritrean refugees’ ambivalence towards homeland politics

Cathrine Brun, Oxford Brookes University, Oroub El-Abed, British Academy-Council for British Research in the Levant CBRL, and Anita H. Fábos, Clark University: Abject citizenship: when categories of displacement collide with categories of citizenship

Chair: Matthew Gibney, RSC, University of Oxford


The Limitations of ‘Self-Reliance’?

Evan Easton-Calabria, Humanitarian Innovation Project, University of Oxford: Rhetoric and reality: refugee self-reliance historically and today

Claudena Skran, Lawrence University, and David Duncombe, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh: Promoting entrepreneurship and self-reliance in post-conflict refugee reintegration schemes - UNHCR and Sierra Leone

Lewis Turner, SOAS, University of London: Self-reliance under encampment? The markets of Jordan’s Syrian refugee camps

Barbara Zeus, IMI, University of Oxford: Refugees between humanitarian and development assistance: what education for unknown futures? [not podcast]

Chair: Evan Easton-Calabria, Humanitarian Innovation Project, University of Oxford


Redesigning Resettlement

Tommy Andersson, Lund University: Matching refugees in Swedish resettlement

Hillel Rapoport, Paris School of Economics, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne: International matching and tradable quotas

Will Jones, Royal Holloway, University of London, and Alex Teytelboym, INET, University of Oxford: Redesigning resettlement in the UK and the USA

Chair: Will Jones, Royal Holloway, University of London


Welcoming Refugees as a Humanitarian Act and/or as a Political Moment?

Simon Turner, Centre for Advanced Migration Studies, University of Copenhagen: ‘I’m not that kind of person’: post-humanitarian altruism in Denmark since 2015

Yasmine Bouagga, CNRS: The French refugee crisis and politics of dispersing

Cannelle Gueguen-Teil, RSC, University of Oxford: Encountering and countering hostility within the camp des Landes [not podcast]

Elisa Sandri, University of Sussex: Volunteer humanitarianism: volunteers and humanitarian aid in the Jungle Refugee Camp of Calais

Madeleine Trépanier, School for Advanced Studies in Social Science: British solidarities in Calais

Michel Agier, School for Advanced Studies in Social Science, Research Institute for Development: The returns of hospitality: a political mobilisation? [not podcast]

Chairs: Simon Turner, Centre for Advanced Migration Studies, University of Copenhagen, and Michel Agier, School for Advanced Studies in Social Science, Research Institute for Development


Endnote Address

Achim Steiner, Director, Oxford Martin School, former United Nations Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (2006-2016)

Disaster Displacement