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South sudanese refugees nyumanzi uganda © UNHCR/Jiro Ose
South Sudanese refugees till the earth for planting at Nyumanzi refugee settlement, Uganda

Our Annual Report 2016–2017 provides details of all our research and activities over the past year.

The public focus on the European ‘refugee crisis’ has died down but rising populist nationalism has shaped the political landscape, threatening many governments’ commitments to support displaced populations. All this has occurred at a time when new crises have emerged around the world, from South Sudan to Yemen, and the United Nations is embarking on a process of reflection on whether and how to update the global governance of forced migration. Research has an important role to play: in challenging myths, reframing questions, providing critical distance, offering practical solutions, and upholding the value of evidence.

Over the past year, all of the permanent staff at the RSC have embarked on new and exciting research projects. Cathryn Costello received a prestigious European Research Council grant for a project called ‘Refugees are Migrants’, examining the relationship between mobility, recognition, and rights. Matthew Gibney has embarked on a project on ‘The Duties of Refugees’, exploring whether and how we should think about refugees as having obligations as well as entitlements. Tom Scott-Smith has begun work on ’Architectures of Displacement’ with an ESRC-AHRC grant, working with Mark Breeze who has joined us as a Research Officer. Alexander Betts also received ESRC-AHRC funding for a new project called ‘The Global Governed?, looking at refugees as providers of social protection, with Kate Pincock and Evan Easton-Calabria joining us as researchers on the project.

Our strategic partnership with the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs has allowed us to explore potential research avenues before applying for larger research grants. This is one of a number of partnerships we have developed, which are enhancing our capacity for both research and impact. Others include important collaborations with the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Deloitte, the World Food Programme, the Jesuit Refugee Service, and the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at UNSW Sydney.

One of the highlights of our year was our international conference on Rethinking Refugee Studies, which attracted over 200 participants from across the globe to speak in over forty sessions over two days.

Other highlights in the report are articles on our research on refugee economies in Kenya and on the local politics of the Syrian refugee crisis response in neighbouring countries.

Download the report here >> (pdf 4.2MB)