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Alexander Betts

MPhil, DPhil


Leopold Muller Professor of Forced Migration and International Affairs

  • Director, Refugee Economies Programme

Alexander Betts is Professor of Forced Migration and International Affairs, William Golding Senior Fellow in Politics at Brasenose College, and Associate Head (Doctoral and Research Training) of the Social Science Division, at the University of Oxford. He served as Director of the Refugee Studies Centre between 2014 and 2017. His research focuses mainly on the political economy of refugee assistance, with a focus on Africa. 

He is co-author, with Paul Collier, of Refuge: Transforming a Broken Refugee System (Penguin Allen Lane and Oxford University Press, 2017), which was named by the Economist as one of the ‘Best Books of 2017’. His other books include Survival Migration: Failed Governance and the Crisis of Displacement (Cornell University Press, 2013), Protection by Persuasion: International Cooperation in the Refugee Regime (Cornell University Press, 2009), Mobilising the Diaspora: How Refugees Challenge Authoritarianism (Cambridge University Press, 2016), Global Migration Governance (Oxford University Press, 2012), Refugee Economies: Forced Displacement and Development (Oxford University Press, 2016), and Refugees in International Relations (Oxford University Press, 2011).

He is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, was named by Foreign Policy magazine in the top 100 global thinkers of 2016, and his TED talks have been viewed by over 3 million people. He has previously worked for UNHCR and has served as a Councillor on the World Refugee Council. His writings have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Guardian. He currently leads the IKEA Foundation-funded Refugee Economies Programme, which undertakes participatory research on the economic lives of refugees in Uganda, Kenya, and Ethiopia. He received his MPhil (with distinction) and DPhil from the University of Oxford. 

Key publications

Recent publications

More publications

Teaching

Alexander Betts teaches on the MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies. He is also Associate Faculty at the Blavatnik School of Government.

Alex currently supervises the following DPhil students: