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Alexander Betts

MPhil, DPhil

Leopold Muller Professor of Forced Migration and International Affairs

  • Director, Refugee Economies Programme

Alexander Betts is Leopold Muller Professor of Forced Migration and International Affairs and a William Golding Senior Fellow in Politics at Brasenose College. He received his MPhil (in Development Studies, with Distinction) and DPhil (in International Relations) from the University of Oxford.

His research focuses on the international politics of asylum, migration and humanitarianism with a geographical focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. He is author or editor of numerous books, including Protection by Persuasion: International Cooperation in the Refugee Regime (Cornell University Press, 2009), Refugees in International Relations (with Gil Loescher, Oxford University Press, 2010), Global Migration Governance (Oxford University Press, 2011), UNHCR: The Politics and Practice of Refugee Protection (with Gil Loescher and James Milner, Routledge 2012), Survival Migration: Failed Governance and the Crisis of Displacement (Cornell University Press, 2013), Implementation and World Politics: How International Norms Change Practice (with Phil Orchard, Oxford University Press, 2014), Refugee Economies: Forced Displacement and Development (with Louise Bloom, Josiah Kaplan, and Naohiko Omata, Oxford University Press, 2016), Mobilising the Diaspora: How Refugees Challenge Authoritarianism (with Will Jones, Cambridge University Press, 2016), and Refuge: Transforming a Broken Refugee System (with Paul Collier, Penguin Allen Lane, 2017).

Alex is author of over 50 articles, book chapters and working papers and his work has appeared in a range of peer reviewed journals including Global Governance, Perspectives on Politics, Journal of Refugee Studies, International Journal of Refugee Law, and Refugee Survey Quarterly.

He has worked for UNHCR and as a consultant to the Council of Europe, UNDP, UNICEF, IOM, and the Commonwealth Secretariat, and his work has been funded by, amongst others, the MacArthur Foundation, the Leverhulme Trust, and the Economic and Social Research Council. He has also served on the Executive Committee of the International Association for the Study of Forced Migration (IASFM) and has held teaching and research positions at Universite Libre de Bruxelles, the University of Texas at Austin, and Stanford University.

Key publications

Recent publications

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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: