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Tom Scott-Smith

MA, MSc, MPhil, DPhil

RSC Director; Associate Professor of Refugee Studies and Forced Migration

Tom Scott-Smith is the Director of the Refugee Studies Centre, Associate Professor of Forced Migration, and fellow of St. Cross College, Oxford. He holds an MPhil and DPhil from the University of Oxford, an MSc from the University of London, and an MA from the University of Edinburgh. He was previously Lecturer in Politics at the University of Bristol and Senior Scholar at Lincoln College, Oxford. 

Tom specializes in the ethnographic and historical study of humanitarian relief. He is a BBC New Generation Thinker, and his book on the history of humanitarian nutrition, On an Empty Stomach: Two Hundred Years of Hunger Relief (published by Cornell University Press), won the Association for the Study of Food and Society book award in 2020. His latest book, Fragments of Home: Refugee Housing and the Politics of Shelter, will be published by Stanford University Press in 2024.

Before coming to academia, Tom worked as a development practitioner in the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa. Over the years he published widely in peer-reviewed journals, including American EthnologistSocial Studies of ScienceDevelopment and ChangeThird World QuarterlyHumanity, Refugee Survey Quarterly, Disasters, Development in Practice, and the Journal of Refugee Studies. Tom is general editor of the Berghahn book series in Forced Migration and he has an interest in film, producing a series of short documentaries about refugee shelter in Europe. His film Shelter Without Shelter (made with Mark E. Breeze) won the AHRC’s Research in Film Award in 2020.

Recent publications

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