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Global Development Institute

Migrants, refugees and asylum seekers

The migrants, refugees and asylum seekers research group (MRA) is an interdisciplinary research group that aims to contribute to understanding of the different dimensions, drivers and outcomes of human mobility.

Established in late 2015, the MRA is an initiative of the Global Development Institute that brings together a group of senior as well as early career researchers devoted to the study of different forms and dimensions of human mobility across the University of Manchester.

Our research agenda looks at both global patterns and outcomes of human mobility and local-personal stories of migrants and their journeys. Our research focuses on wider issues of migration, including how human mobility influences and is shaped by global and local processes of development and conflict, with particular emphasis on refugee movements, and how migrants journeys and experiences of welcome shape longer-term impacts of migration.

The MRA organises lectures, seminars and workshops in which academics, PhD students and other postgraduate researchers from across the University of Manchester explore multiple dimensions of human mobility.


Previous events

Critiquing categories in the study of migration

Thursday 28 April

This workshop explored the multiple ways in which forms of mobility and those who move are defined and categorised. It examined the historical emergence of labels such as ‘refugees’, ‘asylum seekers’, ‘displaced people’ and ‘economic migrants’, and explores how this terminology shapes contemporary discourses of migration.



Other academic members

Current PGR membership

  • Asieh Yousefnejad
  • Doireann Mangan
  • Faten Sabouni
  • María del Pilar Bohada Rodríguez
  • Pete Bjorklund
  • Rachel E. Smith