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Global Development Institute

Migration, refugees and asylum

Migration, refugees and asylum

The challenge:

The movement of people has always been part of the human condition and a vital process for all human societies bringing change, solving some social challenges and introducing others.

The contemporary world is characterised by a high degree of mobility, making the different and often overlapping categories of people on the move important political and developmental actors.

This movement of people relates back to conceptual philosophical questions about the absence of universal rights in actual political space and notions of citizenship and belonging, as well as to important global development agendas, such as remittances and other more intangible transfers of people on the move, which make a major contribution to global development.

How we are addressing it:

Through the Manchester Migration Lab, we have been bringing our innovative research agenda into greater focus. Key themes under investigation include:

  • Contesting the politics of border-zones, borderscapes, encampment and containment through the lens of the post-colonial hegemonic world order.
  • Examining the journey – challenging the characterisation of migration from one place to another and exploring the significance of the adventure, trauma, transit and sojourn in shaping movement and its outcomes.
  • Investigating theoretical understandings of social transformation through empirical analysis of history, social relations and generations.
  • Examining changing notions of home and belonging in relation to geographical place and transnational social spaces.
  • Challenging top-down neoliberal economic approaches to migration through an exploration of agency and solidarity from below that includes entrepreneurship, rights and citizenship claims.


Research Projects

Our teaching agenda:

People and publications:

Click on the names below to read their latest publications or read the latest publications from the Global Development Institute.

There are several non-GDI colleagues who are also involved in the migration, refugees and asylum research group

Honorary Research Fellows 

PhD Researchers and Post-Doctoral Fellows

  • Angelica Fernandez Garzon - Overcoming Barriers in the Implementation of Colombian Inclusive Business
  • Pfavai Nyajeka - Using Mobiles in Low-Income Countries For Development: Women-Led Enterprises in Zimbabwe
  • Jiaying Li - The Impact of Financial Sector Development on Total Factor Productivity in Developing Countries
  • Ryo Seo-Zindy - Understanding Under-the-radar Innovation Communities in Developing Countries: A Case Study of Maker Movement in South East Asia
  • Hao Peng- The Impact of E-learning on Chinese Elementary Students
  • Luis Rivera Illingworth - Using microdata and big data to measure the digital divide
  • Bookie Ezeomah - Digital platforms disrupting agricultural value chains in Nigeria
  • Kaiyu Xu - The Ecosystem of Crowdfunding in China: An Illustrative Case Study of The Fund Operating Platform Of Ant Financial
  • Xinlun Jiang - Analyzing national policy for China's Fin-tech development
  • Basma Albanna - Leveraging Positive Deviance through the Use of Big Data
  • Qingna Zhou - The Research on the Application of E-commerce in Rural Enterprises: The Case of the Emerging Township and Village Enterprise (TVEs) in China

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