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Global Development Institute

The Migration Lab

The Migration Lab was launched in January 2017 as a joint initiative between The University of Manchester’s Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute and the Global Development Institute.

It brought together the 70+ researchers who are working on migration issues across the University. In the years 2017-2018, the Migration Lab hosted a number of events and was engaged in a variety of activities that culminated in the major international conference, World on the Move: Migration, Society and Change in autumn 2017.

The Migration Lab had three main purposes: Firstly, it brought together researchers at The University of Manchester and beyond to discuss innovative research on migration, refugee-issues and asylum. Secondly, it fostered the creation of spaces for interdisciplinary and intersectoral dialogue about migration both within and beyond the University. Finally, it helped to promote the University of Manchester’s migration research to academic, policy and practitioner audiences.

The Migration Lab was founded by: 

Professor Uma Kothari, Migration Lab Co-Founder Uma Kothari is Professor of Migration and Post-colonialism at the University of Manchester’s Global Development Institute. Her research focuses on understanding the context, experiences and impact of historical and contemporary transnational movements of people. This work, based on empirical research, has focused on five areas: 1) migration, cosmopolitanism and urban change, 2) labour migration and unfree labour focusing on indentured labour and migrant workers in Export Processing Zones, 3) the relationship between mobility and immobility and the experiences of those who stay put in an environment characterised by out-migration, 4) climate change and population displacement and 5) representations of refugees and everyday humanitarianism.

Dr Tanja Müller, Migration Lab Co-Founder Tanja Müller is Reader in Development Studies at the Global Development Institute, and a founding member of the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute. She is the author of The Making of Elite Women. Revolution and Nation Building in Eritrea (Brill, 2005) and Legacies of Socialist Solidarity – East Germany in Mozambique (Lexington, 2014). Her most recent work interrogates activist citizenship as a politics of resistance among refugee populations in urban contexts, as well as celebrity humanitarianism, the visual representation of ‘development’, and the increasing lack of ‘ground truth’ in relation to the Global South. Tanja also leads a research project on the response of the business sector to the post-2015 arrival of refugees and migrants in Europe.

Professor Bertrand Taithe, Migration Lab Co-Founder Born in France, I obtained my Manchester PhD in 1992. After a Wellcome postdoc and a lectureship at the University of Huddersfield I have been back at The University of Manchester since 2000. My work is on the history of humanitarian aid, missionary and military medicine. A founder of the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute, I work closely with NGOs, in particular with MSF. My current work is on prolonged humanitarian emergencies and the history of humanitarianism. I have been editor of the European Review of History – revue europeenne d’histoire – since 1994 and the chair of Manchester University Press Editorial committee.

These agendas are now being continued within the GDI research group on Migration, Refugees and Asylum currently convened by Dr Tanja Müller.