Alexander Betts

Professor of Forced Migration and International Affairs, Director of the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford

Alexander Betts is Professor in Forced Migration and International Affairs, Director of the Refugee Studies Centre, and a Fellow of Green-Templeton College at the University of Oxford. His research is on the  politicsand economics of refugees. He has undertaken significant field research across Sub-Saharan Africa. He is author or editor of numerous books, including Forced Migration and Global Politics (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), Protection by Persuasion: International Cooperation in the Refugee Regime (Cornell University Press, 2009), Refugees in International Relations (Oxford University Press, 2010, with Gil Loescher). Global Migration Governance (Oxford University Press, 2011), UNHCR: The Politics and Practice of Refugee Protection (Routledge, 2012, with Gil Loescher and James Milner), Survival Migration: Failed Governance and the Crisis of Displacement (Cornell University Press, 2013),  Implementation in World Politics: How International Norms Change Practice (Oxford University Press, 2014, with Phil Orchard), Mobilising the Diaspora: How Refugees Challenge Authoritarianism (Cambridge University Press, 2016, with Will Jones), and the forthcoming Refugee Economies: Forced Displacement and Development (Oxford University Press, 2016). 

He is author of many articles, book chapters and working papers and his work has appeared in a range of peer reviewed journals including Global GovernancePerspectives on PoliticsEthics and International AffairsJournal of International Relations and DevelopmentJournal of Refugee StudiesInternational Journal of Refugee Law, and Refugee Survey Quarterly. He has worked for UNHCR and as a consultant to a range of organisations including UNDP, UNICEF, IOM, OCHA, and the World Bank, and his work has been funded by, amongst others, the MacArthur Foundation, the Leverhulme Trust, and the Economic and Social Research Council. He has held teaching and research positions at Stanford University, the University of Texas at Austin, and the Universite Libre de Bruxelles. He appears regularly in the BBC, CNN, and Al Jazeera, and has written for the New York Times, the Guardian, and Foreign Affairs. He sits on UNHCR's "i Circle", has served as an advisor to the World Humanitarian Summit, and co-chairs (with UNHCR) the Solutions Alliance working group on Research, Data, and Performance Management. He is founding Director of the Humanitarian Innovation Project (, is a TED speaker, and was honoured by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader in 2016.

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