Bios

Dr. Paula Banerjee specializes in issues of conflict and peace in South Asia.  She has published extensively on issues of gender and forced migration and on autonomy. She is author of the book When Ambitions Clash and editor of the book Women in Peace Politics. Banerjee has co-edited a book on Internal Displacement in South Asia (2005) and Autonomy Beyond Kant and Hermeneutics (2007). She has been working on themes related to women, borders and democracy in South Asia and has published extensively in journals such as International Studies and Canadian Women’s Studies on issues such as histories of borders and women in conflict situations. Banerjee is on the editorial board of a number of international journals such as Prachya and Forced Migration Review. Currently, she is the Head of the Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies, University of Calcutta.

Dr. Alexander Betts is the Hedley Bull Senior Research Fellow in International Relations at the University of Oxford, where he is also Director of the MacArthur Foundation-funded Global Migration Governance project and a Fellow of Wadham College. His research focuses on the international politics of migration and refugee protection, with a geographical focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. He is the author of numerous books, including UNHCR: The Politics and Practice of Refugee Protection into the Twenty-First Century (with Gil Loescher and James Milner, Routledge, 2008), Forced Migration and Global Politics (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), Protection by Persuasion: International Cooperation in the Refugee Regime (Cornell, 2009), Refugees in International Relations (with Gil Loescher, Oxford, 2010),  and Global Migration Governance (Oxford, 2011). His work has been published in a range of peer reviewed journals including Global Governance, Perspectives on Politics, International Journal of Refugee Law, Journal of Refugee Studies, and Refugee Survey Quarterly. His current book project, Survival Migration: Old Regimes, New Challenges, examines national and international institutional responses to people who flee an existential threat to which they have no access to a domestic remedy but who fall outside the dominant interpretation of the 1951 Convention, looking comparatively at responses to Zimbabwean, Congolese and Somali survival migrants within Sub-Saharan Africa. Outside of academia, he has worked as a consultant to UNHCR, IOM and the Council of Europe, and as an advisor to numerous governments and NGOs. He is spending 2010-11 teaching and researching at Stanford University.

Dr. Michael Collyer completed his PhD at Sussex, exploring recent developments in the Euro-Algerian migration system. He then held a Nuffield Foundation New Career Development Fellowship between Sussex and Abdelmalek Essaadi University in Tétouan, Morocco. He is currently in Sri Lanka, supported by a Marie Curie Outgoing International Fellowship, based at the University of Colombo. He was appointed to a Lectureship in Human Geography in September 2006. Michael is interested in the relationship between migrants and states. This leads to a particular focus on forced, temporary and undocumented migrations, the political organisation of Diaspora communities and the development of extra-territorial citizenship. Recent research projects have concerned undocumented migrants and refugees in Morocco, constructions of transnational space in the Moroccan Diaspora, and the resettlement process as experienced by refugees from Kenya in Brighton. His current research explores internal displacement, readmission and return in Sri Lanka.

Dr. Cindy Horst, Senior Researcher at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), is an anthropologist with a specialization in Forced Migration Studies. Her main work has focused on refugee livelihoods in protracted refugee situations, in particular exploring transnational aspects such as remittance sending patterns and migration dreams. She has also worked on migration-development links more generally for many years, including diaspora engagement with regions of origin. Cindy is the author of ‘Transnational Nomads’ (Berghahn, 2006), a monograph on how Somalis cope with refugee life in the Dadaab camps of Kenya, and her work has been published in the Journal of Refugee Studies; Conflict, Security and Development; the Refugee Survey Quarterly; Afrika Spectrum; Refuge and International Migration Review. She has led large research projects on protracted refugee situations, transnational engagements, and international humanitarian aid. Cindy is particularly interested in the methodological and ethical challenges of doing fieldwork among forced migrants.

Danesh Jayatilaka started his PhD focusing on post-conflict resettlement of IDPs at the University of Colombo in 2010. He is based at the University of Sussex due to winning a Commonwealth scholarship for a split-site doctorate. He was previously with UNDP and UNOCHA, involved with monitoring developmental projects and coordinating humanitarian activities in Sri Lanka. Besides his full time UN experience Danesh has worked at various capacities with the Consortium for Humanitarian Agencies, Brookings project on IDPs, IOM, GTZ, CARE, ILO, and USAID covering topics such as vulnerability analysis and protection, human smuggling, conflict transformation, peace building, and human trafficking. He has consistently presented his research findings at the various IASFM conferences since 2002 with latest areas of interest including new methodologies for IDP protection, the relief-recovery nexus, and streamlining developmental assistance for resettlement. Danesh has Masters and Bachelors degrees in Business Administration from Sri Lanka and the USA and received training on forced migration at the RSC in Oxford.

Martin Jones is a lecturer in international human rights law at the Centre for Applied Human Rights at the University of York (UK). He has previously lectured and served as a visiting researcher at Osgoode Hall Law School (Canada), Queen’s University (Canada), the Centre for Refugee Studies (Canada), the University of East London (UK), Georgetown University (USA), the University of Michigan (USA), the American University in Cairo (Egypt) and, most recently, the University of Melbourne (Australia). Martin is past chair of the IASFM’s 11th biennial conference in Cairo. He is managing editor of the journal Refuge.  Martin is a founding and active member of the Southern Refugee Legal Aid Network, its voluntary director of research and training and a consultant to refugee legal aid organizations in Cyprus, Egypt, Hong Kong, Jordan, Malaysia and Turkey. In 2008, he co-founded the Egyptian Foundation for Refugee Rights which provides legal aid to refugees and migrants in Egypt. He serves as the chair of the Legal Aid Working Group of the Asia Pacific Network for Refugee Rights, a regional coalition of over 100 NGOs, and sits on its steering committee. He has co-authored a textbook on refugee law in Canada and has published on various topics, including the interpretation of the definition of refugee, refugee status determination and the prohibition on refoulement to torture. His research interests include the reform of the governance of the international refugee protection regime, the interaction between international and national refugee law, and refugee law in Asia. He is currently working on a project funded by the US Institute for Peace to develop in partnership with local legal aid NGOs networks of pro bono lawyers to assist refugees in securing protection in eight jurisdictions in Asia.

Susan Kneebone teaches Forced Migration and Human Rights, International Refugee Law and Practice, and Citizenship and Migration Law in the Faculty of Law, Monash University.  She has organized many conferences and workshops on these issues, made submission to many public enquiries and frequently handles media enquiries.  She is the author of many articles on these issues and author \ editor of the following books:

  • Transnational Crime and Human Rights:  Responses to Human Trafficking in the Greater Mekong Subregion (Routledge 2012, forthcoming) (co-authored with Julie Debeljak)
  • Refugees, Asylum Seekers, and the Rule of Law:  Comparative Perspectives (Cambridge University Press, 2009).
  • New Regionalism and Asylum Seekers:  Challenges Ahead (Berghahn, 2007 – with F Rawlings-Sanaei).
  • The Refugees Convention 50 Years On:  Globalisation and International Law (Ashgate, 2003)

Dr. Susan Martin, the Donald G. Herzberg Associate Professor of International Migration, serves as the Executive Director of the Institute for the Study of International Migration in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University. A long-time expert on immigration and refugee policy, Dr. Martin came to Georgetown after having served as the Executive Director of the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform, which made its final report to Congress in September 1997, issuing recommendations to reform immigration policy, institute immigrant policies to help newcomers and communities in which they settle, reinvigorate U.S. leadership in refugee policy, and restructure the federal agencies responsible for implementing immigration policy. Prior to joining the Commission’s staff, Professor Martin was the Director of Research and Programs at the Washington-based Refugee Policy Group. Professor Martin has authored Refugee Women and The Uprooted: Improving Humanitarian Responses to Forced Migration, as well as numerous monographs and articles on immigration and refugee policy.

Dr. Susan McGrath is Director of the Centre for Refugee Studies and Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at York University. She serves as a member of the boards of the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture and the journal Refuge. Her research and writing focus on community work with vulnerable populations, including refugees. Current funded projects explore the impact of collective trauma on community practice with refugees, GLBTT and Aboriginal populations; examine social sustainability among newcomers in three Canadian cities; and, support the development of social work in Rwanda. Recently, she and colleagues in Canada and Sudan studied enterprise development needs in camps for the internally displaced in Southern Sudan and Darfur. Dr. McGrath is the principal investigator of a Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada Strategic Knowledge Cluster grant to support the development of Refugee Research Networks across Canada and globally.

Dr. John Nassari is senior lecturer in Refugee Studies and an international artist at the University of East London. His areas of research and expertise include refugee narrative, the study of refugee representations and memory and identity in protracted refugee situations. He has exhibited his practiced-based research nationally and internationally and is the director of PhotoInsight, an online art and theory website dedicated to issues in forced migration. John works with multidisciplinary approaches in Refugee Studies and has published widely on refugee representation, identity, memory and narrative. John’s recent work relates to the representation of Palestinian refugee narrative in digital archives. Dr. Nassari recent publications include, ‘The difficulties of archives: representing refugee identity ‘ in Kate Goodnow, (Ed) Museums, Refugees, Participation and New Media, Berghahn books: New York/Oxford (forthcoming), ‘Digitising Palestinian identity: Technobiographies and the problems of representation’, in Journal of Media Practice, Intellect, (2008) and ‘Postmemory blues: the predicament of arriving and returning,’ in Stephanos Stephanides, (Ed), Cultures of Memory, Memories of Culture, Cyprus: Nicosia Press (2007).

Moses Chrispus Okello first joined the The Refugee Law Project (RLP), Faculty of Law, Makerere University as a volunteer in 2000-2001. After completing his Master’s in International Human Rights Law and post Graduate Diploma in Forced Migration Refugee Studies at the American University in Cairo, he returned to the RLP as a Research & Advocacy Officer in January 2005 and is currently the Head of Research and Advocacy Department. He has led numerous field trips in districts throughout north, east and western Uganda and has contributed to a number of RLP publications. In addition, Moses has contributed book chapters as well as published in internationally acclaimed peer reviewed journals. Moses has also recently been asked to join the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Transitional Justice. Moses’ research interests include conflict analysis, forced migration, transitional justice and international human rights law more broadly.

Dr. Tara Polzer Ngwato is a Senior Researcher with the African Centre for Migration & Society at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. She has been conducting research and advocating on migrant and refugee rights in South Africa since 2002 and has a long-standing interest in social development and conflict transformation. Most recently, she has been focusing on evaluating social cohesion interventions in peri-urban settings, and studying policy responses to migration from Zimbabwe. Polzer Ngwato holds a PhD and an MSc in Development Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a BA from Cambridge University in Social and Political Sciences.

Paula Popovici is currently pursuing a PhD in Philosophy and a Graduate Diploma in Refugee and Migration Studies with the Centre for Refugee Studies, York University. She has double majored in Moral and Political Philosophy with the University of Bucharest and in Statistics in Economy with the Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest. Her current research is bringing together the philosophical understanding of the concept of violence and the reality of violence for women in conflict and post-conflict zones. Paula Popovici is also engaged in the development of the Refugee Research Network (www.refugeeresearch.net), both as a researcher and as the lead of one of its clusters: New Scholars Network. The New Scholars Network is dedicated to graduate students undertaking research in the field of forced migration studies and, also, to practitioners and policy makers in junior positions whose work is related to refugee and forced migration issues.

Ranabir Samaddar belongs to the critical school of thinking. His much-acclaimed The Politics of Dialogue was the culmination of his long work on justice, rights, and peace. His research has been on migration and refugee studies, the theory and practices of dialogue, nationalism and postcolonial statehood in South Asia, and new regimes of technological restructuring and labor control. His recent political writings published in the form of a two-volume account, The Materiality of Politics (2007), and The Emergence of the Political Subject (2009) have challenged some of the prevailing accounts of the birth of nationalism and the nation-state, and have signaled a new turn in critical postcolonial thinking. Earlier a professor in South Asian Studies, he is currently the Director of the Calcutta Research Group.

Dr. Roberto Vidal is Senior Lecturer at the Law School of the Jesuit University Bogotá, Colombia and Director or the Research Group on Legal Theory and Political Philosophy, Law and Migration Project. He has researched the legal issues around internal displacement in Colombia. Recently he has worked on advocacy of asylum seekers and legislation and public policy on human trafficking. At present, he leads a project of legal clinics for international migrants in Bogota. Vidal’s main subjects of interest include: critical theories of migration, law and migration, internal displacement law, refugee law, human rights of migrants, human trafficking and migrant smuggling, immigration law and practices, and legal agency by migrants.