Alexander Betts

Alexander Betts

(BA MSc MPhil DPhil)

Post:
Professor in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies, and Director of the Refugee Studies Centre, Department of International Development
Email:
alexander.betts@qeh.ox.ac.uk
Phone:
01865 281727
College:
Green Templeton College

Dr Alexander Betts is Professor in Refugee Studies and Forced Migration, and a Fellow of Green Templeton College. He was formerly Hedley Bull Research Fellow in International Relations. His research focuses on the international politics of refugees, migration, and humanitarianism, with a geographical focus on 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(with Gil Loescher, Oxford University Press, 2010), GlobalMigration Governance (Oxford University Press, 2011),UNHCR: The Politics and Practice of Refugee Protection (with Gil Loescher and James Milner, Routledge 2012), Survival Migration: Failed Governance and the Crisis of Displacement (Cornell University Press 2013), Implementation in World Politics: How Norms Change Practice (with Phil Orchard, Oxford University Press 2014). He is author of over 60 articles, book chapters and working papers. He has previously held teaching and research positions at Stanford University, the University of Texas at Austin, and Universite Libre de Bruxelles. He has also worked for UNHCR, and as a consultant to the Council of Europe, OCHA, UNDP, IOM, and UNICEF. He completed his MPhil (in Development Studies) and D.Phil (in International Relations) at the University of Oxford.

My main area of research interest is the international politics of refugee protection and assistance, with a secondary interest in humanitarianism and migration more broadly. Most of my fieldwork takes place in Sub-Saharan Africa. In this empirical work, I attempt to contribute to conceptual debates in International Relations relating to international institutions and transnational politics.

My initial research focused on international cooperation in the global refugee regime, attempting to identity the conditions under which North-South cooperation takes place to overcome longstanding refugee situations. This work resulted in the publication of Protecton by Persusion, which highlights the historially central role of issue-linkage in motivating donor state contributions to refugee burden-sharing. Building on this work, I received a $500,000 MacArthur Foundation grant for a project on the global governance of migration, which explored the institutional, political, and normative dimensions of migration governance across a range of areas of migration. As well as resulting in the edited volume, Global Migration Governance, the project enabled me to continue my work on the refugee regime and led to the publication of Refugees in International Relations, which explores the contribution International Relations theory can offer the study of refugees, and vice versa.

Supported by this project, and based on extensive fieldwork in Africa,Survival Migration explores the changing nature of cross-border displacement to examine how international institutions adapt at the national level to emerging challenges. Looking at displacement from some of the worlds most fragile states - Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, and Zimbabwe - it argues that the conditions under which the refugee regime adapts to meet the changing needs of displaced populations is shaped by national and local politics. Some of the conceptual ideas developed in the book are explored in a related edited volume, Implementation and World Politics, which examines how international norms translate from the global to the national and local levels.

I am currenty principal investigator on two main research projects, both of which relate to the changing nature of transational governance. First, the Humanitarian Innovation Project explores the role of the private sector and innovation in humanitarian governance. It looks at how private actors, technology, and innovation are reshaping humanitarianism at global, national and local levels - notably through extensive qualitative and quantitative research on refugees in Uganda. The project is funded with a $1.1 million grant from Stephanie and Hunter Hunt, and details are available at www.oxhip.org. Second, the Nation Outside the State: The Political Mobilisation of the African Diaspora project explores the process through which African diaspora engage in transnational political mobilisation, by looking at Rwandan and Zimbabwean transational communities . The work provides a theoretical recasting of how we think about the role of power within transnational networks. The project is funded by the Leverhulme Trust and the OUP John Fell Fund with a total of around $150,000.

Graduate:

Introduction to Refugee Studies and Forced Migration (MSc in Forced Migration);

International Relations and Forced Migration (MSc in Forced Migration);

The Politics and Practice of Humanitarianism (MPP);

Contemporary Debates in IR Theory (MPhil in IR);

International Relations of the Developing World (MPhil in IR).

 

Undergraduate:

International Relations (Core Paper);

International Relations of the Cold War (Optional Paper);

International Relations of the Inter-War Period (Optional Paper).

 

Professional:

Refugee Studies Centre Summer School;

International Institute of Humanitarian Law Course on International Refugee Law;

SaidBusiness School Executive Education.

Authored Books

Survival Migration: Failed Governance and the Crisis of Displacement (Cornell University Press, 2013)
UNHCR: The Politics and Practice of Refugee Protection (with Gil Loescher and James Milner, Routledge, 2012)

Protection by Persuasion: International Cooperation in the Refugee Regime (Cornell University Press, 2009)

Forced Migrationand Global Politics (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009)

 

Edited Books

Implementation in World Politics: How International Norms Change Practice (with Phil Orchard, Oxford University Press, 2014)

Global Migration Governance (Oxford University Press, 2011)

Refugees in International Relations (with Gil Loescher, Oxford University Press, 2010)

 

RecentBook Chapters

Betts, A (2014), From Persecution to Deprivation: How Refugee Norms Adapt at Implementation, in Betts, A and Orchard, P. (eds), Implementation in World Politics: How International Norms Change Practice (Oxford University Press).

Betts, A and Orchard, P (2014), The Normative Institutionalization-Implementation Gap, in Betts, A and Orchard, P (eds), Implementation in World Politics: How International Norms Change Practice (Oxford University Press).

Betts, A (2014), International Relations and Forced Migration, in Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, E, Loescher, G, Long, K, and Sigona, N (eds), The Handbook of Refugee Studies and Forced Migration (Oxford University Press).

Betts, A (2014), The Global Governance of Crisis Migration, in Martin, S et al (eds), Humanitarian Crisis and Migration (Routledge).

Betts, A and Freeman, G (2014), UK Immigration Policy Under New Labour: a Response to Randall Hansen in Controlling Immigration (Stanford University Press).

Betts, A, Bloom, L, and Omata, N (2014), Humanitarian Innovation and Refugee Assistance, in Brennan, K (ed) Making Global Institutions Work: Power, Accountability, and Change (Routledge).

Betts, A (2013), Global Migration Governance and the Migration Industry in Gammeltoft-Hansen, T and Nyberg-Sorensen, N (eds) The Migration Industry and the Commercialization of International Migration. (Routledge).

Betts, A (2012), UNHCR, Autonomy and Mandate Change, in Oestreich, J (ed), International Organizations as Self-Directed Actors (Routledge).

Betts, A (2011), The Refugee Regime and Issue-Linkage, in Koslowski, R (ed) Global Mobility Regimes (Palgrave MacMillan).

Betts, A (2011), The Implications of Global Migration Governance for UNHCR, in Koser, K and Martin, S (eds), The Migration-Displacement Nexus (Berghahn Books), forthcoming, Chapter 14.

Betts, A (2011), Global Migration Governance in Betts, A (ed), Global Migration Governance (Oxford University Press), Chapter 1.

Betts, A and Cerna, L (2011), The Global Governance of High-Skilled Labour Migration in Betts, A (ed), Global Migration Governance (Oxford University Press), Chapter 3.

Betts, A (2011), Global Governance of Migration and the Role of Trans-regionalism in Kunz, R, Lavenex, S and Panizzon, M (eds),Multilayered Migration Governance: Unveiling The Promise (Routledge), Chapter 1.

Betts, A (2010), International Cooperation in the Refugee Regime, in Betts, A and Loescher, G (eds), Refugees in International Relations (Oxford University Press), Chapter 3.

Betts, A and Loescher, G (2010), Refugees in International Relations in Betts, A and Loescher, G (eds), Refugees in International Relations (Oxford University Press), Chapter 1.

Betts, A (2010), Substantive Issue-linkage and the International Politics of Migration in

Bjola, C and Kornprobst, M (eds), Arguing About Global Governance (Routledge), pp. 85-100.

Betts, A (2008), Historical Lessons for Overcoming Protracted Refugee Situations in Loescher, G et al (eds), The Politics, Human Rights, and Security Implications of Protracted Refugee Solutions, Chapter 9, (United Nations University Press), pp. 162-186.

Betts, A (2006), Rethinking Durable Solutions, in Merheb, N (ed), The State of the Worlds Refugees, (Oxford University Press), Chapter 6, pp.128-144.

 

Recent Journal Articles

Betts, A (2013), Regime Complexity and International Organizations: UNHCR as a

Challenged Institution, in Global Governance, Vol. 19:1, pp. 69-81.

Betts, A (2011), Soft Law and Vulnerable Irregular Migrants, Georgetown Journal of

Immigration Law, Vol. 24:4.

Betts, A (2010), Survival Migration: A New Protection Framework, Global Governance,

Vol. 16:3, pp. 361-382.

Betts, A (2010), The Refugee Regime Complex, Refugee Survey Quarterly,

Vol. 29:2, pp. 12-37.

Betts, A (2010), Towards a Soft Law Framework for the Protection of Vulnerable

Irregular Migrants, International Journal of Refugee Law, Volume 22.2. pp. 209-236.

Betts, A (2009), Institutional Proliferation and the Refugee Regime, Perspectives

on Politics, March, Vol. 7.1, pp. 53-58.

Betts, A (2008), North-SouthCooperation in the Refugee Regime: The Role of

Linkages, Global Governance, April-June, Vol.14:2,pp. 157178.

Betts, A and Durieux J-F (2007), Convention Plus as a Norm-Setting Exercise

(With Jean-Francois Durieux), Journal of Refugee Studies, Vol. 20:3.

Betts, A (2006), Towards a Mediterranean Solution: Implications for the Region

of Origin, International Journal of Refugee Law, Vol.18:3, pp. 652-676.

Betts, A (2006), What Does Efficiency Mean in the Context of the Global Refugee

Regime?, British Journal of Politics and International Relations, Vol. 8:2, pp. 148-173.

Betts, A (2005), Should Approaches To Post-Conflict Justice and Reconciliation

Be Determined Globally, Nationally or Locally?, European Journal of Development

Research, Vol. 7:4, pp. 735-752.

Betts, A (2004), The International Relations of the New Extra-Territorial Approaches

to Refugee Protection, Refuge, Vol. 22:1, pp. 58-70.

Betts, A (2003), Public Goods Theory and the Provision of Refugee Protection: The

Role of the Joint-Product Model in Burden-Sharing Theory, Journal of Refugee

Studies, Vol. 16:3, pp. 274-296.

 

RecentWorking Papers

Bloom, L and Betts, A (2013), The Two Worlds of Humanitarian Innovation,

Refugee Studies Centre Working Paper.

Betts, A, Bloom, L and Omata, N (2012), Humanitarian Innovation and Refugee

Protection, Refugee Studies Centre Working Paper.

Betts, A and Jones, W (2012), The Transnational Exile Complex: How to Think

About Africa Diaspora Politics, Refugee Studies Centre Working Paper.

Betts, A., Prantl, J., Sridhar, D., and Woods, N. (2012) Transforming Global Governance

for the Twenty-First Century. Background paper for the United Nations Human

Development Report2012. New York: UNDP.

Betts, A (2010), Migration Governance: Alternative Futures, Background Paper

for IOMs World Migration Report, (IOM: Geneva).

Betts, A and Kaytaz, E (2009), National and International Responses to the

Zimbabwean Exodus: Implications for the Refugee Protection Regime,New Issues

in Refugee Research, Working Paper, (UNHCR: Geneva).

Betts, A (2009), Refugees and Development Assistance: Towards a North-South

Grand Bargain, Refugee Studies Centre Policy Brief No. 2 (RSC: Oxford).

Betts, A (2008), Towards a Soft Law Framework for the Protection of Vulnerable

Migrants, New Issues in Refugee Research, Working Paper No. 162, (UNHCR: Geneva).


Betts, A and Milner, J (2006), The Externalisation of EU Asylum Policy: The Position

of African States, COMPAS Working Paper, WP-06-35 (COMPAS: Oxford).


Betts, A (2006), Comprehensive Plans of Action: Insights from CIREFCA and the

Indochinese CPA, New Issues in Refugee Research, Working Paper no. 120, (UNHCR: Geneva).

Betts, A (2005), International Cooperation Between North and South to Enhance Refugee

Protection in Regions of Origin, Refugee Studies Centre Working Paper No. 25, (RSC: Oxford).

Betts, A (2004), International Cooperation and Targeting Development Assistance

for Refugee Solutions: Lessons From the 1980s, New Issues in Refugee Research, Working

Paper No.107, (UNHCR: Geneva).

 

Refugees; humanitarianism; migration; the United Nations; Africa.

Selected Publications