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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  News & Events  /  News  /  News Archive  /  2015  /  October 2015  /  Refuge in a Moving World

Refuge in a Moving World

Dr Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh to coordinate UCL-wide research network on refugee crises

Refuge in a Moving World

2015 has witnessed the largest mass migration of people to and in Europe since the Second World War, partly as a result of the ongoing conflict in Syria, which the UN had already referred to in 2013 as, “the most dramatic humanitarian crisis that we have ever faced”.

The crisis of protection characterising these processes of displacement is not confined to Europe or the Middle East. 2015 has also seen the consequences of the highest level of global forced migration ever recorded, with over 59.5 million people worldwide displaced internationally or internally by the end of 2014.

People seeking refuge from conflict and mass human rights violations, as well as poverty and persecution across the Middle East, North Africa , Central Asia and further afield, have crossed and resisted national boundaries both within and across these geopolitical areas.

States, civil societies and individuals find themselves increasingly affected by a series of interconnected conflicts and crises, with reverberations across all aspects of contemporary society.  Affective and aesthetic, as well as ethical and political questions have been posed by the images, narratives, testimonies and archives unleashed by these intersecting crises.

Cross-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary research is essential to develop a full understanding of, and a means of responding to, the human, material and representational effects of these crises.

The ‘Refuge in a Moving World’ network – a UCL Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) initiative in collaboration with the UCL Institute for Global Prosperity (IGP) – will bring together experts from across the college's research units, departments and faculties through research-led interdisciplinary events, including seminar series, workshops and public debates, to help us better understand the history, causes, experiences, representations and implications of these shifts in politics, people and perceptions.

Announcements for these and other initiatives will be posted by IAS, IGP and the Department of Geography’s Migration Research Unit over the coming weeks and months. In the meantime, those with specialist expertise or research interests in these issues, should contact Dr Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, Department of Geography (, and the Migration Research Unit.

See also:

Institute of Advanced Sudies:

Migration Research Unit:




Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh