In December 2012, the Refugee Studies Centre (RSC), University of Oxford, hosted its 30th Anniversary Conference on the theme “Understanding Global Refugee Policy”. The conference featured 65 papers, two plenary sessions, a background paper and a literature review that examined various aspects of the changing nature of refugee policy being made at the global level.
The conference was preceded by a day-long workshop entitled “The making, methods and movements of global refugee policy.” Supported by funding from the Refugee Research Network (RRN), the workshop included 10 papers that considered either the policy-making process within UNHCR or the relationship between global refugee policy and policy responses in specific regional or national contexts.
Many of the papers first presented at the workshop were subsequently published in a special issue of the Journal of Refugee Studies. Click here to read the introduction to the special issue.
An important conclusion from the workshop and the subsequent special issue was the need to support more critical, collaborative and comparative research on the making, implementation and evaluation of global refugee policy. Providing this support is the core objective of the Global Refugee Policy Network.
The Network is motivated by an understanding that, despite the prominence of global refugee policy, our understanding of the process through which these policies are made, implemented and evaluated remains surprisingly limited. In response, the Network seeks to encourage comparative and collaborative research on the global refugee policy process.
This website is designed to help support this kind of research by allowing researchers with an interest in this area to share their work, share resources, and learn about the work of others.
To this end, the first section of the website contains specific examples of global refugee policy, either in the form of UNHCR policies, Conclusions of UNHCR’s Executive Committee, or policies adopted by other decision-making bodies within the global refugee regime. These examples may help motivate future research into the process by which these policies were developed and approved, if and how these policies have been implemented in different contexts, and the extent to which there have been efforts to evaluate these policies.
The second section contains specific examples of GRP research, either generally on the theme of GRP or specifically in relation to the making, implementation or evaluation of particular examples of global refugee policy. Some examples of research have already been posted in these sections, but users are strongly encouraged to submit examples of their own research to be included in this section – especially work in progress. In this way, users of the site with shared interests in particular aspects of global refugee policy may learn more about the work of others working in this area. How has the implementation of a particular policy been understood in a different context or location? How can research on the making of a particular policy enter into conversation with work on its implementation?
Researchers looking to connect with others working on aspects of global refugee policy should also post a note on our collaboration forum.
Third, the website contains a section that outlines resources on different methodologies that have been used to examine the making and implementation of global refugee policy, drawing primarily from the December 2014 special issue of the Journal of Refugee Studies. Users are warmly encouraged to submit other suggestions and examples of their own work that engage with the methodological and ethical challenges associated with this area of work.
Most importantly, the final section provides contact details so that you can be in touch with ideas, contributions and suggestions for the future development of this site.