Centre on Migration, Policy and Society

The Centre on Migration, Policy, and Society (COMPAS) is a research centre associated with the Department of Anthropology. COMPAS research covers a spectrum of global migration processes and phenomena, from conditions in places of migrant origins, through to institutions and activities affecting mobility, to social and economic effects in receiving contexts.

War and conflict have been major drivers of migration, particularly since the end of the Cold War. Migration in conflict settings tends to be mixed, not least because poverty, inequality and conflict often co-exist; those who flee a country where conflict, persecution, discrimination and human rights abuse are rife, for example, may also be trying to escape dire economic circumstances – which may themselves feed into such conflict, persecution, discrimination and human rights abuse.

Additionally, the term ‘migrant' can encompass highly diverse types of people on the move, both within and between countries: among them are refugees and asylum-seekers and people who seek safety from conflict within their own countries.  Internal migrants driven by conflict or in search of opportunity may in time cross state borders and become international migrants.  

COMPAS researchers are exploring the mixed and multi-scalar nature of migration through research projects focussing on forced migration and labour markets; dynamics of migration of refugees fleeing conflict in the Mediterranean region; and diaspora formation and engagement in conflict and post conflict settings.


COMPAS research projects in this area include:

The Labour Market Impacts of Forced Migration (LAMFOR)
PI: Carlos Vargas-Silva

Unravelling the Mediterranean Migration Crisis (MEDMIG)
Oxford researcher: Franck Düvell

Diaspora Engagement in War-Torn Societies 
PI: Nick Van Hear
Researchers: Giulia LiberatoreLeslie Fesenmyer


Current DPhil students at COMPAS:
Morwari Zafar (research on diasporic engagement in counterinsurgency operations)


To find out more about upcoming events at COMPAS, please follow this link.