GRS - Global Refugee Studies

GRS works to foster and communicate a deeper understanding of what happens when the world is moved and people move within it. Whether conflict, natural disaster, climate change, or poverty are the critical moving factors, GRS’s multi-disciplinary research capacity offers outstanding analyses of the relationship between large-scale political or critical processes and the lived experiences of people on the ground. We explore the underlying dynamics of forced migration, the ways that refugees and marginalized maneuver, and the intersection between these groups and authorities’ attempt to curb, tap into, or manage these movements. 

"Kibativillagers" by Julien Harneis - Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

"I was on the outskirts of Kibati camp to oversee our emergency measles vaccination. It was in the same location as an ICRC WFP food distribution. We heard shooting the other side of the camp less than a kilometer away, single shots and automatic for about 15 minutes. People fled the distribution, ran to the camp picked up their belongings and hurried down the hill to Goma. A crowd gathered around an abandoned food truck and started to loot it until government military police came in to restore order. As we drove back more than 200 very tense government troops trudged up the hill, announcing worse to come."

GRS - Global Refugee Studies

The aim of the Global Refugee Studies (GRS) research group is to create new theoretical, empirical and methodological knowledge about the main causes and consequences of, and possible solutions to the problems of refugees and other victims of forced displacement. The normative and ethical premise is that such people in flight are human beings with serious problems rather than human beings as problems.

Relevant topics include the following:

  • Life as a forcefully displaced person
  • Repatriation, rehabilitation, resettlement and rebuilding local, national and regional communities
  • Refugee policies of various countries, including Denmark
  • Links between environmental factors (including climate change) and forced displacement
  • Links between armed conflicts and refugee flows
  • Humanitarian action and actors 
  • Refugee camps 
  • Diasporas

The group is multidisciplinary and its membership ranges from Political Science, International Relations and Law to Anthropology – and it is open to researchers from other academic disciplines.

The main output is publication via “academic” channels such as articles in peer reviewed journals and monographs, but the project also organises seminars and similar events as well as contributing to the public debate in Denmark and elsewhere. It also serves as the research foundation of the study programme Global Refugee Studies.

Contact GRS - Global Refugee Studies


Research Coordinator Steffen Jensen

Phone: +45 9940 8313

Email: sje@cgs.aau.dk

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