What Does a Humane Infrastructure for Research Look Like?

Pleased to have taken part in the 2018 workshop on humanising forced migration research, which was held at the University of Oxford. Yolanda Weima and Hanno Brankamp’s Special Issue is now published in the Refuge Journal and Open Access!

My contribution discusses the harmfulness of creating research ‘hotspots’ and the difficulty to create humane institutional environments where ethical research can survive and thrive.

Enjoy, challenge, and digest the reading!

Access it Open Access here:



In this intervention, I make two main suggestions to humanize refugee research. First, the tendency to select“research hot spots” as field sites—where researchers tend to approach the same interviewees and spaces—should not only be called out and avoided but battled against. Second, I suggest that refugee research shouldcollaborate directly with other studies of social, political, and economic phenomena not in an effort to makedisplacement the sine qua non for doing research but, instead, only one of the many conditions a human beingcan inhabit within receiving societies. Pursuing this aim will be easier when studies on forced migration do notbecome compartmentalized and develop in isolation from other disciplines and research groups.

KEYWORDSrefugee research; humanization; ethics; research hot spots; interdisciplinary research; migration studies


Dans cette intervention, je fais deux suggestions principales pour humaniser la recherche sur les réfugiés.Premièrement, la tendance à choisir des«points chauds»comme terrains de recherche – où les chercheur.esapprochentsouventlesmêmesrépondant.esetlesmêmesespaces-doitêtrenonseulementdénoncéeetévitée,maisaussicombattue. Deuxièmement, jesuggèrequelarecherchesurlesréfugiésdevraits’effectuerencollab-oration directe avec d’autres champs d’études portant sur des phénomènes sociaux, politiques et économiquesafin d’éviter de faire du déplacement la condition sine qua non de la recherche, mais plutôt l’une des nom-breuses conditions qu’un être humain peut vivre au sein des sociétés d’accueil. La poursuite de cet objectif seraplus facile si les études sur la migration forcée ne se compartimentent pas et ne se développent pas en vase clospar rapport aux autres disciplines et groupes de recherche.

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