In this book review essay, Ingunn Bjørkhaug and Kristin Bergtora Sandvik explore the ideas, concepts and contributions coming out of three recent books from the Refugee Economic Programme at the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford: Refugee Economies (2017), The Global Governed (2020), and The Wealth of Refugees (2021).
These volumes have a “common focus on refugee economies, self-sustainability and self-protection, straddling two dominant issues in contemporary refugee policy: refugee agency and the calculus of whether refugees are burdens or benefits.” The review essay, “Refugees as Economic Agents in Protection Systems” published by the International Migration Review (IMR) critically examines these volumes, reflecting on their methodology, the use of buzzwords, and the politics of conceptual innovation.
Bjørkhaug and Sandvik “consider these volumes together because they, under the leadership of Alexander Betts, represent an influential, sometimes controversial, and extremely prolific research community within contemporary refugee and migration studies.”
Read the full review essay here. This is the first book review essay published by the IMR.
Ingunn Bjørkhaug is a Researcher at the Fafo Institute for Labour and Social Research in Norway. Kristin Bergtora Sandvik is a Research Professor at the Peace Research Institute Oslo and a Professor at the University of Oslo.