Cindy Horst

Research Director and Research Professor, PRIO

Cindy Horst is Research Director of the Department of Social Dynamics and Research Professor in Migration and Refugee Studies at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO). Horst is an anthropologist with a specialization in Forced Migration Studies. Her current interests focus on conflict displacement and how refugees and IDPs access protection. Earlier work has analysed refugee livelihoods in protracted refugee situations, in particular exploring transnational aspects such as remittance sending patterns and migration dreams.

She has also worked on migration-development links more generally for many years, including diaspora engagement with regions of origin. Cindy is the author of ‘Transnational Nomads’ (Berghahn, 2006), a monograph on how Somalis cope with refugee life in the Dadaab camps of Kenya, and her work has been published inter alia in the Journal of Refugee Studies; Conflict, Security and Development; the Refugee Survey Quarterly; Afrika Spectrum; Refuge and International Migration Review. She has led large research projects on protracted refugee situations, transnational activities of refugees, and international humanitarian aid. Cindy is particularly interested in the methodological and ethical challenges of doing fieldwork among those displaced by conflict.

Selected publications:

Horst, Cindy & Tove Heggli Sagmo (2015) Humanitarianism and Return: Compromising Protection?, PRIO Policy Brief, 03-2015.

Horst, Cindy (2013) The Depoliticisation of Diasporas from the Horn of Africa: From Refugees to Transnational Aid Workers. African Studies 72 (2).

Horst, Cindy (2012) Chapter 2: Vulnerability and Protection: reducing risks and promoting security for forced migrants. World Disaster Report 2012. Geneva: International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (46–79).

Horst, Cindy (2012) The Livelihoods Approach. In: NRC Food Security Handbook. Oslo: Norwegian Refugee Council.

Horst, Cindy (ed.) (2010) Participation of Diasporas in Peacebuilding and Development. A Handbook for Practitioners and Policymakers. PRIO Report 2.

Horst, Cindy (2009) Expanding Sites: The Question of ‘Depth’ Explored Multi-Sited Ethnography. Theory, Praxis and Locality In Contemporary Social Research. (119–134).

Horst, Cindy (2008) The Transnational Political Engagements of Refugees: Remittance Sending Practices amongst Somalis in Norway, Conflict, Security and Development 8(3): 31–339.

Horst, Cindy (2008) A Monopoly on Assistance? International Aid to Refugee Camps and the Role of the Diaspora, Afrika Spectrum 43(1): 121–131.

Horst, Cindy (2008) “The role of remittances in the transnational livelihood strategies of Somalis”- In: van Naerssen, T. et al (eds.) Global Migration and Development. Pp. 91-110. Routledge: London

Horst, Cindy (2006) Buufis amongst Somalis in Dadaab: The Transnational and Historical Logics Behind Resettlement Dreams, Journal of Refugee Studies 19(2): 143–157.

Horst, Cindy (2006) Refugee livelihoods: Continuity and Transformations, Refugee Survey Quarterly 25(2): 6–22.

Horst, Cindy (2006) Transnational Nomads. How Somalis Cope with Life in the Refugee Camps of Dadaab, Kenya Berghahn: Oxford / New York


Carling, Jørgen; Erdal, Marta Bivand; Horst, Cindy (2012) How does Conflict in Migrants’ Country of Origin Affect Remittance-Sending? Financial Priorities and Transnational Obligations Among Somalis and Pakistanis in Norway, International Migration Review 46(2): 283–309.

Fadnes, Ellen; & Horst, Cindy (2009) Responses to Internal Displacement in Colombia: Guided by What Principles? , Refuge 26(1): 111–120.

Hammond, Laura; Awad, Mustafa; Dagane, Ali Ibrahim; Hansen, Peter; Horst, Cindy; Menkhaus, Ken; & Obare, Lynette (2011) Cash and Compassion: The Role of the Somali Diaspora in Relief, Development and Peacebuilding: Report of a Study Commissioned By UNDP Somalia.

Horst, Cindy(2007) Connected Lives: Somalis in Minneapolis Dealing with Family Responsibilities and Migration Dreams of Relatives Somalia: Diaspora and State Reconstitution In the Horn of Africa. : (89–101).

Web site:

Participates in these projects:

The protection of displaced Somalis: Humanitarianism and Displacement