Nicholas Van Hear

Nicholas Van Hear

Senior Researcher and Deputy Director

+ 44 (0)1865 274697

Nicholas Van Hear is a Senior Researcher and Deputy Director at COMPAS, primarily working on projects in the Flows and Dynamics cluster. With a background in development studies, he works on forced migration, conflict, development, diaspora, transnationalism and related issues, and has field experience in Africa, the Middle East, South Asia and Europe.

Before joining COMPAS when it was launched in 2003, he held senior research posts at the Refugee Studies Centre in Oxford (1990-2000) and at the Danish Centre for Development Research in Copenhagen (2000-2003). His books include New Diasporas (London: Routledge, 1998), The Migration-Development Nexus (Geneva: International Organisation for Migration, 2003), and Catching Fire: Containing forced migration in a volatile world (Oxford: Rowman and Littlefield, 2006).

He has been a consultant for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the European Commission, the UK Department for International Development (DfID), the UK Home Office, the UK National Audit Office, the Danish International Development Agency (Danida), and other international agencies.

DPhil Supervision

Areas of interest for DPhil supervision:

  • Diaspora
  • Transnationalism
  • Remittances
  • Forced migration
  • Migration and conflict
  • post-conflict recovery
  • Migration and development
  • Geographical areas: Sri Lanka, parts of West Africa, Somalia, parts of the Middle East, Afghanistan

Current students:

Recent Publications

Van Hear, N. (2014) ‘Reconsidering migration and class’, International Migration Review, 48: 100-121. Special Issue: International Migration in the 21st Century: Advancing the Frontier of Scholarship and Knowledge.

Brun, C. and Van Hear, N. (2012) ‘Between the local and the diasporic: the shifting centre of gravity in war-torn Sri Lanka’s transnational politics’, Contemporary South Asia, 20(1): 61-75. DOI: 10.1080/09584935.2011.646070

Van Hear, N. (2012) 'Forcing the Issue: Migration Crises and the Uneasy Dialogue between Refugee Research and Policy', Journal of Refugee Studies, 25(1): 2-24. doi: 10.1093/jrs/fer052

Charlsey, K., Van Hear, N., Benson, M. and Storer-Church, B. (2012) 'Marriage-related migration to the UK', International Migration Review, 46(4): 861-90. DOI: 10.1111/imre.12003

Van Hear, N. and Maunaguru, S. (2012) 'Transnational Marriage in Conflict Settings: War, Dispersal and Marriage Among Sri Lankan Tamils', in Charsley. K. (Ed.), Transnational Marriage: New Perspectives from Europe and Beyond, Routledge

'Shifting powers: two decades of migration and global turbulence', COMPAS blog, Oct 2011.

Van Hear, N. (2011) 'Diasporas, recovery and development in conflict-ridden societies', in Faist, T., Fauser, M. and Kivisto, P. (eds), The Migration-Development-Nexus: A Transnational Perspective, Palgrave Macmillan.

Van Hear, N. (2010) 'Diaspora and migration', in Knott, K. and McLaughlin, S. (eds), Diasporas: concepts, intersections, identities, Zed Books.

Van Hear, N. (ed.) (2010) 'Theories of Migration and Social Change', Journal of Ethnic and Migration Special Issue, Studies, Vol. 36. Number 10.

Full list of publications.


Nicholas Van Hear
The state of forced migration and the state of forced migration studies
Opening address, 12th International Association for the Study of Forced Migration (IASFM) Conference, 29th June 2009