Department of Politics and Society

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, land-grabbing or poverty are the critical moving factors, GRS’s multi-disciplinary research capacity offers outstanding analyses of the relationship between large-scale political and economic processes and the lived experiences of people on the ground and their dreams for a better future.

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, be it by border control, humanitarian interventions or integration policies.

The vision is animated by the analysis that conflict, movement, the inability to move as well as forced displacement are intimately interconnected in an increasingly globalized world in which the majority live precarious and uncertain lives. GRS contributes with critical analyses, such as how the colonial encounter still shapes how we today relate to displacement and social hierarchies including, but not limited to, relations of race, gender, and class.

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.

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

Head of research Steffen Jensen

Phone: +45 9940 8313 

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Department of Politics and Society • Fibigerstræde 1 og 3, 9220 Aalborg East • Frederikskaj 10B, 2450 Copenhagen SV
Phone.: +45 9940 8192 • Email:
VAT no.: 29102384 • EAN no.: 5798000420656 • P numbers: Aalborg: 1003888237, Copenhagen: 1018019139