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portrait of Dr Christopher McDowell

Dr Christopher McDowell

Reader in International Politics

School of Arts and Social Sciences, Department of International Politics

Contact Information

Contact

Visit Christopher McDowell

D503, Rhind Building

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Postal Address

City, University of London
Northampton Square
London
EC1V 0HB
United Kingdom

About

Background

Dr Christopher McDowell, Reader in Political Anthropology

Dr Christopher McDowell has been at City University London since 2005 and is currently a Reader in Political Anthropology, and an International Involuntary Resettlement Expert. He has previously held positions at the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford, King’s College London, and Macquarie University in Sydney. Christopher was visiting Professor at the American University of Central Asia in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan in 2012. He is a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute.

Dr McDowell is also the Director of the Research Asylum in London project which seeks to promote knowledge about issues related to asylum in the UK capital, to disseminate latest research on asylum topics, and raise awareness about the response to asylum challenges on the part of Boroughs and other London authorities.

Christopher conducts research, engages in advisory work and teaches on the politics of forced migration, development-created involuntary resettlement security, and international politics. He has conducted extended periods of research in East and Southern Africa, Central Asia, and South Asia with a long term interest in Sri Lanka and Ethiopia.

Dr McDowell’s publications can be viewed on Google Scholar. The impact of some of his research was included in City University London’s recent REF submission which can be viewed here.

Christopher has undertaken consultancy and advisory roles for the Inspection Panel of The World Bank (involuntary resettlement in Ghana, Nepal), Government of Norway and the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre in Geneva (global non-conflict displacement), World Health Organisation, Asian Development Bank (involuntary resettlement in China, India, Cambodia), the UK Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor (environmental migration), AusAID/UNOCHA (humanitarian response to the East Timor crisis).

Dr McDowell sits on the University’s Access and Success Steering Group, and he has responsibility in the Department for International Staff and Student Exchanges, and Outreach

Research

Dr McDowell's most recent research, conducted in Kyrgyzstan, has examined Soviet collectivisation as a form of forced migration and involuntary resettlement to accelerate the socialisation of Kyrgyzstan's population, and the incorporation of the territory into the Soviet Union.

Dr McDowell's past research has focused on involuntary resettlement and its socio-cultural and political outcomes, and the governance of resettlement. He regularly advises UN agencies, development banks and governments on socio-political aspects of displacement. Dr McDowell specialises in South Asia and East Africa and has undertaken extended research in southern Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, India and China. Dr McDowell has been a member of the Independent Advisory Group on Country Information (IAGCI), located in the Office of the Chief Inspector of the UK Border Agency, since 2008.

Past publications include Understanding Impoverishment (1996), A Tamil Asylum Diaspora (1996), Risks and Responsibilities (2000), Catching Fire (2006), and Non-Conflict Displacement: Challenges for the 21st Century (2010).

The volume, Displaced: The Human Cost of Development, authored with Olivia Bennett, was published by Palgrave in 2012. It has just been awarded the Edgar Graham Book Prize 2013 by the Department of Development Studies at SOAS.

Doctoral supervision

Dr McDowell welcomes enquiries from students interested in doctoral research on issues related to asylum and refugees, involuntary resettlement, forced relocations, and political anthropology in general.

Publications

Books (7)

  1. Bennett, O. and McDowell, C. (2012). Displaced: The Human Cost of Development and Resettlement. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-230-11786-0.
  2. McDowell, C. and Morrell, G. (2010). Displacement Beyond Conflict: Challenges for the 21st Century. Oxford: Berghahn. ISBN 978-1-84545-772-3.
  3. McDowell, C.A. and Van Hear, N. (Eds.), (2006). Catching Fire: Containing Complex Displacement in a Volatile World. Lanham, Maryland: Lexington. ISBN 0-7391-0923-5.
  4. McDowell, C.A. and Cernea, M.M. (Eds.), (2000). Risks and Reconstruction: Experiences of Refugees and Resettlers. Washington D.C.: World Bank Publications.
  5. (1996). Understanding Impoverishment: The Consequences of Development-Induced Displacement. Oxford: Berghahn. ISBN 978-1-57181-927-7.
  6. McDowell, C. (1996). A Tamil Asylum Diaspora: Sri Lankan Migration, Politics and Change in Switzerland. Oxford: Berghahn Books. ISBN 978-1-57181-917-8.
  7. McDowell, C.A. and Ramphela, M. (Eds.), (1991). Restoring the Land: Environment and Change in Post-Apartheid South Africa. London: Panos.

Chapters (8)

  1. McDowell, C.A. (2014). Development Created Displacement. The Oxford Handbook of Refugee and Forced Migration Studies, OUP.
  2. McDowell, C.A. (2013). Researching Displacements. Researching Refugees and Asylum Seekers: Ethical Considerations Melbourne: Australian Academic Press.
  3. McDowell, C.A. (2013). Sri Lankan Tamil Settlement and Politics in Switzerland. Encyclopaedia of the Sri Lankan Diaspora Didier Editions.
  4. McDowell, C.A. (2006). Palestinian refugee repatriation. In Dumper, M. (Ed.), Palestinian refugee repatriation Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-0-415-38497-1.
  5. McDowell, C.A. (2006). Displacement, Return and Justice in the Creation of Timor Leste. In Hear, N.V. and McDowell, C. (Eds.), Catching fire Lanham, Maryland: Lexington. ISBN 978-0-7391-1244-1.
  6. McDowell, C.A. (2005). An Asylum Diaspora: Tamils in Switzerland. In Ember, C.R., Ember, M. and Skoggard, I. (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Diasporas Immigrant and Refugee Cultures Around the World Yale: Kluwer.
  7. McDowell, C.A. (2003). Privatising Infrastructure Development: ‘Development Refugees’ and the Resettlement Challenge’. Human Rights and Business: Dilemmas and Solutions, London: Greenleaf.
  8. McDowell, C.A. (1996). Understanding impoverishment. In McDowell, C. (Ed.), Understanding impoverishment Oxford University/Berghahn Books. ISBN 978-1-57181-927-7.

Journal Articles (10)

  1. McDowell, C. (2015). Rethinking displacement: Asia Pacific perspectives. ANTHROPOLOGICAL FORUM, 25(2), pp. 204–205. doi:10.1080/00664677.2014.943144.
  2. McDowell, C. (2013). Climate-Change Adaptation and Mitigation: Implications for Land Acquisition and Population Relocation. Development Policy Review, 31(6), pp. 677–695. doi:10.1111/dpr.12030.
  3. McDowell, C.A. (2012). Death to Sarts: A Complex Central Asian Insult. Anthropology Today, 28(6) .
  4. McDowell, C.A. (2011). Tamils in Switzerland: An Emerging Post-Asylum Community? Revue Hommes et Migrations, 1292 .
  5. McDowell, C. (2007). Ethnic origins: The adaptation of Cambodian and Hmong refugees in four American cities. ETHNIC AND RACIAL STUDIES, 30(5), pp. 938–939.
  6. McDowell, C.A. (2007). Beyond “Do No Harm”: The Challenge of Constructing Ethical Relationships in Refugee Research. Journal of Refugee Studies .
  7. McDowell, C.A. (2007). Development and Displacement: Institutionalising Responsibility. Development, 50(3) .
  8. McDowell, C.A. (2006). Mediterranean Solution? Chances of Success. International Journal of Refugee Law, 18(3) .
  9. McDowell, C.A. (2002). Transitions, State-Building and the “Residual” Refugee Problem: The East Timor and Cambodian Repatriation Experience. Australian Journal of Human Rights, 8(1) .
  10. McDowell, C.A. (2002). Involuntary Resettlement, Impoverishment Risks and Sustainable Livelihoods. Australasian Journal of Disaster and Trauma Studies, 2 .

Reports (4)

  1. McDowell, C.A. (2011). Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation: Implications for land acquisition and population relocation. London: BIS Government Office for Science.
  2. McDowell, C.A. (2007). Non-Conflict Displacement: A Thematic Literature and Organisational Review. Geneva: Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre.
  3. McDowell, C.A. (2006). Reflecting Asylum in London’s Communities – Monitoring London’s Press Coverage of Refugees and Asylum Seekers. ICAR and GLA.
  4. McDowell, C.A. Reporting Asylum: Results of a media monitoring study, analysing the portrayal of asylum seekers and refugees in the UK national, regional and faith/minority press, during January – March 2005. Information centre about Asylu.

Other Activities

Media Appearances (8)

  1. LTTE and Tamils in Europe. Radio Netherlands Worldwide
  2. Asylum in Transition. BBC Radio Eye on Wales
  3. Election Unspun – Panel of Experts. ITN 10.30 News
  4. Global Displacement: The State and the Refugee. openDemocracy (www.opendemocracy.org)
  5. Europe Raise Barriers to Asylum. Pacific News Service, US
  6. ‘Opinion: Compex jigsaw of asylum’. BBC UK News On-Line
  7. Refugee Resettlement. Europe Today, BBC World Service
  8. Asylum City Dispersals Suspended’. BBC News On-Line

Radio Programme

  1. The World Today. ABC Radio Iraq, Development and Criminality

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London EC1V 0HB

United Kingdom

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