Migration Research Leaders' Syndicate

Click here to read and download the Migration Research Syndicate publicatio

In 2017, IOM invited the world’s leading migration researchers to join in sharing their expertise and knowledge in support of the 2018 global compact on safe, orderly and regular migration. We designed the Syndicate to take into account a range of factors, including the ambitious timeframe set for the global compact for migration, the wealth of expertise of leading academic and applied researchers working on a wide range of migration topics, and the substantial body of migration research and analysis currently existing globally that could usefully support global compact for migration processes. With this in mind, we asked Syndicate members to contribute in ways that reflected their leadership in migration research, their busy schedules and ongoing commitments.

As a first step, we asked Syndicate members to provide their ‘top three reads’ to inform discussions and negotiations ahead of the global compact for migration. In other words, we asked Syndicate members: “If you had the chance to provide only three pieces of research and analysis on aspects of (un)safe, (dis)orderly and (ir)regular migration to policymakers, what would they be?” A workshop was also held in late September 2017 with Syndicate members and advisors to refine ideas on some of the most complex and pressing issues in international migration today (please see link on the right-hand side of the page for more information). A final publication comprising Syndicate members' contributions was later launched during IOM's 108th Council, in November 2017.

In undertaking this targeted initiative, IOM strove for geographic and thematic diversity, with a focus on objectivity, neutrality and non-partisanship. Importantly, the views expressed by members of the Syndicate do not necessarily reflect those of IOM or any of its member states.


(in surname alphabetical order)


Professor of Demography, University of Tehran; Director, National Institute of Population Research of Iran

Mohammad Jalal Abbasi-Shavazi’s recommended top three reads:

  1. "Socio-cultural Adaptation of Second-generation Afghans in Iran" by Mohammad Jalal Abbasi-Shavazi and Rasoul Sadeghi (2014)
  2. "Theorising Return Migration: The Conceptual Approach to Return Migrants Revisited" by Jean-Pierre Cassarino (2004)
  3. "Environmental Concerns and International Migration" by Graeme Hugo (1996)


Director, Graduate Program in Immigration and Settlement; Professor, Department of Geography, Ryerson University

Harald Bauder’s recommended top three reads:

  1. "Sanctuary Cities: Policies and Practices in International Comparison" by Harald Bauder (2016)
  2. "Perspectives of Open Borders and No Border" by Harald Bauder (2015)
  3. "Domicile Citizenship, Human Mobility and Territoriality" by Harald Bauder (2014)


Leopold Muller Professor of Forced Migration and International Affairs, University of Oxford

Alexander Betts’ recommended top three reads:

  1. "Temporary Work Visas as US-Haiti Development Cooperation" by Michael Clemens and Hannah Postel (2017)
  2. "The Globalization of Migration? Has the World Become More Migratory?" by Hein de Haas and Mathias Czaika (2014)
  3. "'Yes!' In My Backyard: The Economics of Refugees and Their Social Dynamics in Kakuma, Kenya" by Apurva Sanghi, Harun Onder and Varalakshmi Vemuru (2017)


Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights, Harvard School of Public Health; Lecturer in Law, Harvard Law School; Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School

Jacqueline Bhabha's recommended top three reads:

  1. "Emergency within an Emergency: The Growing Epidemic of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Migrant Children in Greece" by Vasileia Digidiki and Jacqueline Bhabha (2017)
  2. "Recommended Principles to Guide Actions Concerning Children on the Move and Other Children Affected by Migration" (adopted June 2016)
  3. "Children on the Move in the 21st Century: Developing a Rights-Based Plan of Action" by Jacqueline Bhabha (forthcoming 2018)


Research Professor of Migration and Transnationalism Studies, Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)

Jørgen Carling's recommended top three reads:

  1. "'Keeping Them in Their Place': The Ambivalent Relationship Between Development and Migration in Africa" by Oliver Bakewell (2008)
  2. "Refugee Advocacy and the Meaning of ‘Migrants’" by Jørgen Carling (2017)
  3. "Root Causes and Drivers of Migration: Implications for Humanitarian Efforts and Development Cooperation" by  Jørgen Carling  and Cathrine Talleraas (2016)


Senior Professor and Researcher, Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO) Mexico

Rodolfo Casillas’ recommended top three reads:

  1. "The Dark Side of Globalized Migration: The Rise and Peak of Criminal Networks—The Case of Central Americans in Mexico" by Rodolfo Casillas (2011)
  2. "The Polysemic Use of Identity and Culture in International Migration: The Case of Central American Migration in Mexico" by Rodolfo Casillas (2016)
  3. "The Analytical Eye and its Urgent Update" by Rodolfo Casillas (2016)


Professor of Law and Coordinator, Migration and Human Rights Program, National University of Lanús

Pablo Ceriani’s recommended top three reads:

  1. "Principles and Guidelines on the Human Rights of Protection of Migrants in Vulnerable Situations within Large and/or Mixed Movements" by the Global Migration Group (2017)
  2. "Human Mobility: Inter-American Standards" by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (2015)
  3. "Language as a Migration Policy Tool" by Pablo Ceriani (2016)


Professor, International Law, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies

Vincent Chetail‘s recommended top three reads:

  1. "Migration and International Law: A Short Introduction" by Vincent Chetail (2016)
  2. "The Transnational Movement of Persons Under General International Law - Mapping the Customary Law Foundations of International Migration" by Vincent Chetail (2014)
  3. "Sources of International Migration Law" by Vincent Chetail (2012)


Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development

Michael Clemens’ recommended top three reads:

  1. "Immigrants' Effect on Native Workers: New Analysis on Longitudinal Data" by Mette Foged and Giovanni Peri (2015)
  2. "The 1956 Hungarian Refugee Emergency, An Early and Instructive Case of Resettlement" by Marjoleine Zieck (2013)
  3. "Does Development Reduce Migration?" by Michael Clemens (2014)


Vice Chancellor and Senior Professor, University of Colombo

Lakshman Dissanayake’s recommended top three reads:

  1. "Environmental Concerns and International Migration" by Graeme Hugo (1996)
  2. "The Process of Sri Lankan Migration to Australia Focusing on Irregular Migrants Seeking Asylum" by Graeme Hugo and Lakshman Dissanayake (2014)
  3. "Interlinkages Between Internal and International Migration and Development in the Asian Region" by Ronald Skeldon (2006)