Personal profile


Oliver Bakewell is a Reader in Migration Studies at the Global Development Institute, University of Manchester. His work focuses on the intersections between migration and mobility and processes of development and change, with an empirical focus on migration within Africa. He is the Research Co-ordinator on Migration and Development for the Research and Evidence Facility of the EU Trust Fund for Africa (Horn of Africa)

Prior to joining GDI, he spent over a decade at the Department of International Development at the University of Oxford. He was one of the founder members of the International Migration Institute and became Co-Director and then Director. Before taking up this role at Oxford, Oliver spent many years working with migrants and refugees both as a researcher and as a practitioner with a range of development and humanitarian NGOs. He holds a PhD and MSc in Development Studies from the University of Bath and a BA in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge.


From 2021, I am pathway lead for the MSc International Development: Migration, Mobility and Displacement. 

I convene the Semester 1 unit, Migration, Mobility and Displacement in the Contemporary World (MGDI60731) and contribute to the Semester 2 unit, Migration and Development (MGDI60742)

For course details see:

Supervision information

I welcome proposals for PhD research related to many different aspects of migration, mobility and displacement, especially in relation to developing regions. I am particularly interested in studies that critically examine the concepts, categories and theories that shape analysis and policy on mobility, transnationalism and processes of social change. 

Students supervised:

Current (UoM)

 Malte Skov   Nepal-Malaysia migration: Gender and Inequality

 Completed (University of Oxford DPhil)

 Solange Fontana (2020) Living in Difficult Places: Social Connections, Networks, Everyday Life & the (Re)production of Violence

 Greta Semplici (2019) Moving Deserts: Stories of mobilities and resilience from Turkana County, a Kenyan desertscape

 Geraldine Adiku (2019) The remittance debate reconsidered: interrogating transnational transfers between Ghanaian migrants in the United Kingdom and their relatives in Ghana

 Nanor Kareogozian (2016) Long-term diasporic return migration in post-Soviet Armenia: Balancing mobility and sedentarism

 Alpha Abebe (2016) Building the plane as you fly it: young diasporan engagement in Ethiopian development

Carolin Fischer (2015) Relations and agency in a transnational context: The Afghan diaspora and its engagements for change in Afghanistan


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global Development Institute


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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