Randall Hansen

Canada Research Chair in Global Migration

Tier 1 - 2017-10-01
University of Toronto
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council


Research involves

Analyzing the reasons for, and solutions to, historical and contemporary forced migrations around the world.

Research relevance

This research will develop critical insight and information for governments and policy-makers seeking solutions to the refugee crisis, and will bridge divides between the global north and global south.

Improving the Lives of Forcibly Displaced People

Forced migration has been one of the most tragic social and political issues of the last century, and the current global refugee crisis is no exception. There are an estimated 65 million forcibly displaced persons worldwide today, half of them children. Countries like Canada are called upon to find new solutions for thousands of these refugees.

Dr. Randall Hansen, Canada Research Chair in Global Migration, is a political scientist and international expert on voluntary and forced immigration. His innovative analyses and insights help shape academic debate, policy and public dialogue on migration, citizenship, decolonization and the effects of war on civilians. His current research examines the global refugee crisis from both historical and contemporary perspectives, asking and exploring questions like: Why do people flee? Why are they expelled? What can be done for them?

Specifically, Hansen and his research team are examining the history of forced migration during and after World War II, a period when great numbers of people were displaced. This analysis will form the first-ever migration history of that conflict. It will also yield a comparative framework that will help researchers explore possible solutions to the current global refugee crises.

By revealing the underlying reasons for forced migration and focusing on ways to integrate refugees in host countries through work, mobility and education, Hansen’s research is directly affecting human rights and immigration policy. Ultimately, it is improving the lives of people around the world who have been forced out of their home and countries.