Humanitarianism, Migration & Development

Humanitarianism, Migration & Development investigates the shifting needs of precarious populations both in a local context and for those who traverse global boundaries.

Our current moment is marked by rising awareness of humanitarian crises prompted by changing circumstances in the Global North and South.

These include the growing impact of global financial institutions, the changing nature of conflicts, environmental threats from climate change and ideological contestation about economic prosperity and in its neoliberal form, and increased acknowledgement of how these disproportionately effect women and children.

SGSC researchers work at the points of intersection between these tensions, developing sustainable and effective solutions and partnerships to address these complex problems locally and internationally.

Central to the Humanitarianism, Migration and Development program is a concern for the social implications of the increased movement of people. The United Nations estimated in 2019 that 272 million people are currently living outside their country of origin, including 8 million in Australia.

Some of this migration is seasonal or temporary. In other cases, people are displaced permanently, an experience which in turn shapes our understanding of many social and political phenomena, including issues of identity, belonging, multiculturalism and social cohesion.

Our work is framed by informed analysis of the relationship between the local and the global, macro and micro policies, endogenous and exogenous development, and relationships at the centre and the periphery to deliver innovative research that transforms lives.

Recent Publications


Spark, C. (2020), ‘Two different worlds’: Papua New Guinean women working in development in Port Moresby. Asia Pac. Viewp.. doi:10.1111/apv.12271

Spark, C. & Corbett, J. (2020) Fiamē Naomi Mata‘Afa: Samoa’s First Female Deputy Prime Minister, The Journal of Pacific History, DOI: 10.1080/00223344.2020.1713069

Grydehoj, A., Nadarajah, Y., Markussen, U. (2020). (In Press) Islands of indigeneity: Cultural distinction, indigenous territory and island spatiality In: Area, , 1 - 9

Research at the Social & Global Studies Centre

Find out more about conducting your transformative research for social justice here at RMIT's Social & Global Studies Centre.

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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer