Refuge: transforming a broken refugee system

Hosted by the International Growth Centre (IGC)

Old Theatre, Old Building,


Professor Alexander Betts

Professor Alexander Betts

Professor Paul Collier

Professor Paul Collier


Professor Silvana Tenreyro

Professor Silvana Tenreyro

At this event in which they will talk about their new book, Paul Collier and Alexander Betts will discuss how the world is facing its greatest refugee crisis since the Second World War, yet the institutions responding to it remain virtually unchanged from those created in the post-war era. As neighbouring countries continue to bear the brunt of the Syrian catastrophe, European governments have enacted a series of ill-considered gestures, from shutting their borders to welcoming refugees without a plan for their safe passage or integration upon arrival. With a deepening crisis and a xenophobic backlash in Europe, it is time for a new vision for refuge.

Going beyond the scenes of desperation which have become all too familiar in the past few years, Paul Collier and Alexander Betts will look to show that international policy-makers should be focussing on delivering humane, effective and sustainable outcomes – both for Europe and for countries that border conflict zones. Refugees need more than simply food, tents and blankets, and research demonstrates that they can offer tangible economic benefits to their adopted countries if given the right to work and education.

This event marks the launch of Refuge: Transforming a Broken Refugee System.

Alexander Betts (@alexander_betts) is the Leopold W. Muller Professor of Forced Migration and International Affairs at the University of Oxford, where he is also Director of the Refugee Studies Centre. He has written for the GuardianNew York Times and Foreign Affairs and appears regularly on news channels including CNN, Al Jazeera and the BBC. He has also given two TED talks, which have garnered over a million views. 

Paul Collier is the Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government. His book, The Bottom Billion, won the Lionel Gelber Prize, the Arthur Ross Prize awarded by the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Corine Prize. Collier has served as Director of the Research Department of the World Bank. His other books include The Plundered Planet and Exodus.

Silvana Tenreyro is Professor in Economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She obtained her M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University. She is currently Co-Director and Board Member of the Review of Economic Studies and Chair of the Women’s Committee of the Royal Economics Society. In the past, Tenreyro worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and served as external MPC member for the Central Bank of Mauritius; she was Director of the Macroeconomics Programme at the International Growth Centre; Chair of the Women in Economics Committee of the European Economic Association; Member at Large of the European Economic Association; Panel Member for Economic Policy; and Associate Editor for JEEA, the Journal of Monetary Economics, Economica, and the Economic Journal. She is a Lead Academic at the Centre for Macroeconomics, and Research Associate at CEP and CEPR. Her main research interests are Macroeconomics (and in particular Monetary Policy), Macro-Development, and International Finance.

The International Growth Centre (IGC) (@The_IGC) aims to promote sustainable growth in developing countries by providing demand-led policy advice based on frontier research.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSErefuge


A copy of Professor Alexander Betts's powerpoint presentation is available to download. Download 'Refuge: transforming a broken refugee system' (pdf).

Podcast & Video

A podcast and video of this event is available to download from Refuge: transforming a broken refugee system

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