Dr Neil J. W. Crawford


Neil is a Research Fellow in Climate Action in the School of Geography, leading work in Uganda on the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) funded project, Gender, Generation and Climate Change (GENERATE): Creative Approaches to Building Inclusive and Climate Resilient Cities in Uganda and Indonesia. They are a member of the Priestley International Centre for Climate, Leeds University Centre for African Studies (LUCAS), and Leeds Migration Research Network (LMRN).

Neil’s research interests lie in forced migration and displacement, refugee rights, climate justice and the inequalities of climate change, gender and sexuality, urbanism and cities, humanitarian politics, and East Africa.

Neil is the author of a number of publications, including The Urbanization of Forced Displacement: UNHCR, Urban Refugees, and the Dynamics of Policy Change, published in December 2021 by McGill–Queen's University Press. The book investigates the response of the world’s largest humanitarian organisation to the global movement of refugees from predominantly rural to predominantly urban settings. In 2021, Neil was commissioned as one of two Co-Editors of The Climate Connection: Cultural Relations Collection Special Edition, published by the British Council ahead of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland.

In 2022, with colleagues at Leeds, FOTEA Foundation and Uganda Press Photo Award, Neil began the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded project, Documenting Climate Change at the Margins. The project involved a two-month photography masterclass and has produced the book See Change: Visualising the Urban Climate Crisis, as well as an exhibition online and at the Uganda National Museum in early 2023. Additionally, they are Co-Editor of the forthcoming book Climate Justice in the Majority World: Vulnerability, Resistance, and Diverse Knowledges, which will be published by Routledge in August 2023 and be included in the flagship Routledge Advances in Climate Change Research book series.

Prior to joining the University of Leeds, Neil was a Postdoctoral Researcher in Climate Justice at Glasgow Caledonian University, Teaching Fellow in International Relations at the University of Leicester, and Visiting Lecturer in International Politics and Sociology at City, University of London. They were a Research Associate at the British Institute in Eastern Africa, University of Nairobi, and at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Neil previously managed and sat on the editorial board of the Routledge Studies in Climate Justice book series. They also served as an Associate Editor of the Political Studies Association’s journal, Politics, and were a Co-Convenor of the British International Studies Association’s Postgraduate Network.

Neil holds degrees from the University of Edinburgh, the University of St Andrews, and City, University of London. They are a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (Advance HE).

Research interests

Current research projects include:

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD, International Politics
  • MA, Academic Practice
  • MLitt, International Security
  • MA, History
  • BSc, International Politics

Professional memberships

  • Fellow, Higher Education Academy (Advance HE)

Student education

Available for undergraduate and postgraduate dissertation supervision in the areas of:

  • forced migration and displacement,
  • climate change and climate justice,
  • cities and urbanism,
  • gender and sexuality studies,
  • humanitarian politics,
  • international organisations and the United Nations.

Research groups and institutes

  • Social Justice, Cities, Citizenship
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>