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 Centre for Climate Futures, Leeds University Centre for African Studies (LUCAS), and Leeds Migration Research Network (LMRN).

Neil’s research interests lie in forced migration and displacement, climate and environmental justice, refugee rights, 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. The book won the International Studies Association’s 2023 Distinguished Book Award in Ethnicity, Nationalism, and Migration, which “recognizes the best book published over the past two years in the study of the international politics of ethnicity, nationalism or migration”, and was a finalist for the Academic Council of the United Nations System’s 2022 Biennial Book Award.

Neil second book, Climate Justice in the Majority World: Vulnerability, Resistance, and Diverse Knowledges, will be published by Routledge in July 2023. The book features 12 chapters by over 30 authors and is part of the flagship Routledge Advances in Climate Change Research book series. 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 three-month photography masterclass and produced a photography book, See Change: Visualising the Urban Climate Crisis, as well as an exhibition’s online and at the National Museum of Uganda in early 2023.

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 and Teaching Assistant 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