Research team

  • Dr Lucas Oesch

    Lucas Oesch holds a PhD in development studies. His research is situated at the crossroads of political and urban geography, as well as of the interdisciplinary fields of refugee and migration studies, camp studies, urban studies, and development and humanitarian studies. His research topics include asylum, refugee camps and accommodation, urban refugees, citizenship, urban governance and planning, and humanitarian and development assistance. From 2016 to 2021, Lucas was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Luxembourg. There he led, developed and conducted research together with Léa Lemaire on the governance of asylum seeker reception centres in Luxembourg and Syrian refugee camps in Jordan. Previously, he conducted research on the urban planning and management of Palestinian refugee camps and informal settlements in Jordan, as well as on the production of refugee urban space in Lebanon in the context of the Syrian crisis.

    Lucas completed his doctoral thesis at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, and was a research fellow at the Universities of Manchester, Lyon, Neuchâtel and a research associate at the French Institute for the Near East (Jordan, Syria, Lebanon) and the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa). He was also a grantee of the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR) and of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). He also took part in a H2020 project funded by the European Commission. Lucas teaches courses in his relevant fields and gives regular talks in conferences and other events. He publishes his work in leading academic journals and books, and writes publications aimed at practitioners and the general public.

  • Dr Léa Lemaire

    Léa Lemaire holds a PhD in political science. Her research is situated at the crossroads of international political sociology and migration and border studies. She works on migration policies, and she focuses especially on camps and their infrastructures. Using multi-sited fieldwork, she studies the government of migration in Europe and beyond. From 2018 to 2021, she has been working as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Luxembourg. There she managed, developed and conducted research together with Lucas Oesch on the governance of refugee camps in Jordan and asylum seeker reception centres in Luxembourg. Previously, she conducted research on migration management at the border of the European Union. She focused especially on the detention of Sub-Saharan migrants in Malta, as well as on their relocation and resettlement from the island-state to other destination countries (EU member states and the United States).

    Léa completed her doctoral research entitled ‘Black and illegal at the border of Europe: from the construction of a myth to the emergence of transnational governmentality of migration. Malta-Brussels (2002-2013)’ at Sciences Po Aix and Université libre de Bruxelles. She received different awards for her PhD, such as the Mattei Dogan foundation Prize and the Alice Seghers Prize. Moreover, Léa has taught courses on European policies, multiculturalism, globalization and migration at the University of Lille and the University of Nice. She publishes her research in high standard academic journals, writes articles for the general public and regularly presents her work at academic conferences and other events.


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