Robin Cohen

Senior Research Fellow

Emeritus Professor of Development Studies

Oxford Department of International Development

BA Witwatersrand, MSc London, PhD Birmingham, DLitt Warwick

Robin Cohen is Emeritus Professor of Development Studies, University of Oxford.  He has held full-time teaching appointments at the Universities of Ibadan, Birmingham, Warwick and the West Indies and short-term appointments at Stanford, Toronto and Berkeley.  He is Honorary Professor at the University of Warwick and Senior Research Partner at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Ethnic and Religious Diversity, Göttingen.

Robin Cohen is editor of the Routledge series on Global diasporas and of the Cambridge survey of world migration.  His books include Labour and politics in Nigeria (1974, rev. 1982), Endgame in South Africa? (1986), The new helots: migrants in the international division of labour (1987, 1993, 2003), Contested domains: debates in international labour studies (1991), Frontiers of identity: the British and the others (1994), Global diasporas: an introduction (1997, rev. 2008), Global sociology (co-author, 2000, rev. 2007, rev. 2013) and Migration and its enemies (2006).  He has edited or co-edited 21 further volumes, particularly on the sociology and politics of developing areas, ethnicity, international migration, transnationalism and globalisation.  His major works have been translated into Danish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese and Spanish.

He is Principal Investigator on the Oxford Diasporas Programme funded by the Leverhulme Trust (2011–5) a programme integrating eleven projects in seven university departments and research units.

Recent Publications


8    Migration and its enemies: global capital, migrant labour and the nation-state Aldershot: Ashgate 2006, pp. 252

7    Global sociology (with Paul Kennedy) Basingstoke: Macmillan and New York: New York University Press 2000, pp. 408. Basingstoke: Palgrave. Reprinted 2001, 2002, 2004. Japanese translation 2003. Second expanded and revised edition March 2007. NYU Press, September 2007. Third edition December 2012. Third US edition, March 2013. Korean translation 2009. Companion website

6    Global diasporas: an introduction London: UCL Press and Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1997 pp. 228. Reprinted 1999, 2000. Reprinted 2001 by Routledge. Japanese translation (Toyko: Akahi Shoten, 2001) by Komai Hiroshi. Greek Translation, with new preface, Athens: 2003 pp. 374. Revised second edition London and New York: Routledge, March 2008.


20  Migration and culture (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2011) edited with Gunvor Jonnson pp. 781

19  The creolization reader: studies in mixed identities and cultures (edited with Paola Toninato) London and New York: Routledge, 2009. pp. 416


3       (2013) ‘Islands, Diaspora and Creolization’ Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies Issued 2013, backdated 17 (1) 2008 pp. 124. (Guest-edited by Robin Cohen and Olivia Sheringham).

2       (2006) ‘Migration and Health in Southern Africa’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 32 (4), May 2006, pp. 181.  (Guest editor, Robin Cohen)


64     ‘The salience of islands in the articulation of creolization and diaspora’ Diaspora: a journal of transnational studies 17, 1 (2008), 6–17, published in 2013 (with Olivia Sheringham).

63     ‘Connecting culture and migration’ Introduction to Robin Cohen and Gunvor Jónsson (eds) Migration and Culture, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2011, pp xiii–xxxii (with Gunvor Jónsson).

62     ‘Cinematic representations of diaspora: Italians and Jews’ Crossings: Journal of Migration and Culture, 1 (1), 2010, 5–23 (with Lesley Marx)

61     ‘The creolization debate: analysing mixed identities and cultures’ in Robin Cohen and Paola Toninato (eds) The creolization reader: studies in mixed identities and cultures, London Routledge, 2009, 1–22 (with Paola Toninato)

60     ‘Solid, ductile and liquid: the changing role of homeland and home in diaspora studies’, in Y. Sternberg and E. Ben Rafael (eds) Transnationalism: Diasporas and the Advents of a New Dis(order), Leiden: Brill, 2009, pp. 117–34

59     ‘Sólidas Dúcteis & Líquida: noções em mutação de “lar” e “terra natal” nos estudios da diaspora’, Caderno CRH, Salvador, 21 (54) Sept-Dec, 2008, 519–32

58     ‘Creolization and diaspora – the cultural politics of divergence and (some) convergence’ in Gloria Totoricagüena (ed) Opportunity Structures in Diaspora Relations: Comparisons in Contemporary Multi-level Politics of Diaspora and Transnational Identity, Reno, Nevada, Center for Basque Studies, University of Nevada Press, 2008, 85–112

57     ‘Creolization and cultural globalization: the soft sounds of fugitive power’ Globalizations 4 (3) September 2007, 369–84

56     ‘The free movement of people: ethical debates before and after “9/11” in Christine Chinkin, David Downes, Conor Gearty and Paul Rock (eds) Sociology and politics of denial: crime, social control and human rights Essays in honour of Stanley Cohen, Cullompton, Devon: Willan Publishing, 2007, 211–225

55     ‘Diasporas: changing meanings and limits of the concept’ in William Berthomière and Christine Chivallon (eds) Les diasporas dans le monde contemporain Paris: Karthala and Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (Bordeaux, Pessac), 2006, 39–48.

54     ‘La liberté de circulation de devises et de personnes: les débats avant et après le 11 Septembre 2001’ Migrations Société, 27, 102, Nov-Dec 2005, 45-69

53     ‘Globalização, migração international e cosmopolitismo quotidiano’ in António Barreto (ed) Globalizaçõao e migraçõoes Lisboa: Instituto Ciencias Sociais, 2005, 25–43

52     ‘Reti di migranti transnazionali’ in Maddalena Tirabassi (ed.) Itinera: paradigmi delle migrazioni italiane Turin: Edizioni della Fondazione Giovanni Agnelli, 2005, 21-42

51     ‘Chinese cockle-pickers, the transnational turn and everyday cosmopolitanism: reflections on the new global migrants’ Labour, Capital and Society, 37 (2), 2004, 130-49

(includes short articles, review articles, translations, selected reprints and online publications)

121   ‘More Farage, more immigration’, Published online in Discover Society February 2015,

120   ‘For creolization, against diaspora, interlacing both’ Review article, Diasporas: a journal of diaspora studies, forthcoming

119   ‘Foreword’ to Daniel Conway and Pauline Leonard Migration, space and transnational identities: The British in South Africa, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014, vi–vii.

118   ‘Interview on mechanisms of identity construction in diasporas’ New Literary Observer (Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, Moscow, No. 127, September 2014

117   ‘Foreword’ to Gurminder Bhambra Connecting sociologies, London: Bloomsbury, 2014

116   ‘Stuart Hall: a memoir and a tribute’ Network: a newsletter of the British Sociological Association, 2014, 116, 22–3

115   ‘Migration and culture’, in Michael Keith and Bridget Anderson (eds) Ten years of migration studies: an anthology, Centre on Migration, Policy and Society, University of Oxford, 2014, 73–5

114   ‘Creolization in rural Louisiana’ Photo essay as part of a Creolization and Diaspora project, 2013

113   ‘Quotidian creolization and diasporic echoes: Resistance and co-optation in Cape Verde and Louisiana’ Working Paper 72, International Migration Institute, University of Oxford, July 2013 pp. 30 (with Olivia Sheringham)

112   ‘Introduction: Islands and Identities’, Diaspora: a journal of transnational studies, 17, 1 (2008): 1–5. Published in 2013 (with Olivia Sheringham)

111   ‘Robin Cohen and Khachig Tölölyan discuss diasporas.’ Video. 2012, 16 min.

110   ‘Alan Gamlen interviews Robin Cohen about the concept of diaspora’. Video, 2012, 37 min.

109   ‘Cinematic representations of diaspora: Italians and Jews’ in Robin Cohen and Gunvor Jónsson (eds) Migration and Culture, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2011, 185–203 (with Lesley Marx)

108   ‘On the move: the migration imperative’ in Global, issue 5, Jan 2011, an online magazine published in association with the Commonwealth Secretariat. Available from

107   ‘Emphatic beginnings: from culture contact to creolization’ Online contribution. Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic diversity,

106   ‘Foreword to Laurent Medea Réunion: an island in search of an identity, Pretoria, Unisa Press and Bordeaux: University of Bordeaux, 2010, pp. xix–xxi

105   ‘Social identities, diaspora and creolization’ in Kim Knott and Seán McLoughlin (eds) Diasporas: Concepts, Identities, Intersections London: Zed Books, 2010 pp. 69–73.

104   ‘Interview with Robin Cohen on “The Law of Success”’, Blog created by Haegwan Kim 2010

103   ‘Interview with Robin Cohen on the idea of diversity’, Max Planck Institute for Ethnic and Religious Diversity, 2010

102   ‘Towards a post credit-crunch politics: restoring a grand narrative’, Online comment, The Broker, posted 28 October 2008,

101   ‘Brain drain migration’ in Rashmi Ingle (ed) Globalization, economic development and brain drain Pune, India: ICFAI University Press, Feb 2008 pp. [reprint].

100   ‘Preface’ to Isabel Estrada Carvalais Postnational citizenship and the state: the political integration of non-national residents in Portugal, Lisbon: Celta Editora, 2007, ix–x.

99     ‘Solid, ductile and liquid: the changing role of homeland and home in diaspora studies’, Queen Elizabeth House, Working Paper No. 156, 2007, 1–17.

98     ‘Dismantling the heritage of apartheid in South Africa’s universities’ Indira Management Review 1 (1) February 2007, 31–39.

97     ‘Creolization’ in George Ritzer, (ed.) The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Sociology, Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2007, pp.

96     ‘Diaspora and migration’ in John Scott (ed.) Sociology: the key concepts London: Routledge, 2006, pp.

95     ‘Introduction: from fear to solidarity’ in Robin Cohen (Guest Editor) Migration and health in southern Africa special issue of Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 32 (4), May 2006, pp 561-7

94     ‘“Diaspora”: changing meanings and limits of the concept’ in John LaGuerre and Ann Marie Bissessar (eds) Calcutta to Caroni and the Indian Diaspora, St Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago: The University of the West Indies, School of Continuing Studies, 2005, pp.

93     ‘Preface’ to Chan Kwok Bun Migration, ethnic relations and Chinese business London Routledge, 2005, xi-xii

92     ‘Diaspora, the nation-state and globalization’ in Bruce Mazlish and Akira Iriye (eds.) The global history reader New York: Routledge, 2005, 92-103 [reprinted]

91     ‘Migration’ in Adam Kuper and Jessica Kuper (eds,) The Social Science Encyclopaedia London: Routledge 2004, pp

90     ‘Il mondo delle diaspore ci fa paura’ Reset (Rome) 84, July-August 2004, 75-8

89     ‘Quella ebraica, madre di tutti le diaspore’ Reset (Rome) 82, March–April 2004, 44–8