Benjamin Etzold is a social geographer and migration scholar with more than 16 years of experience in studying people’s vulnerability and livelihoods, trajectories of migration and displacement, as well as informal labour relations and patterns of food security. He holds a PhD in Geography from the University of Bonn (2012). At BICC, he is currently leading the BMZ-funded project ‘Return and Belonging after Conflict-induced Displacement’ (ReMIG), and contributing to BMBF-funded collaborative project ‘Forced Migration and Refugee Studies: Networking and Knowledge Transfer’ (FFVT). He also recently completed a study on ‘Food Security and Conflict Dynamics in Northern Kenya’ (FooCo, 2022-2023). From 2019-2022, he led the interdisciplinary EU-funded research project ‘Transnational Figurations of Displacement’ (TRAFIG) as scientific coordinator. This project looked into the role of mobility and translocal connectivity for people in protracted displacement situations.
Benjamin published two books – ‘The Politics of Street Food. Contested Governance and Vulnerabilities in Dhaka's Field of Street Vending’ (2013) and ‘Illegalisierte Migration in der Flüssigen Moderne. Migration aus Afrika und die europäische Grenzsicherungspolitik`(2009) – and an edited volume – 'Environment, Migration and Adaptation. Evidence and Politics of Climate Change in Bangladesh’ (2015 with B. Mallick). His work has also been published in Population, Space and Place; Geographica Helvetica; Erdkunde; Die Erde; Geographische Rundschau; Climate and Development; Migration and Development; Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies; Comparative Population Studies; International Quarterly for Asian Studies; and in multiple books.
Research Topics / Key Expertise
Transnationalism and translocality
Countries Of Expertise
Benjamin studied geography, sociology, political science and development studies at the Universities of Stuttgart, Adelaide and Bonn. He worked in the geography department of the University of Bonn from 2007 until 2016, where he also obtained his PhD in 2012 with his research on the livelihoods of street vendors and political contestations in Dhaka, Bangladesh. During that time, he also did consultancy work for the United Nations’ University (UNU-EHS) and CARE, for whom he led a case study on rainfall variability, food security and human mobility in Bangladesh, and spent a few weeks to teach and conduct research at the University of Sussex in the UK. Since he joined BICC, Benjamin temporarily took on teaching positions as guest professor at the geography department of the Free University of Berlin (10/2020-03/2021) and at the geography department of the University of Innsbruck (05-06/2023). At BICC, he leads research at the intersection of forced migration and refugee studies as well as peace and conflict studies, and provides advice to governments, public bodies and civil society organisations.
Figurations of Displacement in and beyond Germany - Empirical findings and reflections on mobility and translocal connections of refugees living in Germany (TRAFIG working paper no. 10).
BICC , Bonn (2022)Open
Figurations of Displacement in and beyond Pakistan. Empirical findings and reflections on protracted displacement and translocal connections of Afghans (TRAFIG Working Paper No. 7)
BICC , Bonn (2021)Open
Figurations of displacement in and beyond Ethiopia. Empirical findings and reflections on protracted displacement and translocal connections of Eritreans in Ethiopia (TRAFIG working paper 5). Bonn: BICC.
In the shadow of the pandemic: Who has a right to mobility–and who doesn't? \ Im Schatten der Pandemie: Wer hat ein Recht auf Mobilität - und wer nicht? In BICC (Ed.), Annual Report 2020 (pp. 10–17). Bonn: BICC.
Policies should better support people trapped in long-term refugee situations. The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/policies-should-better-support-people-trapped-in-long-term-refugee-situations-141923.
How does European policy approach mobility for non-citizens?. OpenDemocracy. https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/beyond-trafficking-and-slavery/after-the-migration-crisis-the-eus-problematic-relationship-with-migration/#.
(Im)Mobilität im Kontext von Gewalt - Stand der Forschung und wichtigste Forschungslücken. Fluchtforschungsblog. https://blog.fluchtforschung.net/immobilitat-im-kontext-von-gewalt-stand-der-forschung-und-wichtigste-forschungslucken/.
Transnational Figurations of Displacement. Conceptualising protracted displacement and translocal connectivity through a process-oriented perspective (TRAFIG Working Paper 1/2019).
BICC , Bonn (2019)Open
AROMA_CoDa: Assessing refugees’ onward mobility through the analysis of communication data. In Proceedings of the data for refugee challenge workshop (pp. 70-82).
Boğaziçi University , Istanbul (2019)Open
Dynamic livelihood trajectories in translocal spaces. A journey through four rooms of livelihood studies. TransRe Blog "Connecting the Spots".
University of Bonn, Geography Department , Bonn (2017)Open