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Robin Cohen

RobinRobin Cohen Cohen is Emeritus Professor and Former Director of the International Migration Institute, University of Oxford.

He has held full professorships at the Universities of the West Indies and Warwick and taught also at the Universities of Ibadan, Birmingham Stanford, Toronto and Berkeley. He served as Dean of Humanities at the University of Cape Town (2001/3) and directed the nationally designated UK Centre for Research in Ethnic Relations at Warwick (1985/9).

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) and Migration and Its Enemies (2006). He has edited or co-edited 19 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. His research on creolization was funded by an Economic and Social Research Council Professorial Fellowship (2006–9).




  • Cohen, R. and G. Jónsson (eds.) (2011) Migration and Culture, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
  • Cohen, R. and P. Toninato (2009) (eds) The Creolization Reader: Studies in Mixed Identities and Cultures, London and New York: Routledge.
  • Cohen, R. (2006) Migration and its Enemies: Global Capital, Migrant Labour and the Nation-state, Aldershot: Ashgate.
  • Cohen, R. and S. Vertovec (eds) (1999) Migration, Diasporas and Transnationalism, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
  • Cohen, R. and Z. Layton-Henry (1998) Politics and Migration, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
  • Cohen, R. (1997) Global Diasporas: an Introduction, London: UCL Press and Seattle: University of Washington Press. 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.
  • Cohen, R. (1996) Theories of Migration, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
  • Cohen, R. (1996) The Sociology of Migration, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
  • Cohen, R. (1995) Cambridge Survey of World Migration, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Reprinted in paperback in 2010.
  • Cohen, R. (1994) Frontiers of Identity: the British and the Others, London: Longman, and New York: Addison Wesley.
  • Cohen, R. (1991) Contested Domains: Debates in International Labour Studies, London: Zed Press.
  • Cohen, R. and D. Joly and contributor (eds) (1990) Reluctant Hosts: Europe and its Refugees, Aldershot: Avebury/Gower Publishing Group. Reprinted 1993.
  • Cohen, R. (1987) The New Helots: Migrants in the International Division of Labour, Aldershot: Avebury/Gower Publishing Group. Paperback edition Gower, 1988; Japanese translation, 1989; reprinted 1993, 2003.

Selected other publications (since 2000)

  • Cohen, R. and Sheringham, O. (2008, published 2013) Introduction: Islands and Identities in Cohen, R. and Sheringham, O. (eds.) Special Issue: Islands, Diaspora, and Creolization. Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies, 17 (1): 1–5.
  • Cohen, R. and Sheringham, O. (2008, published 2013) The salience of islands in the articulation of creolization and diaspora. Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies, 17 (1): 6–17.
  • Cohen, R. (2010) ‘Interview with Robin Cohen on the idea of diversity’, Max Planck Institute for Ethnic and Religious Diversity,
  • Cohen, R. (2010) ‘Social identities, diaspora and creolization’, in K. Knott and S. McLoughlin (eds) Diasporas: Concepts, Identities, Intersections, London: Zed Books.
  • Cohen, R. and L. Marx (2010) ‘Cinematic representations of diaspora: Italians and Jews’, Crossings: Journal of Migration and Culture 1(1): 5–23.
  • Cohen, R. and P. Toninato (2009) ‘The creolization debate: analysing mixed identities and cultures’, in R. Cohen and P. Toninato (eds) The Creolization Reader: Studies in Mixed Identities and Cultures, London: Routledge.
  • R. Cohen (2009) ‘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. ‘Sólidas Dúcteis & Líquida: noções em mutação de “lar” e “terra natal” nos estudios da diaspora’, Caderno CRH, Salvador, 21 (54) Sept-Dec, 2008, pp 519–32.
  • R. Cohen (2008) ‘Creolization and diaspora the cultural politics of divergence and (some) convergence’, in G. 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.
  • R. Cohen (2007) ‘Creolization and cultural globalization: the soft sounds of fugitive power’, Globalizations 4(3): 369–84.
  • R. Cohen (2007) ‘The free movement of people: ethical debates before and after “9/11”, in C. Chinkin, D. Downes, C. Gearty and P. Rock (eds) Sociology and Politics of Denial: Crime, Social Control and Human Rights, Essays in honour of Stanley Cohen, Cullompton, Devon: Willan Publishing.
  • R. Cohen (2007) ‘Preface’ to Isabel Estrada Carvalais, Postnational Citizenship and the State: the Political Integration of Non-national Residents in Portugal, Lisbon: Celta Editora.
  • R. Cohen (2006) Diaspora and migration’, in J.Scott (ed) Sociology: the Key Concepts, London: Routledge.
  • R. Cohen (2006) ‘Diasporas: changing meanings and limits of the concept’, in W. Berthomière and C. Chivallon (eds) Les diasporas dans le monde contemporain, Paris: Karthala and Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (Bordeaux, Pessac).
  • R. Cohen (2005) ‘La liberté de circulation de devises et de personnes: les débats avant et après le 11 Septembre 2001’, Migrations Société 27(102).
  • R. Cohen (2005) ‘Globalization, cosmopolitanism and everyday life’, in A. Barreto (ed) Globalizaçõao e migraçõoes, Lisboa: Instituto Ciencias Sociais.
  • R. Cohen (2005) ‘Reti di migranti transnazionali’, in M. Tirabassi (ed) Itinera: paradigmi delle migrazioni italiane, Turin: Edizioni della Fondazione Giovanni Agnelli.
  • R. Cohen (2005) ‘“Diaspora”: changing meanings and limits of the concept’, in J. LaGuerre and A.-M. Bissessar (eds) Calcutta to Caroni and the Indian Diaspora, St Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago: The University of the West Indies, School of Continuing Studies.
  • R. Cohen (2005) ‘Preface’ to Chan Kwok Bun, Migration, Ethnic Relations and Chinese Business, London: Routledge.
  • R. Cohen (2005) ‘Diaspora, the nation-state and globalization’, in B. Mazlish and A. Iriye (eds) The Global History Reader, New York: Routledge. Reprinted.
  • R. Cohen (2004) ‘Chinese cockle-pickers, the transnational turn and everyday cosmopolitanism: reflections on the new global migrants’, Labour, Capital and Society 37(2): 13–49.
  • R. Cohen (2004) ‘Migration’, in A. Kuper and J. Kuper (eds) The Social Science Encyclopaedia, London: Routledge.
  • R. Cohen (2004) ‘Il mondo delle diaspore ci fa paura’, Reset (Rome) 84, July–August 2004, 758.
  • R. Cohen (2004) ‘Quella ebraica, madre di tutti le diaspore’, Reset (Rome) 82, March–April 2004, 44–8.
  • R. Cohen (2003) ‘“Diaspora”: beyond the Jewish experience’, The 15th Jacob Gitlin Memorial Lecture. Public lecture at the Jacob Gitlin Memorial Library, Cape Town, South Africa, 18 September, 2003. Pamphlet published by the Gitlin Library, ISBN 0-620-31368-4, pp. 1–11.
  • R. Cohen (2003) ‘Preface’ to the Greek edition of Global Diasporas: an Introduction, Athens.
  • R. Cohen (2003) ‘Crossing the line. Migration: the end of borders’, Index on Censorship 32(2): 60–9.
  • Cohen, R. (2003) 'Migration and Health in Southern Africa', proceedings of a conference held at the University of Cape Town, 26–9 January 2003. Contributions by 21 authors, perfect bound in A4 size by Van Schaik Content Solutions, Stellenbosch, South Africa, pp. 236. A selection of the 10 of the above published as a special issue (Guest editor, Robin Cohen) similarly titled ‘Migration and Health in Southern Africa’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 32 (4), May 2006, pp. 181.
  • R. Cohen and S. Vertovec (2002) ‘Introduction: conceiving cosmopolitanism’, in S.Vertovec and R.Cohen (eds) Conceiving Cosmopolitanism: Theory, Context and Practice, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • R. Cohen (2001) ‘Diaspora’, in N. J. Smelser and P. B. Baltes (editors-in-chief), International Encyclopaedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, Oxford: Pergamon.
  • R. Cohen (2001) ‘Labour in an age of global insecurity’, in B. Harris-White (ed) Globalization and Insecurity: Political, Economic and Physical Challenges, Basingstoke: Palgrave.
DEMIG Conference

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'Determinants of International Migration' conference. 23–25 September 2014 | Wolfson College, University of Oxford.