Skip to main content
European Commission logo print header

Political Economies of Refugee Camps

Project description

A closer look at the economies of refugee camps along the Balkan Route

Although there is much discussion about refugee camps in both the public and academic spheres, their economies have been far less discussed and researched. The camPEconomies project of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) will take a closer look at the economy in and around refugee camps. The fundamental questions pursued here are: How much do the camps cost? From which entities are they financed and how are these funds distributed? Are there socio-economic relations between the camps and the surrounding areas/cities? How do the refugees earn their living in the camps? Are they only dependent on aid or do they also have alternative resources? To answer these questions, both archival research and in-depth fieldwork will be conducted in two refugee camps along the Balkan route, one in Greece and one in Serbia.


The camPEconomies project explores a crucial aspect of the campization of the refugee accomodation in Europe that has not yet been addressed in literature: the multiple and intertwined economic relations that develop in and around refugee camps. The research will be conducted through a combination of qualitative and quantitative methodologies drawing from an interdisciplinary approach - my postgraduate studies on Economic and Urban Development, my Phd on social and cultural geography, and my long lasting research interest around migration and gender. An in depth fieldwork research will be take place in two refugee camps in the Balkan Route, the camp of Shisto in Greece and of Obrenovac in Serbia. The aim is to analyze economic and social relations in multiple and interlocking socio spatial scales: from (a) the funding of the camps by institutional actors, to (b) the socioeconomic relations connecting the camp to surrounding areas and to (c) the grassroots economic practices of refugees. Apart from disseminating this original research within academic community (publications, conferences, an educational toolkit) the project aims to intervene in the level of policy making (Policy Report, open online event). Still, following the principles of Open Science and as the discussion around refugee camps is also a public discussion the project will develop an innovative strategy to communicate both the research process (research blog, podcasts) and the results (interactive maps, public discussions) to wider audiences.
The supervisor, Prof. Dr. Manuela Bojadžijev, is a professor in the Institute of European Ethnology and a founding member of the Berlin Institute for Empirical Integration and Migration Research (BIM) both based in Humboldt University in Berlin where the project will be hosted. Prof. Bojadžijev is an expert in migration studies and has a profound experience in supervising and managing research projects.

Funding Scheme



Net EU contribution
€ 173 847,36
Unter den linden 6
10117 Berlin

See on map

Berlin Berlin Berlin
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00