Coventry University | Dr. Esra Kaytaz

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Dr. Esra Kaytaz

Research Associate

My Research Vision

The primary inspiration for my research has been my practical experience working with refugees in Turkey starting in 2003. This experience has driven my continued interest in the theorisation of migrant decision-making and of risk in the context of migration, and more recently in migrant health and well-being, migration journeys and the legal consciousness about the asylum system. I strive to produce theoretically well-grounded research that I hope will contribute to improving the treatment of migrants.


Dr Esra Kaytaz joined the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations as a Research Associate in the research group Migration, Development and Belonging in May 2016.

Esra holds a BA (Hons.) in Archaeology and Anthropology (2003), MPhil in Development Studies (2006) and DPhil in Anthropology (2015) from the University of Oxford. Her doctoral thesis ‘The Resigned, the Restless and the Resilient: Risk perceptions among Afghan migrants in Turkey’ used socio-cultural theories of risk to examine the within-group variation in decision-making processes of Afghans in Turkey. Esra was a research officer at the Global Migration Governance Program at the Department of Politics and International Relations at Oxford. In addition, Esra has worked as a researcher on projects migration for UNHCR, World Bank, University of Oxford and Open Society Foundation. Her research in Turkey, Southern and East Africa, Switzerland and Canada covers topics such as immigration detention and alternatives to it, migrant decision-making, irregular migration, journeys and migration governance.

Esra has taught undergraduate level anthropology at Oxford. She also worked as a legal advisor for asylum-seekers in Turkey at the Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Refugee Advocacy and Support Program in Istanbul, Turkey.

Selected Outputs

Selected Projects

  • Voices of Migrants: A Review of Sources
    Funding Agency: KNOMAD Secretariat/ World Bank
    Type of Project: Consultancy
    End Date: April 2016
    Principal Investigator: Iain Walker and Nicholas Van Hear
    Principal Investigator Institution: Oxford University Consulting
  • Building Pro Immigration Constituencies in reframing the debate and narrative on migration in Europe
    Funding Agency: Open Society Initiative for Europe
    Type of Project: Consultancy
    Start/End Date: August/ December 2016
    Principal Investigator: Dr. Nando Sigona
    Principal Investigator Institution: University of Birmingham
  • Building Empirical Research into Alternatives to DetentionFunding Agency: United Nations High Commission for Refugees, Division of International Protection
    Type of Project: Consultancy
    Start/End Date: May 2012/ May 2013
    Principal Investigator: Prof. Cathryn Costello
    Principal  Investigator Institution: University of Oxford
  • Global Migration Governance Program
    Funding Agency: MacArthur Foundation
    Type of Project: Research
    Start/End Date: 2008- 2010
    Principal Investigator: Prof. Alexander Betts
    Principal  Investigator Institution: University of Oxford
Research breakout image

Research Associate

Building: IV5, Innovation Village