Claire Walkey

Claire Walkey

Migration (2014 cohort)

Claire is a DPhil student, affiliated to the Refugee Studies Centre.

The working title of her doctoral research is ‘Creating a domestic refugee regime in Kenya: The transfer of the management of refugee affairs from UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to Government of Kenya’. The research, supervised by Professor Tom Scott-Smith, explores the relationship between UNHCR and Government of Kenya. It focuses on the re-engagement of the government in refugee affairs since 2006 and more specifically the transfer of registration and refugee status determination from UNHCR to the Government. Based on ten months of research in Nairobi, Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps, including within the government Refugee Affairs Secretariat, it explores everyday bureaucratic practices and how these changed through 'capacity building' by UNHCR. It also explores the wider negotiations between these two institutions and the perspective of individual bureaucrats constituting the process. The research sits between the disciplines of politics and anthropology and aims to contribute to ethnographies and theories of the African state and developmental change.


Claire holds a MSc Refugee and Forced Migration from University of Oxford, a MPhil Development Studies from University of Cambridge and a BA from University of Bristol.


Claire is also interested in the impact of biometrics on refugee registration and co-convened a workshop entitled ‘Deconstructing Biometric Refugee Research’, hosted by the Refugee Studies Centre, in June 2018.