Dr Tugba Basaran

MA, MSc, PhD

Bye-Fellow, Director of Studies, Tutor

College Roles

  • Bye-Fellow
  • Director of Studies in History & Politics (Part II, Politics)
  • Director of Studies in Human, Social & Political Sciences (Part IIB, Politics & International Relations)
  • Assistant Tutor (Undergraduates)
  • Postgraduate Mentor

University Roles

  • Deputy Director, Centre for the Study of Global Human Movement


Email: tb317@cam.ac.uk


Tugba Basaran is Deputy Director of the Centre for the Study of Global Human Movement at the University of Cambridge. She was awarded a PhD in International Studies from the University of Cambridge, held visiting positions at Harvard Law, Princeton, Sciences-Po and the Institute for Advanced Studies and tenure as assistant professor at the University of Kent. Prior to her academic career, she pursued a career in international relations addressing global challenges in developing and post-conflict countries in senior managerial positions. Throughout her career spanning over twenty-five years, she established global partnerships across geographies in an effort to bring about opportunities for those at the margins – of society, economy and geography. She has worked in the Americas (El Salvador, Haiti, USA), Africa (Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania), Asia (Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Jordan, Moldova, Philippines, Turkey), Europe (Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, France, Germany, Kosovo, United Kingdom). She speaks English, French, German, Spanish and Turkish fluently – and some other languages poorly.

Research Interests

In her academic research she is concerned with global practices of governance, movement and knowledge, drawing upon political, economic, legal and sociological elements of inquiry: (a) for global movement, she is particularly interested in the circulation of people, cultures and technologies, exploring connectivities as well as barriers hereto, with a particular attention to human rights; (b) for global governance, she is particularly interested in techniques of governing, legal geographies of states, claims to territoriality and extraterritoriality as well as definitions of the international; (c) for knowledge, she is interested in postcolonial struggles on claims to knowledge as well as the politics of higher education. Her approach to these questions is transdisciplinary and transversal. Some of her most productive intellectual engagements have been with scholars from arts, humanities, social sciences and technologies. In an effort to address global challenges, she also pursues a practice-oriented agenda with a focus on digital social and financial innovations. With an abundance of research and work experience in informal economies and developing countries, she is particularly interested in how to take advantage of digital innovations for people at the margins, and how to co-produce scalable business models with indigenous start-ups. 

Selected Publications: 

Basaran, T., A Journey Through Law’s Landscapes: Close Encounters of the Scalar Kind in: C. Greenhouse and C. Davis (eds.), Landscapes of Law: Practicing Sovereignty in Transnational Terrain. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press 2020.

PARISS Collective, The Politics of Style: the Art of Writing and Disrupting Social Sciences, Political Anthropological Research in Social Sciences 1(1) 2020.

Basaran, T., The Outlawed: Landscapes of Human Rights in: D. Fassin (ed.), Deepening Divides: How Territorial Borders and Social Boundaries Delineate our World. London: Pluto Press 2019.

Guild, E., Basaran, T. and Allison, K., ‘From Zero to Hero? An Analysis of the Human Rights Protections within the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration’ (Special Issue on Global Compact on Refugees and Migration), International Migration, 2019.

Basaran, T. and C. Olsson, ‘Becoming International: On Symbolic Capital, Conversion and Privilege’, Millennium 46(2) 2018: 1-23

Basaran, T. and E. Guild (eds.), Global Labour and the Migrant Premium: The Cost of Working Abroad, London: Routledge 2018. 

Basaran, T., D. Bigo, E.P. Guittet and R.B.J. Walker (eds.), International Political Sociology: Transversal Lines in International Relations. London: Routledge 2017.

Basaran, T., ‘The Saved and the Drowned: Governing Indifference in the Name of Security’, Security Dialogue 46(3) 2015: 205-220. 

Basaran, T., Security, Law and Borders: At the Limits of Liberties. London: Routledge 2010.