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Dr Olga Demetriou

Professor of Political Anthropology

PhD (LSE) Social Anthropology

AffiliationRoom numberTelephone
Professor of Political Anthropology in the School of Government and International Affairs210, Al-Qasimi Building+44 (0) 191 33 45676
Associate Fellow in the Institute of Advanced Study  


Olga Demetriou joined the Durham Global Security Institute at the School in 2018 and has been its Programme Director since 2019. She has trained in social anthropology and has led projects on minority rights, gender, displacement, and refugeehood, for the last two decades.Her current interests focus on activism in refugee reception sites in the Mediterranean, specifically in Spain, Italy, Greece and Cyprus. 

She has authored two monographs, Capricious Borders: Minority, Population and Counter-Conduct between Greece and Turkey (Berghahn, 2013/2017) and Refugeehood and the Post Conflict Subject: Reconsidering Minor Losses (SUNY Press, 2018). She was previously affiliated with PRIO, the University of Cyprus, and Amnesty International, where she was the organisation's researcher on Greece and Cyprus. 

Supervision Areas

I welcome enquiries about doctoral projects on the following areas:

  • Ethnography of Migration and Refugee Regimes
  • Gendered (In)securities
  • Post-conflict Transitions
  • Political orders in Greece, Cyprus, and Turkey
  • Gender, Security, and Post-Conflict Reconstruction (-2021)
  • Gender in the UN Global Security Agenda (2021 onwards)
  • Conflict Prevention and Sustainable Peace
  • Post-Conflict Reconstruction and State-Building
  • Capstone: Humanitarian Simulation Exercise
  • Consolidating Peace After Violence
  • Fieldtrip (Cyprus) 
  • Conflict Analysis

Research interests

  • Refugees and Displacement
  • European Asylum System
  • Citizenship and Mobility
  • Gender, feminism and peace building
  • Cultural heritage conflicts

Esteem Indicators

  • 2022: Grants:
    • 2023-2027: UKRI, ESRC Individual Research grant, ;Pro- and Anti-Migrant Mobilization in Mediterranean Refugee Reception Sites [Contesting Migration], ;ES/W012324/1 (with Antonis Ellinas, UCY)
    • 2022-2024: Cyprus Research and Innovation, RESTART Excellence Hubs: Pro- and Anti- Migrant Migrant Mobilization in Eastern Mediterranean Refugee Reception Sites [MEDRECEPTIONS] (PI: Antonis Ellinas)
    • 2021-2023: British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grant: Pro- and Anti- Migrant Activism in Mediterranean Refugee Reception Sites: Developing Analytic Tools in Ethnography and Comparative Politics (with Antonis Ellinas, UCY)
    • 2021: The Politics of Credibility: Durham Institute of Advanced Studies (with Elisabeth Kirtsoglou) ;
    • 2020: Declaration of Citizenship project (PI: Jacqueline Stevens) ;
    • 2019: Refugee Regimes in Southwestern Europe (Durham University) ;
    • 2018: Women in the Peace Process: Lessons from Northern Ireland (Ireland MFA) ;
    • 2017: The Aftermath of Hotspots (PRIO Strategic Projects) ;
    • 2016: Women’s Peace: Gender in the Peace Negotiations (Norway MFA) ;
    • 2009: Internal Displacement in Cyprus: The Consequences of Civil and Military Strife (European Commission) ;
    • 2008: Cultural Heritage and the Re-construction of Identities after Conflict –CRIC (EU 7th framework) ;
    • 2008: COST Action IS0803: Remaking eastern borders in Europe – EastBordNet ;
    • 2002: Insecure Minorities in Conditions of Ethnic Antagonism in the Balkans and Cyprus (Wenner Gren Foundation) ;
    • 1998: Emslie Horniman Anthropological Scholarship (Royal Anthropological Institute)
  • 2021: Visiting Senior Fellow, Hellenic Observatory, LSE: Project title: "The States that Refugees define"
  • 2011: Committees:
    • Technical Committee on Gender Equality, Cyprus peace process, 2015-2021
    • Society for the Anthropology of Europe (American Anthropological Association): treasurer 2016-2018
    • Gender Advisory Team, Cyprus: founding member, 2011-
  • 2008: Consultancies:
    • Amnesty International, 2010, 2011
    • International Organisation for Migration, 2019
    • Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, 2008
    • United Nations Development Programme, 2009
    • British Council, Nicosia, 2007
  • 2008: Peer Review: Editorial teams:

    • 2019-2021: Journal of Modern Greek Studies (Associate Editor in Social Sciences)
    • 2017-2019: Public Anthropologist (reviews editor)
    • 2008-2015: The Cyprus Review (co-editor and book reviews)

    Editorial/advisory boards:

    • Public Anthropologist
    • Journal of Southeast European and Black Sea Studies
    • Feminist Encounters
    • Rethinking Borders, MUP
    • Hellenic Observatory, LSE

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Anthropology: law and emergency; refugees/forced displacement; Mediterranean reception sites; women in post-conflict environments; minorities within citizenship regimes


Authored book

Chapter in book

Edited book

Journal Article

Newspaper/Magazine Article

  • Demetriou, Olga & Stevens, Jacqueline (2021). Re-founding justice amid national violence and disparities: Towards a Declaration of Citizenship. Routed Magazine (Borders and Justice).

Other (Print)

  • Demetriou, Olga & Hadjipavlou, Maria (2022). The Impact of Women's Activism on the Peace Negotiations in Cyprus. In Power-Sharing Pacts and the Women, Peace and Security Agenda. Byrne, Siobhan & McCulloch, Allison Routledge. 83-105.


Supervision students