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Kirsten McConnachie



Assistant Professor


School of Law
University of Warwick
Tel: 02476 150435

Research Interests

Kirsten McConnachie is a socio-legal researcher whose work focuses on governance and justice in refugee situations. She has a particular regional interest in southeast Asia and with refugees from Burma/Myanmar, having worked first with Karen refugees living in camps in Thailand and more recently with ethnic Chin refugees in Malaysia and India. She has conducted extensive field research in each of these countries. Her first book, 'Governing Refugees' (Routledge 2014), analysed governance and justice among Karen refugees in camps in Thailand and was awarded the Socio-Legal Studies Association early career book prize for 2015.

Kirsten's research interests span several disciplines, including criminology, victimology, transitional justice, refugee studies and legal anthropology. She has published on issues including governance by armed groups; the history and management of refugee camps; legal pluralism and non-state justice systems; forced migration in southeast Asia; the role of victims in transitional justice; and constitutional reform. A common thread in this work is a focus on pluralistic governance and on the role of non-state actors in governance.

Kirsten has been interviewed by media as an expert on refugee issues and on Burma/Myanmar (including BBC World Service, BBC Asian News Service, Channel News Asia, France News 24 and Al-Jazeera) and has written for online media including The Conversation, openDemocracy, The Diplomat, Lacuna, and The Muslim Debate. She has delivered invited seminars at the Asia-Pacific Refugee Rights Network (Bangkok); Cambridge University Union; University of Edinburgh; University of Hamburg; University of Oxford (including Oxford Transitional Justice Research, Oxford Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, Refugee Studies Centre, Institute for Gender Studies and the Asian Studies Centre); National University of Singapore; Sunway University (Malaysia); Mizoram University (India) and more.

She is a Research Associate of the University of Oxford's Refugee Studies Centre, an editorial board member of the Journal of Human Rights Practice and a committee member of the Law and Society Association.


Kirsten joined Warwick's School of Law in September 2015. She previously held positions at the University of Oxford (Joyce Pearce Junior Research Fellow in Refugee Studies) and the University of Edinburgh (Research Fellow, School of Law). She has degrees in law from Queen's University Belfast (PhD), University of Nottingham (LLM in the Law of Armed Conflict) and the University of Glasgow (LLB in Scots Law). She was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2005.


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