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Durham University

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Staff Profile

Dr Olga Demetriou, PhD (LSE) Social Anthropology

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Associate Professor in Post-Conflict Reconstruction in the School of Government and International Affairs
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 45676
Room number: 210, Al-Qasimi Building

(email at

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 the margins of protection in European refugee regimes as these are framed within law (complementary protection), politics (access to citizenship) and space (locations of first reception). 

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. As an engaged scholar, she participated in numerous peace-building initiatives in Cyprus and has been a member of the Technical Committee on Gender Equality attached to the peace negotiations there.

Supervision 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
  • Gender, feminism and peace building
  • Cultural heritage conflicts
  • Citizenship
  • Minorities
  • Cyprus
  • Greece-Turkey conflicts

Teaching Areas

  • Gender in the UN Global Security Agenda (2021 onwards)

Selected Publications

Authored book

Edited book

Chapter in book

Journal Article

Show all publications

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


Indicators of Esteem

  • Committees:
    • Technical Committee on Gender Equality, Cyprus peace process
    • Society for the Anthropology of Europe (American Anthropological Association): treasurer 2016-2018
    • Gender Advisory Team, Cyprus: founding member
  • Consultancies:
    • Amnesty International
    • International Organisation for Migration
    • Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre
    • United Nations Development Programme
    • British Council, Nicosia
  • 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

Selected Grants

  • 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: COST Action IS0803: Remaking eastern borders in Europe – EastBordNet
  • 2008: Cultural Heritage and the Re-construction of Identities after Conflict –CRIC (EU 7th framework)
  • 2002: Insecure Minorities in Conditions of Ethnic Antagonism in the Balkans and Cyprus (Wenner Gren Foundation)
  • 1998: Emslie Horniman Anthropological Scholarship (Royal Anthropological Institute)