Research –
Book Project

The Displaced: Race, Refugees, and Ambivalence under Capitalism (Under Contract - Cornell University Press)

My book places forced displacement in global capitalism. It launches from the fact that displacement, over the past several years, has reached unprecedented levels resulting in the highest human casualties since the Second World War. The Mediterranean Sea Route is the world’s deadliest resulting in even more deaths since the onset of the so-called European Migration Crisis in 2015. While media attention continues to focus on Europe, the numbers in Africa are staggering with 2.5 million refugees held in camps in Ethiopia, Chad, and Kenya alone. As such, my book brings together two seemingly disparate cases: Paris and Nairobi. Both cities are contextualized by variegated processes of neoliberalisation and illustrate disciplinary logics of austerity, accumulation, and self-reliance. This book challenges common-sense perceptions of refugees as passive recipients of aid removed from political economy and analyses both systemic—institutional apparatus of states, international organisations, and private actors—and everyday pressures that persist on urban scales. I centre my work around two relatively straight-forward questions: how are refugees governed in capitalism? And how do they survive upon relocation?

Peer Reviewed Articles


Bhagat, A.  “Displacement in ‘Actually ExistingRacial Neoliberalism: Refugee Governance in Paris”. Urban Geography. 42 (5): 635-653.

Bhagat, A. “Experimental Financial Inclusion as Refugee Management: Shelter Insecurities at the Bottom of the Pyramid in Kenya”. International Journal of Housing Policy. 21 (4): 484-504.


Bhagat, A. “Governing Refugees in Raced Markets: Displacement and Disposability from Europe’s Frontier to the Streets of Paris”. Review of International Political Economy

Bhagat, A and Roderick, L. “Banking on Refugees: Spaces of Inclusion and Exclusion in the Fintech Era.” Environment and Planning A. DOI: 10.1177/0308518X20904070 (Contribution: 50 percent)


Bhagat, A. “Governing Refugee Disposability: Neoliberalism and Survival in NairobiNew Political Economy: 25:3 pp. 439-452.

Bhagat, A and Soederberg, S. “Placing Refugees in Authoritarian Neoliberalism: Reflections from Berlin and Paris.” South Atlantic Quarterly:  Jamie Peck and Nik Theodore (eds.):  Spring 118:2
(Contribution: 50 percent)


Bhagat, A.“Queer Necropolitics of Forced Displacement: Cyclical Violence in the African Context.” Sexualities: 23:3 pp. 351-375

Bhagat, A. “Forced (Queer) Migration and Everyday Violence: The Geographies of Life, Death, and Access in Cape Town.” Geoforum: 89 (February) pp. 155-163

Book Chapters


Bhagat, A., & Soederberg, S. (In press) “Chapter 14: The political economy of displacement governance: the case of refugees in the European Union”. In Bill Dunn (eds). A Research Agenda for Critical Political Economy. Edward Elgar: London


Bhagat, A, Sharma, S, and Tawakkol, L. (In press) “Governing the Displaced: Contradictory Constellations of Actors, Ideas, and Strategies.” In Mike Dolton, Pete Adey, Janet Bowsted Katherine Brickell, Vandana Desai, Alasdair Pinkerton and Aysha Siddiqi (eds.). Handbook of Displacement. Palgrave: London.
(Contribution: 33 percent)


Davids, D., Verway, L., Bhagat, A., and Onuoha, G. “Community Advice Offices: Taking Charge in Marginalized Communities” in Daniel Plaatjies, Charles Hongoro, Margaret Chitiga-Mabugu, Thenjiwe Meyiwa and Muxe Nkondo (eds). State of the Nation 2016 (Chapter 11). HSRC Press: Pretoria
(Contribution: 25 percent)

Publications in Progress


Bernards, N., and Bhagat, A. Special Issue: Exploitation. New Political Economy (Accepted for submission)


Bhagat, A., and Phillips, R. “The Techfare State:  Reconstituting Finance and Surveillace Governance in the Big Tech Era”. Under Review: New Political Economy
(Contribution: 50 percent)


Bhagat, A.(Under Review). “Surviving as Surplus: Queer Refugees in the City”