Nicholas Van Hear is a senior researcher at COMPAS. With a background in anthropology and development studies, he works on forced migration, conflict, development, diaspora, transnationalism and related issues, and has field experience in Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, North America and Europe.

Before joining COMPAS in 2003, he held research posts at the Refugee Studies Centre in Oxford (1990-2000), and at the Copenhagen-based Danish Centre for Development Research (2000-2003, now the Danish Institute for International Studies, DIIS). His books include New Diasporas (UCL Press/Routledge, 1998), The Migration-Development Nexus (International Organisation for Migration, 2003, with Ninna Nyberg Sorensen), and Refugia: radical solutions to mass displacement (Routledge, 2020, with Robin Cohen).

His main contributions have been on force and choice in migration; the relationship between mobility and immobility; migration and development; diaspora formation and engagement in conflict settings, including post-war recovery; and migration and class. He is currently exploring the interplay between geopolitical shifts, mobility and political mobilisation, as well as pondering mobility futures.