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Craig Damian Smith

Senior Research Associate
EducationPhD, University of Toronto.
Areas of ExpertiseIrregular migration; international relations; migration governance; refugee integration

Craig Damian Smith’s research examines the international politics of irregular migration, global migration governance and refugee integration. His work is based in long-term, qualitative research with migrants, policymakers and civil society groups. His recently-completed SSHRC Insight Development Grant project, entitled "Understanding Emergent Irregular Migration Systems to Canada", seeks to understand the rapid development and expansion of irregular migration routes to Canada after the Spring of 2017. He and his research team conducted over 300 interviews at refugee shelters and community organizations to understand the information, perceptions and catalysts behind people's mobility decisions.

Craig has a PhD in Political Science from the University of Toronto. His doctoral thesis, “Malignant Europeanization: Schengen, Irregular Migration Governance, and Insecurity on Europe’s Peripheries” examined the effects of European migration governance on transit states and entailed over three years of fieldwork throughout the Middle East, North Africa, Western Balkans, and Europe. Craig is also the creator of “Pairity, external link, opens in new window”, a data-driven research project which seeks to measure the effects of access to social networks on refugee integration and social cohesion.

Recent Publications

(2019) Changing US Policy & Safe Third Country 'Loophole' Drive Irregular Migration to Canada,, external link Migration Information Source, Migration Policy Institute, Washington DC.

(2019) Will Canada Suspend its Safe Third Country Agreement with the US? Here's what doing so would mean for immigration levels, external linkForeign Policy

(2020) Challenging to so-called 'trafficking-terror finance nexus, external linkForced Migration Review, Issue 64.

(2020/16) PDF fileExtraction, Dependence, and Responsibility-Sharing: Taking Stock of Canada's Role in Western Hemispheric Migration Governance

(2020) A Model for the World? Policy Transfer Theory and Challenges to ‘Exporting’ Private Sponsorship to Europe, In Labman, Shauna & Geoffrey Cameron (Eds.), Stranger to Neighbours: Private Refugee Sponsorship in Canada and Beyond, McGill-Queens University Press.

With Banerjee, K. (2020) Human Mobility & Historical Migration Controls: Problematizing the State/ Nomad Relationship, In Levin, Jamie (Eds.), Nomad-State Relationships in International Relations: Before & After Borders, Palgrave. 

(2020) PDF fileMid-Term Review, Pilot Samen Hier, external link, opens in new window. Justice & Peace Netherlands.

With Wagner, D. (2021) PDF fileHow Canada can address skills shortages by improving access to economic pathways for refugees and displaced people in Latin America, opens in new window.  CERC Migration Policy Brief 01, Apr. 2021.