Carolin Fischer joined the Institute of Social Anthropology as Ambizione Research Fellow in early 2020 with a four-year project entitled Violent Safe Havens? Exploring Articulations and Repercussions of Violence in Refugee Reception and Settlement. Drawing on ethnographic case studies, the project seeks to uncover how refugees who have been granted legal protection in Switzerland and Norway, experience violence and how experiences of violence affect images of the self and aspirations for the future. 

From 2014 – 2019, Carolin was post-doctoral researcher in the project Gender as a Boundary Marker in Migration, Citizenship and Belonging ( at the University of Neuchâtel as part of the NCCR – on the move. In addition, she led an international research project entitled Engendering migration, development and belonging: The experiences of recently arrived Afghans in Europe, funded by the Swiss Network of International Studies (SNIS) ( She taught Bachelor and Masters level classes in social sciences on transnationalism, culture and ethnicity and qualitative methods at Neuchâtel, the University of Basel and the University of Oxford. 

Carolin holds a DPhil (PhD) in Development Studies from the University of Oxford, where she also worked as a research and teaching assistant at the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), the International Migration Institute (IMI) and the Refugee Studies Centre (RSC). In 2007, she acquired a diploma degree in Sociology from Bielefeld University, Germany.

Carolin is interested in the links between migration and violence, particularly precarity, uncertainty and agency in refugee reception and settlement. Her recent work addresses issues of membership, belonging, participation, inclusion and exclusion of migrants in host countries. She adopts reflexive and intersectional perspectives and critically examines knowledge production in migration and mobility research. Carolin also has extensive experience in using relationality, intra- and inter-group boundaries and structure/agency theories to study diaspora formation, diaspora - home country relations and transnational engagements.