Kirsten McConnachie

Assistant Professor, School of Law, University of Warwick

Kirsten McConnachie is a socio-legal researcher whose work focuses on governance and justice in refugee situations. She has a particular regional interest in southeast Asia and with refugees from Burma/Myanmar, having worked first with Karen refugees living in camps in Thailand and more recently with ethnic Chin refugees in Malaysia and India. She has conducted extensive field research in each of these countries. Her recent book, 'Governing Refugees' (Routledge 2014), analyses camp governance and the administration of justice among Karen refugees in Thailand. This book was awarded the Socio-Legal Studies Association early career book prize for 2015.

Kirsten's research interests span several disciplines, including criminology, victimology, transitional justice, refugee studies and legal anthropology. She has published on issues including governance by armed groups; the history and management of refugee camps; legal pluralism and non-state justice systems; forced migration in southeast Asia; the role of victims in transitional justice; and constitutional reform. A common thread in this work is a focus on pluralistic governance and on the role of non-state actors in governance.

Kirsten joined Warwick's School of Law in September 2015. She previously held positions at the University of Oxford (Research Fellow in Refugee Studies) and the University of Edinburgh (Research Fellow, School of Law). She has degrees in law from Queen's University Belfast (PhD), University of Nottingham (LLM in the Law of Armed Conflict) and the University of Glasgow (LLB in Scots Law). She was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2005.


  • –present
    Research Fellow in Refugee Studies, University of Oxford


  • 2011 
    Queen's University Belfast, PhD/Law