Research Director, Professor
Phone: +46 (0)725283500
Cell phone: +45 5020 3400

CV – Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen

Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen is Research Director at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law and adjunct Professor of Law at Aarhus University. He received his PhD (in international law) from Aarhus University, MSc (in refugee studies) from the University of Oxford and MA (in political science) from the University of Copenhagen.

His research focuses on international refugee law, human rights, and the relationship between international law and politics. He is author or editor of several books, including Access to Asylum: International Refugee Law and the Globalisation of Migration Control (Cambridge University Press, 2011), which received the 2013 KG Idman Award for best publication in international law, Tracing the Roles of Soft Law in Human Rights (Oxford University Press, 2016); The Power of Legality: International Law and its Practices (Cambridge University Press 2016); Human Rights and the Dark Side of Globalisation (Routledge, 2016) Protecting the Rights of Others (DJØF, 2013), The Migration Industry: The Commercialisation of International Migration (Routledge, 2013), and Sovereignty Games: Instrumentalizing State Sovereignty in Europe and Beyond (Palgrave, 2008). He is also series editor of the Routledge Studies in Human Rights and part of the editorial board for Cambridge Asylum and Migration Studies.

Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen is a regular commentator on asylum and immigration matters in Nordic and international media. He has consulted for a number of international organisations, governments and NGOs, and previously served as member of the Danish Refugee Appeals Board.

KEYWORDS: asylum, refugee law, migration policy, human rights theory, law and politics

Press image

TGH press





Select articles:

Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen and James Hathaway “Non-refoulement in a World of Cooperative Deterrence”, Columbia Journal of Transnational Law 2015 53:1

Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen “International Refugee Law and Policy: The case of deterrence policies”, Journal of Refugee Studies 2014 27:4

Select popular dissemination:

Op-ed in Huffington Post on Danish and European immigration policy

Op-ed in New York Times on privatisation of migration management and human rights

Video stream of keynote lecture at University of Oslo on ”Escaping the Realities? Four visions for reforming the global refugee regime”

In 2015 Thomas co-developed and starred in a documentary-theatre production about the Danish asylum system. See more information and a trailer here

Total list of publications

Ongoing research projects

Human rights and the dark side of globalisation

This research project explores the relationship between transnational law enforcement and international human rights law.

The role of soft law in human rights

This project traces the role of soft law across the human rights field building on a thorough analysis of relevant case studies.

The Power of Legality and the Changing Practices of International Law

This project theoretically examines the role of international law in international relations and the complex interplay between law and and politics across different issue areas.

Reforming the Refugee Regime

This project analyses current efforts to reform the refugee regime, applying an inter-disciplinary perspective linking international law, political science and economics.

Exploring new avenues to ensure refugee integration

This project explores new thinking and methods to help refugee integration and access to labour markets, and how the private sector may help improve refugee integration.



CMS Migration series: “The End of the Deterrence Paradigm and Future Directions for Global Refugee Studies”

Lecture from the AHRI MOOC on mass migration

Science & Cocktails Lecture: “The Refugee Crisis: Facts, numbers and solutions”

Speech at the “Copenhagen March for Refugees”, October 2015