The Zolberg Institute focuses its attention on five key themes: 


The concept of mobility is at the core of the Zolberg Institute’s work, and an understanding of mobility is advanced by the collaborative interdisciplinary scholarship produced at The New School. As the first migration center in the world with a mobility focus, we are uniquely positioned to help students imagine new ways to understand and facilitate human movement.

Refugees and Forced Migration

We collaborate with leading research institutions and organizations around the globe on publications and policy interventions as related to refugees. We offer meaningful, funded opportunities for students to engage with refugee policy, including Fellowships with the International Rescue Committee. We also manage Forced Migration Forum, a scholarly blog devoted to refugee and forced migration policy analysis.

Climate Change and Migration

Climate change, disasters, and development are drivers of migration and will grow in importance in the future.  We collaborate across The New School community, including with Parsons School of Design and Milano School of Public Engagement, to contribute new ideas and debate on climate’s role in migration.

NYC and Beyond

Our city has been described as “everyone’s second home.”  The population of New York City is now more than one-third foreign born, and dozens of immigrant communities inhabit the metropolitan area.  We work with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and other organizations to identify internships for Student Fellows. We also pursue opportunities for students to undertake “embedded research” on migration and mobility with immigrant communities.

Changing the Narrative

New York City’s Statue of Liberty has symbolized the nation’s immigration narrative for a century.  But today that narrative is under threat, both at home and abroad.  Leaders in many nations talk about increasing border restrictions, denying safe haven to refugees, and building walls. The Institute sponsors research and discussion that examines narratives of hospitality, facilitation of choice (both to leave and to remain), and multi-directional migration. We connect the strengths of the University in this effort—analysis of global trends, critical thinking about borders and membership, creative engagements that engender re-visioning, and representations through data visualization and the arts.