The Zolberg Institute supports research and engagement through a variety of programs and projects. We benefit from and support scholarship and creative practice from participants across the University in all aspects of our work.

The Zolberg Institute focuses its attention on five key themes: 


The concept of mobility is at the core of the Zolberg Institute’s work.  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 relating to refugees. We offer funded fellowships for students to engage with refugee policy with the International Rescue Committee. We also manage Forced Migration Forum, a scholarly blog devoted to refugee and forced migration policy analysis.

Climate Induced Migration

Climate change, disasters, and development are drivers of migration and continue to grow in importance. 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 New York City population is now more than one-third foreign born; 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 support students undertaking “embedded research” on migration and mobility with immigrant communities.

Changing the Narrative

The Statue of Liberty has symbolized the nation’s immigration narrative for a century.  Today that narrative is under threat, at home and abroad. Leaders in many nations are increasing border restrictions, denying safe haven to refugees, and building walls. The Institute sponsors research and discussions to examine narratives of hospitality, facilitation of choice (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.