Degree completed in 2020.

Policing the camp: Refugees and the geographies of humanitarian enforcement in Kenya


Academic Profile

Hanno is a DPhil student in Human Geography.

Hanno received his undergraduate degree in Area Studies Africa from Humboldt University of Berlin and his MLitt in International Security Studies from the University of St. Andrews. He has worked as a research assistant at the British Institute in Eastern Africa (BIEA) in Nairobi, for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Nyarugusu refugee camp (Tanzania), and for the Friedrich-Ebert Foundation (FES) in Amman (Jordan).

He is co-coordinator for the Africa research group in the German Network for Refugee Research (Netzwerk Flüchtlingsforschung).


  • 2015-2018: Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) +3 Studentship
  • 2015-2018: PhD Scholarship – German National Academic Foundation (Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes) for Bachelors, Masters, and Doctoral Research
  • 2015: Research Grant – British Institute in Eastern Africa (BIEA)
  • 2014: Sir Menzies Campbell Prize for Best MLitt Dissertation (University of St Andrews)
  • 2009-2014: Undergraduate and Postgraduate Scholarship – German National Academic Foundation (Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes)

Current Research

Based on ethnographic fieldwork, Hanno’s doctoral research explores the geographies of enforcing order in the paradigmatic humanitarian space of the refugee camp. It focuses specifically on the Kakuma refugee camp in north-western Kenya but provides a reading of the spatial, governmental, and discursive effects of policing camps, refugees and non-citizen populations which resonates beyond this context and is especially relevant for the global South.

Hanno’s research interests can be grouped into four interrelated areas: (i) state power and the policing of migration and mobilities, (ii) the geographies of the camp, (iii) humanitarian violence and the technologies of humanitarian government, (iv) the imaginative geographies of displacement and asylum.

Hanno also co-organised a one-day workshop on Humanising Refugee Research at the School of Geography and the Environment (SoGE), University of Oxford. The workshop called for a critical interrogation of current methodologies in refugee studies and sought to join with existing radical research to devise more transformative approaches to the study of refugees and forced displacement. Currently, the workshop's contributions are being gathered for a collective ‘forum’ intervention publication.

Current Teaching


Journal Articles

Book Chapters

  • Brankamp, H. (forthcoming) Refugee Camps. In, Falola, T. and Mbah, E.M. (eds.) The Routledge Encyclopaedia of African Studies. Routledge.


Book Reviews

Invited talks

  • Presentation for Masters course on 'Leadership in International Refugee Protection', Ruhr-Universität Bochum (Germany), 5 June 2018.
  • 'The Police archipelago: the refugee camp as an architecture of occupation in Kenya', Aggressive Architecture, Conference organised by Ian Klinke and Alex Vasudevan, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, 10 May 2018.
  • Presentation and Q&A about 'Researching Refugees and Humanitarianism' with undergraduate students at Leuphana Universität, Lüneburg (Germany).

Conference and workshop presentations

  • 'Humanising Refugee Research', Workshop at School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, co-organised with Patricia Daley and Yolanda Weima.
  • 'Occupied Enclave': Policing and the underbelly of humanitarian governance in Kakuma refugee camp, Kenya, RGS-IBG Conference 2018, 28.-31. August, Cardiff University.
  • 'Policing refugees in Kenya: Encampment, 'real power', and the politics of occupation', presented at Seminar on 'Refugees vs. The State', British Institute in Eastern Africa (BIEA), Nairobi, 21 August 2017.
  • Community Policing in Kakuma refugee camp, Kenya, presented at 'Refugees and Forced Migration in the Horn of Africa and Eastern Africa: Crises, Trends and Dynamics, Challenges, Opportunities and Conundrums', Naivasha, 25.-27. October 2016
  • 'Community Policing in Kakuma refugee camp, Kenya', Researching East Africa workshop at the University of Warwick, 13 May 2016.
  • 'Community Policing in Kakuma refugee camp, Kenya', East Africa Discussion group, African Studies Centre, University of Oxford, 4 May 2016.
  • 'Security Patchworks: Crime, Violence, and Non-state Policing in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya', presented at 9thPan-European Conference on International Relations in Sicily, European International Studies Association (EISA), 23.-26. September 2015.