Jonathan Crush holds the CIGI chair in global migration and development at the Balsillie School of International Affairs. He was raised in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Swaziland. After obtaining his first degree at Cambridge University, he moved to Canada and completed his M.A. at Wilfrid Laurier University and Ph.D. at Queen’s University. The initial focus of his research was the history of the colonial and apartheid migrant labour system in Southern Africa.

Jonathan’s policy work on migration and development took root during the 1990s, when he and a South African colleague, through an International Development Research Centre-funded project, pursued policy alternatives to the destructive South African mine migration system. In the mid-1990s, Canadian efforts to engage with South Africa, through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), gave Jonathan opportunities to research policy on migration movements with Idasa, a high-profile African NGO.

After the collapse of apartheid, there was a complete reconfiguration of migration movements in Africa, as South Africa became a destination for economic migrants as well as refugees from neighbouring countries and the rest of Africa. Jonathan advised the South African government on the development of new immigration and refugee policies and has consistently advocated for a developmental approach to South-South migration. He founded the Southern African Migration Project (now Programme) (a consortium of Canadian and African researchers) in 1997 and co-founded the Migration Dialogue for Southern Africa (MIDSA) with the IOM, in 2002.

As international momentum has built for research and policies that connect migration with development, Jonathan has become a major contributor to international debates on the need for development-friendly governance of migrant movements. He has consulted on issues for a number of government departments and organization, including the G77 plus China; the Association of African, Caribbean and Pacific States; the OECD; the ILO; the Global Commission on International Migration; the World Bank; the UNDP and UNESCO.  Jonathan also leads the CIDA-funded African Food Security Urban Network (AFSUN), where he is working on promoting knowledge about food security issues through training, research, advocacy and community engagement. His current research focuses on South-South migration, diaspora engagement policy and the nexus between migration and food security.

A recipient of numerous academic awards and honours, including the Joel Gregory Prize of the Canadian Association of African Studies and a Queen’s Research Chair in International Migration, Jonathan also serves as  as director of the Southern African Research Centre at Queen’s. He sits on the Advisory Board of the African Centre for Cities at the University of Cape Town, where he holds an honorary professorship. He has authored or edited 10 books and over 120 journal articles and book chapters on migration issues.

Jonathan splits his time between Waterloo and Kingston. He particularly enjoys watching live cricket, rugby and soccer, all of which he played in his youth, and is an avid traveller.


Notable Media

Crush, Jonathan 2010 "Labour Migration in Southern Africa." Report for the OECD Paris
Crush, Jonathan and Sujata Ramachandran 2009 "International Migration, Xenophobia and Human Development." UN Human Development Report Report for the 2009 New York
Crush, Jonathan 2009 "The 'Urban Poor' Flaw." Globe and Mail November 20
Crush, Jonathan 2009 "Migration in Southern Africa." Presentation to Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Ottawa
Crush, Jonathan 2009 "The South African Diaspora and the Diaspora in South Africa: Implications for Research, Policy and Development." Paper presented to International Conference on Diaspora for Development World Bank Washington

Select Publications

  1. Crush, Jonathan 2012 "Migration, Development and Urban Food Security" AFSUN Series No 9 Cape Town
  2. Crush, Jonathan and D. Tevera 2010 "Zimbabwe's Exodus: Crisis, Migration, Survival." Ottawa and Cape Town: IDRC and Idasa
  3. Crush, Jonathan and W. Pendleton 2009 "Global Development Studies" Remitting for Survival: Rethinking the Development Potential of Remittances in Southern Africa, 5 no 3-4: 1–28
  4. Crush, Jonathan and B. Frayne 2009 "Surviving on the Move: Migration, Poverty and Development in Southern Africa." Midrand and Cape Town: DBSA and Idasa
  5. Crush, Jonathan 2002 "Journal of International Affairs" The Global Raiders: Nationalism, Globalization and the South African Brain Drain. 56 no 1: 147–172

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