Photo of Jay Ramasubramanyam

Jay Ramasubramanyam

PhD Candidate (Legal Studies)


Jay Ramasubramanyam is a PhD candidate in the Department of Law and Legal Studies with a specialization in Political Economy, at Carleton University. He is the 2018-2019 Toronto Dominion Graduate Fellow in Migration and Diaspora Studies and the recipient of the 2019 Kanta Marwah Research Grant in Peace and Security. In 2017, he received the Humanitarian Response Network of Canada’s research grant to support his doctoral research.

Prior to his doctoral candidature, he was employed by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as a Refugee Status Determination Associate and in the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as a Protection Field Officer.

Jay is currently studying the characterization and construction of ‘refugeehood’ in India and will examine the understandings that have guided such constructions. Jay’s project will relate to the broader significance of such conceptualizations with respect to refugee protection in South Asia and more generally in relation to the global refugee regime.

Jay’s project envisages to project the defiant or alternate locations of practice with respect to migration research that has existed for the last seven decades, to arrive at a coherent argument on the construction of refugeehood in South Asia. Finally, his project will also form an interesting part of discussions on the asymmetries of power, knowledge production and legitimacy of norms and will present the first steps towards a new place for discourse on migration research.

His areas of interest encompass forced migration, refugee policy, statelessness, human rights, environmental politics, and climate justice.

Jay served as the President of Carleton University Graduate Students’ Association from 2018-2019, after serving as Vice-President Academic in the year before. Jay has also been a frequent columnist in and contributor to The Leveller, a local left-leaning newspaper in Ottawa.


Prof. Betina Appel Kuzmarov


Master of Law (International Human Rights)
Birmingham City University, Birmingham, England

Postgraduate Diploma
Birmingham City University, Birmingham, England

Bachelor of Arts (Criminology)
Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand


Journal articles

  • Jay Ramasubramanyam, (Accepted Contribution to a Special Issue), ‘Ad-hoc protection norms: India’s antidote to the Eurocentrism of the 1951 Convention’, (2021) 67 Forced Migration Review.
  • Jay Ramasubramanyam, (Accepted Contribution to a Special Issue), ‘A definitional issue? Postcolonial paradox of the refugee/migrant binary in the subcontinent’, (2022) Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies. Special Issue.
  • Jay Ramasubramanyam, ‘Subcontinental Defiance to the Global Refugee Regime: Global leadership or regional exceptionalism?’ (2020) 23 Asian Yearbook of International Law 60-79.
  • Jay Ramasubramanyam, ‘Does Execution by Shooting or Firing Squad Constitute “Cruel and Unusual Punishment”?’ (2011) 24 Amicus Journal 15.

Book chapters

  • Jay Ramasubramanyam, (IN PRESS) ‘Regional Refugee Regimes: South Asia’, in Cathryn Costello, Michelle Foster, and Jane McAdam (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of International Refugee Law (Oxford University Press, 2021).
  • James Milner and Jay Ramasubramanyam (IN PRESS), ‘The Role of UNHCR’, in  Cathryn Costello, Michelle Foster, and Jane McAdam (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of International Refugee Law (Oxford University Press, 2021).

Research reports

Book reviews

  • Ramasubramanyam, Jay. 2017. Making refuge: Somali Bantu Refugees and Lewiston, Maine. African and Black Diaspora: An International Journal: 1-3. (Book Review)
  • Ramasubramanyam, Jay. 2018. Rightlessness in an Age of Rights: Hannah Arendt and the Contemporary Struggles of Migrants Ayten Gündoğdu. (2015). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Canadian Journal of Political Science, 1-3. (Book Review)

Opinion pieces and Op-eds

Blog posts


2021 Carleton University Contract Instructor Teaching Award in recognition of teaching excellence.

Courses Taught

GINS 1010 (International Law and Politics)

LAWS 2908 (Approaches to Legal Studies I)

LAWS 2105 (Social Justice and Human Rights)

HUMR 3301 (Race, Racism, and Human Rights)

LAWS 3005 (Law and Regulation)

HUMR 4404 (Rights of Refugees and Displaced Persons)

Selected Conference Presentations

  • Ramasubramanyam, J. (2016). “Europe’s Non-States”: Identity and Status of Citizens of Unrecognized States. European Community Studies Association’s 11th Biennial Conference, Halifax, Canada. May 10-11, 2016. 
  • Ramasubramanyam, J. (2016). “Europe’s non-states”: The EU’s relationship with unrecognized states and implications on citizenship, identity and legal status.
    State of the EU in Canada and Pacific Asia Graduate Student Conference, European Centre for Excellence, University of Victoria, Victoria, Canada. May 25-27, 2016. 
  • Ramasubramanyam, J. (2016). Continuum of vulnerabilities: Urbanization Climate Change and Migration in South Asia. Migration and Mobilities in an Urbanising World, Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands. June 16-17, 2016. 
  • Ramasubramanyam, J. (2017). Crisis and Survival: evolving grounds of forced migration in the context of domains of exclusion in Venezuela and Colombia. Walls, Borders, and Bridges: Law and Society in an Inter-Connected World, Law and Society Association Annual Meeting, Mexico City, Mexico. June 20-23, 2017. 
  • Ramasubramanyam, J. (2018). Subcontinental Defiance to the Global Refugee Regime: global leadership or regional exceptionalism? Third World Approaches to International Law Conference, National University of Singapore, Singapore. July 19, 2018. 
  • Bridging Forced Migration Research to Policy and Practice  Annual Conference of the International Association for the Study of Forced Migration, University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece. July 26, 2018. 
  • Participated in The Global Development Section Annual Roundtable: Planetary Futures, Developmental Pasts, and the Ongoing Colonial Climate. Annual Meeting of the International Studies Association, Toronto, Canada. March 27, 2019. 
  • Ramasubramanyam, J. (2019). Subcontinental Defiance to the Global Refugee Regime: global leadership or regional exceptionalism? Resistance to International Law and the Global Legal Order, Toronto Group, Canada. March 28-29, 2019. 
  • Ramasubramanyam, J. (2019). Reviewing Spaces of Exception: Understanding the role of chhitmahals in reproducing precarity and rights struggles. Congress 2019 as a part of the Canadian Law and Society Association’s Annual Meeting in Vancouver, Canada. June 1-6, 2019.