Michaelle Tauson

Michaelle Tauson

Sussex Centre for Migration Research


Michaelle is an independent consultant and researcher whose areas of focus include poverty, human wellbeing, refugee studies, forced migration, urbanization, and urban poverty. Her PhD research closely examined the wellbeing of Palestinian-Syrian refugees residing in Bangkok, Thailand. She has 3.5 years’ experience living and working in Thailand as a researcher, lecturer, statistician, and economist having worked for international organisations such as UNESCAP and UNESCO. Michaelle has also worked for the World Food Programme and UNICEF, where she conducted research and evaluations in South Asia, Central America, and Sub-Saharan Africa.

PhD thesis summary:

Seeking Asylum in Bangkok: Surviving, Coping, and the Wellbeing Strategies of Palestinian-Syrian Refugees

Urban dwelling refugees in Bangkok, Thailand are a marginalized group and struggle to meet their basic needs. Refugees face daily psychological stresses caused by financial and physical insecurity. Due to a lack of resources and formal service provision refugees are forced to constantly navigate and negotiate complex informal systems. This research seeks to understand how Palestinian-Syrians in Bangkok attempt to access their basic needs while achieving and maintaining wellbeing. The wellbeing framework is used to examine and analyse human behaviour and decision making as psychologically, economically, and socially driven. This framework provides a tool in which to build an understanding of the strategies, choices, and trade-offs in which individuals engage in order to obtain wellbeing. The overall findings of the research reveal that refugees are able to meet their most basic of daily needs, but are unable to achieve wellbeing due to the extreme circumstances in which they find themselves.