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Walker Institute of International and Area Studies

Walker Faculty

Austin Crane


Austin Crane

Title: Faculty Instructor

Walker Institute of International and Area Studies
Department of Geography, Affiliate
College of Arts and Sciences

Phone: 803-777-4551

Gambrell Hall, Room 251-E



Austin Crane completed his PhD in Geography at the University of Washington in 2021. Prior to this, he received his MA in Geography at the University of Kentucky and his BA in Economics and Russian from the South Carolina Honors College at the University of South Carolina. 

Crane is a broadly trained human geographer, with research interests in political geography, migration and borders, poverty and inequality, humanitarianism and human rights, economic geographies of uneven development and globalization, and the geopolitics of European and Post-Soviet spaces. He conducted his dissertation research with a range of international, state, and local migration organizations across Europe to study emerging intersections between humanitarianism and security in European migration policy. Through focusing on Assisted Voluntary Return programs, this project investigates how practitioners at humanitarian organizations navigate the conflicted politics of care, asylum, and migrant return. Crane’s MA research analyzed how the European Union’s “neighborhood” development policies facilitated the externalization of migration and border management to Ukraine. This research has been published in journals such as Political Geography, Antipode, and Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space. 

At the University of Washington, Crane worked alongside Drs. Victoria Lawson and Sarah Elwood to advance numerous initiatives with the Relational Poverty Network, an interdisciplinary and international community of scholars collaborating to develop research methodologies and pedagogies for the study of relational poverty. At UofSC, he has worked with the South Carolina Geographic Alliance to enhance and support K-12 education across the state. Crane has taught university courses on global inequality, research design, globalization, human geography, and world regional geography. Now at the Walker Institute, he teaches courses on a range of topics, including: international development, human rights, and cyber governance, policy, and ethics. 

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.