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 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. 

Thesis Title:

Is India’s relationship with the Global Refugee Regime deviant or defiant?: An historical analysis of the conceptualization of refugeehood


  • Milner, James and Ramasubramanyam, Jay. (UPCOMING), “The Role of the UNHCR”, in The Oxford Handbook of International Refugee Law, eds. Cathryn Costello, Michelle Foster, and Jane McAdam (Oxford: Oxford University Press).
  • Ramasubramanyam, Jay. 2011.Does Execution by Shooting or Firing Squad Constitute “Cruel and Unusual Punishment”? Amicus Journal 24:15, Amicus London: UK.
  • Ramasubramanyam, Jay. 2016. “States of Exception”: EU's Relationship with De-facto States and Implications on Sovereignty, Citizenship, and Identity, Borders in Globalization Research Project 64
  • Ramasubramanyam, Jay. 2017. Making refuge: Somali Bantu Refugees and Lewiston, Maine. African and Black Diaspora: An International Journal: 1-3. (Book Review)
  • Ramasubramanyam, Jay. 2017. Sharing Perspectives on Climate Migration: From Narratives, to Language, to Conceptualization, Blog Post – Canadian Network on Humanitarian History (  
  • 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)
  • Doutaghi, Helyeh., and Ramasubramanyam, Jay. 2019. By not investigating the U.S. for war crimes, the International Criminal Court shows colonialism still thrives in international law, Opinion Post – The Conversation (