Migration, Ethnicity and Nation

Inequality Power Justice Large Square

Members of the Migration, Ethnicity and Nation theme are working across a range of disciplines and subject areas to explore contemporary practices of mobility and experiences of diversity. Major areas of research for the group include:

  • Processes and practices of migration
  • Ethnic diversity and superdiversity
  • Ethnic, cultural and religious identities
  • Theories of migration and citizenship
  • Migration and social mobility
  • ‘Everyday’ experiences of and encounters with diversity

These research areas intersect with the substantive disciplines in which members of the group are active, including political science, sociology, policy studies, and international relations. Consequently the group works from a multi-disciplinary perspective, drawing on innovative methods to examine critical topics in the study of migration and ethnic diversity.

Subgroups also exists to showcase work on the topics of:

  • Processes and practices of migration
  • Encounters across (super)diversity
  • Citizenship and non-citizenship


External Research Associates 

Richard McGee Jr
Associate dean for Faculty Recruitment and Professional Development and Professor of Medical Education at Feinberg School of Medicine.


CITISPYCE is a 3 year collaborative project, funded by the European Commission under the FP7 Research and Development programme for Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH). The project was launched in January 2013 and is set against the back drop of widening social inequalities and renewed concerns about the disproportionate impact of the global economic crisis on young people.
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Midlands Youth Labour Market Forum 

Named Investigator: Anton Popov
Title: The Armenians of Telavi: Social Memory and Cultural Anxiety in Post-Soviet Georgia
Funder: USC Institute of Armenian Studies
Award: $3,780
Summary: Bringing in its focus the case of Armenian minority in the East Georgian provincial town, the proposed research will explore how the prevalence of the nationalist discourses in the late-Soviet and post-Soviet identity politics in the region impacts on social memory, cultural practices and ethnic identification of local population.

Named investigator: Katherine Tonkiss
Title: How do the policy narratives of ‘organised publics’ influence contemporary migration policy-making? A comparative analysis of the UK and Australia
Funder and Reference: British Academy – SG142335
Award: £6,300
Dates: May 2015 – April 2017
Summary: The migration policy literature has drawn attention to the role of powerful ‘organised publics’ in shaping migration policy interventions, with a particular focus on business groups, political elites and the general public. The role of migration rights organisations – charities and other non-governmental organisations campaigning for the rights of migrants – has tended to be overlooked and, where it has been considered, viewed as relatively unimportant. This project aims to examine the role of migration rights organisations as an organised public in comparative perspective, focusing specifically on the policy narratives of a selection of case study organisations from the UK and Australia and the ways in which these are used to contest the direction of migration policy. The project aims to deliver new insights about the role of these organisations which will be strongly relevant to both researchers working to theorise the migration policy process and campaigners, advocates and policymakers working on the ground.

Named investigator: Chrissie Rogers
Title: Care-less Spaces: Prisoners with learning difficulties and their families’. 
Funder and Reference: The Leverhulme Trust, RF-2016-613\8
Award: £38,890
Dates: September 2016 – August 2017 
Summary: Prisoners with learning difficulties (LD) are amongst the most disparaged and marginalised group in custody. However, in contrast to other disadvantaged groups, they and their families have received less scholarly attention than their presence in, and experience of the prison system arguably merits. Furthermore, there is a relative absence of organised political pressure within civil society aimed at addressing their overrepresentation in the prison system and their experiences of custody. Utilising a care ethics model of disability and qualitative life story data with families, ex-offenders and professionals working with them, this research explores a school to prison pipeline and everyday tensions that exist within a highly bureaucratic system. Therefore, the proposed study goes beyond risk-based approaches to offending and reoffending by examining criminal careers and experiences of incarceration from, the perspectives of families (often the mother), the ex-offender and professionals working with them. It explores the everyday tensions that exist for offenders with learning difficulties, identifying the experiential precursors of entry into the criminal justice system (school to prison pipeline) and examining the difficulties these inmates and their families face with reference to bureaucratic systems of custodial control and containment. By exploring support for people with learning difficulties via three caring spheres (the emotional, practical, and socio-political) characterised by care-less spaces, the care ethics model provides an analytically powerful framework for examining the social and political relations that shape the interface of disability, criminalisation, and incarceration as a process rather than a series of loosely connected events.