Students Staff

Department of Sociology

Centre for Migration Studies

University of Essex

Our Centre

We address critical issues surrounding migration such as human rights, immigration policies, forced migration, education, citizenship, political engagement, social cohesion, religion, human trafficking, race, ethnicity and identity.

We seek to bring this multidisciplinary research together to foster academic exchange and encourage collaboration across the University, with academics from the UK and with colleagues from the University of Cologne (Germany), Kobe University (Japan), University of California Davis and Los Angeles (USA), CIESAS (Mexico) and UNED (Spain).

Our aims

  1. Investigate what kinds of inequality and power relationships exist between host society and the foreign born in relation to rights and citizenship.
  2. Determine the role of civil society in the process of reception and social inclusion of migrants, especially for refugees.
  3. Discuss the connections between migration, social control and crime.
  4. Explore diasporic identities, migrants narratives and cultural productions.
  5. Understand the divergent pathways of immigrants and their children in school, work, social and political life.
  6. Examine the challenges and barriers that European countries face in managing the mobility of persons to realise competitiveness and growth.

Our members

  • Dr Renee Luthra (Director) - expert on immigrant integration and ethnic inequality in school, work and health in Germany, the United States and the UK.
  • Dr Carlos Gigoux (Deputy Director) - expert on the impact of migration for Indigenous peoples and the role of social movements in advancing migrants and refugees rights.
  • Dr Neli Demireva - expert in migration, inter-ethnic ties, social cohesion, ethnic penalties and multiculturalism.
  • Dr Ayse Güveli - expert in dynamics of socioeconomic, cultural and religious integration and social mobility among migrants in Europe.
  • Professor Ewa Morawska - expert on different trajectories of immigrants' integration into the host society and the mechanisms facilitating and hindering ground-level multiculturalism or friendly everyday inter-group relations in different places/different times.
  • Professor Yasemin Soysal - expert on the intersections of citizenship, human rights and immigration and the transnational transformations of higher education.
  • Selin Sivis (Senior Research Officer)
  • Our affiliates

    • Dr Thomas Hippler (Essex Business School) - expert in expatriate mnagement.
    • Professor Diane Holt (Essex Business School) - expert in business models in poverty contexts and informal economy.
    • Professor Jay Mitra (Essex Business School) - expert in entrepreneurship, innovation and development, migration and entrepreneurship and transnational entrepreneurship.
    • Dr Federica Genovese (Department of Government) - expert in migration politics and policy in Italy.
    • Professor Kristian Skrede Gleditsch (Department of Government) - expert in conflict, violence and institutions.
    • Dr Rabia Karakaya Polat (Department of Government) - expert in discourses on Syrian refugees in Turkey.
    • Dr Sean Kelley (Department of History) - expert in transatlantic slave trade.
    • Dr Magda Borkowska (Institute for Social and Economic Research) - expert in ethnic minorities, political behaviour, civil society and integration.
    • Professor Peter Patrick (Department of Language and Linguistics) - expert in language testing of asylum claimants.
    • Dr Uri Horesh (Department of Language and Linguistics) - expert in sociolinguistics and Palestine.
    • Dr Emma Briant (Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies) - expert in propaganda, Brexit and Cambridge analytica and Trump campaign ties, media coverage of refugees, counter-terrorism communications and policy.
    • Professor Maria Cristina Fumagalli (Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies) - expert in Caribbean migration, migration and denationalisation issues in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
    • Dr Zibiah Alfred Loakthar (Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies) - expert in refugee care and refugee oral history.
    • Dr Nicolas Geeraert (Department of Psychology) - expert in acculturation, cross-cultural psychology and social psychology.
    • Dr Anna Sergi (Department of Sociology) - expert in criminology, comparative criminal justice and criminal mobility.
    • Dr Isabel Crowhurst (Department of Sociology) - expert in commercial sex, migrant prostitution, governance of prostitution and sex trafficking, intimacy and personal life.
    • Professor Yasemin Soysal (Department of Sociology) - expert in international migration, internationalisation of Higher Education, citizenship and human rights.
    • Dr Dorothee Schneider (Department of Sociology) - expert in migration.
  • Our PhD students

    • Ali Khattab (School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering) - expert in security, pattern recognition and image processing.
    • Stefan Marincas (School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering).
    • Raj Patel (Institute for Social and Economic Research).
    • Julian Costas Fernandez (Department of Economics) - expert in applied microeconometrics, labour economics and migration economics.
    • Pierre Rialland (Department of Economics) - expert in economics of crime, labour economics and development economics.
    • Tilotama Pradhan (Department of Sociology) - expert in the journey of the Indian migrant students and the maintenance of the home culture during their stay in the UK.
    • Christakis Peristianis (Department of Sociology) - expert in the legacy of refugeehood - life stories and postmemory in an extended family of Greek-Cypriot refugees.
    • Stefanie Nitsche (Department of Sociology) - expert in legal consciousness of undocumented migrant women in the UK.
    • Ramazan Kılınç (Department of Sociology) - expert in intermarriage between Turks and Kurds in Turkey.
    • Fatma Doğan Akkaya (Department of Sociology) - expert in the culture of diaspora and (un)changing identities: Turkish-Sunni Ethnicity and their negotiation with media in London.
    • Alejandra Beatriz del Carmen Diaz de Leon Cardena (Department of Sociology) - expert in trust and bonding among transit migrants in Mexico.
    • Kerwei Chien (Department of Sociology) - expert in the fragmentation of Chineseness in the Philippines Chinese schools.
    • Shovita Dhakal Adhikari (Department of Sociology) - expert in rethinking child trafficking in Nepal - challenges, perspectives and good practice.
    • Andrea Catalina Blanco (Institute for Social and Economic Research).
    • Qian Sun (Department of Psychology).
    • Aiko Ikemura Amaral (Department of Sociology).
    • Sanjaya Aryal (Department of Sociology)- expert in migration, labour, gender, care, human rights, not-for-profit organisation and Nepal.
    • Daniela Peruzzo (Centre for Trauma, Asylum and Refugees) - expert in psychosocial approaches to human rights, discourse analysis in a migration context, the impact of discourse on trauma in the construction of the refugee's identity.
    • Parvaneh Astinfeshan (Department of Sociology) - expert in the trajectories of migrants' integration into the host society, the impact of migration in gender relations, intimacy and sexuality, and migrants' transnational connections to their country of origin.
  • International collaborators

Our events

The Essex Centre for Migration Studies is organising an annual academic workshop on ‘Migration Challenges in the UK at the Dawn of Brexit’ on 26 September in the Lakeview Room.

Every year, we organise three workshops to help us acheive our aims.

Study with us

If you study in our Department, you’ll become a core members of the Centre. We support our students studying MA Migration Studies and MSc Migration Studies and provide supervision for our PhD courses.

Contact us

If you'd like to know more about the work we do, or have any questions, contact Renee Luthra at