Migration Studies Unit


The focal point for migration research across the LSE

The LSE Migration Studies Unit is a multi-disciplinary research group currently hosted by the Department of Government. It is the focal point for migration research across all LSE departments. Through the initiative of students and academics working together, the Unit offers a network for migration scholars and policy-makers inside and outside LSE, at the cosmopolitan crossroads of London. The MSU also has close links with the London Migration Research Group.

Specifically, the LSE Migration Studies Unit seeks to:

  • Establish an international and multi-disciplinary network of scholars interested in migration
  • Stimulate debate on migration studies through lectures, conferences, research seminars and a graduate reading group
  • Share resources with MSU members through a mailing list and events bulletin

About our work

The Migration Studies Unit (MSU) was founded at the LSE in Spring 2007 as a multidisciplinary research unit spanning the complementary fields of political science, sociology, anthropology, geography, economics, and law. The Unit was launched to provide a home for migration scholars from inside and outside LSE.

The LSE MSU aims to:

  1. Organise public lectures, panel discussions and conferences with academics, policymakers, and community leaders in the broad realm of migration studies.
  2. Manage a reading group that meets fortnightly so migration scholars can exchange ideas about new books and articles in the field.
  3. Act as the host for the London Migration Research Group (LMRG), an inter-university and interdisciplinary network of migration scholars.
  4. Provide an interactive forum for colleagues to engage and communicate with one another via our email list and website.
  5. Co-ordinate grant applications for projects that will help to expand our current knowledge about migration.
  6. Host working papers from our lecture series and research students from the LSE and around London.

Your involvement and support of the LSE MSU is encouraged. We welcome your ideas for new ways to engage with migration issues.

The MSU logo

The Migration Studies Unit's mascot and trademark logo is the intrepid Monarch Butterfly.
This splendid creature has been regularly undertaking one of the most extraordinary migrations long before the age of globalisation. It is the only butterfly that migrates both north and south in the manner of birds. In North America, Monarchs go from Mexico and and the Caribbean into the United States and Canada for warmer seasons. And in Europe, they migrate from North Africa to Western Europe.

As no single butterfly can survive the entire journey, their endeavours are continued by their offspring.

Frequently asked questions

Would the LSE Migration Studies Unit be interested in co-organising a conference, lecture, or event?

Yes. Please contact Carolyn Armstrong.

Does the LSE MSU offer fellowships? 

We do not currently offer any fellowships for students or guest scholars. Unfortunately, we cannot offer desks for visiting researchers either. When this changes, we will advertise it through the website.

Does the LSE Migration Studies Unit offer migration related programmes and courses?

Yes - the Migration Studies Unit has close ties with the MSc International Migration and Public Policy Programme, which is administered by the Department of Government and jointly run by academics from the Departments of Government, Sociology and the European Institute. Please see the programme page for further details and a list of relevant course.

Members

Directors

Dr Eiko Thielemann (Director)

Dr Eiko Thielemann is a Senior Lecturer in European Politics & Policy in the Department of Government and the European Institute of the LSE. His research focuses on international cooperation, asylum and migration, and on multi-level governance and redistribution.Dr Eiko Thielemann is a Senior Lecturer in European Politics & Policy in the Department of Government and the European Institute of the LSE. His research focuses on international cooperation, asylum and migration, and on multi-level governance and redistribution.

Website: http://personal.lse.ac.uk/thielema/
Email: e.thielemann@lse.ac.uk

Dr Patrick McGovern (Deputy Director)

Dr Patrick McGovern is a Reader in the Department of Sociology. Dr McGovern specializes in economic sociology, especially the sociology of work and labor markets, as well as international migration. Dr Patrick McGovern is a Reader in the Department of Sociology. Dr McGovern specializes in economic sociology, especially the sociology of work and labor markets, as well as international migration.

Website: LSE Sociology profile
Email: p.mcgovern@lse.ac.uk

Professor Luc Bovens (Deputy Director)

Luc Bovens is a Professor in the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method. He coordinates the MSc Philosophy and Public Policy. His research interests are moral philosophy, philosophy of economics, and rational and social choice. He is currently working on EU refugee policy.

Website: www.bovens.org
Email: l.bovens@lse.ac.uk

Dr Justin Gest (Deputy Director and Research Fellow)

Dr Justin Gest is a Research Associate at LSE Global Governance, as well as Deputy Director and Research Fellow of the LSE Migration Studies Unit. He co-founded the Unit in 2006. His research examines migrants' political behaviour and democratic political participation more generally. More specifically, his work considers social cohesion, integration, identity politics, political alienation, and Muslims in the West. His new research investigates social and political relations
in response to global transformational change. He holds a BA in Government from Harvard, an MSc in International Relations from the LSE, and a PhD in Government from the LSE

Dr Justin Gest is a Research Associate at LSE Global Governance, as well as Deputy Director and Research Fellow of the LSE Migration Studies Unit. He co-founded the Unit in 2006. His research examines migrants' political behaviour and democratic political participation more generally. More specifically, his work considers social cohesion, integration, identity politics, political alienation, and Muslims in the West. His new research investigates social and political relationsin response to global transformational change. He holds a BA in Government from Harvard, an MSc in International Relations from the LSE, and a PhD in Government from the LSE

Website: www.justingest.com
Email: j.gest@lse.ac.uk

Research Fellows

Anna Boucher (Research Fellow and Co-Founder)

A Zeit-Ebelin Bucerius Scholar in Migration Studies, Anna Boucher is also a 4th year doctoral student in the Department of Government at the LSE. Her research analyses the gender implications of the shift towards more economically selective immigration policy, focussing on Australia and Canada. Anna is one of the founders of the MSU and remains involved through her position as a co-investigator on the Immigration Policy Index Project. From July 2010 she will be a lecturer in the Department of Government at the University of Sydney, Australia.

Email: a.k.boucher@lse.ac.uk

Natascha Zaun (Research Fellow)

Natascha Zaun is a research fellow at the MSU since January 2013. She is a researcher and lecturer in the area of International Relations at Mainz University, Germany. Natascha holds a PhD in Political Science from Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences (BIGSSS), Germany, an M.A. in Political Science, Public International Law and French Philology from Bonn University, Germany, and a Licence (B.A.) in Franco-German relations from Université de Paris III - Sorbonne Nouvelle, France. In her PhD thesis she investigates EU decision-making in the area of asylum policies and finds that regulatory expertise is a power resource in transgovernmental negotiations, enabling some Member States to particularly influence EU legislative output. Her research interests cover EU asylum policies and the role of EU institutions, human rights and refugee law as well as immigration and asylum policies in the OECD in comparative perspective.

Email: zaun@politik.uni-mainz.de

Executive Committee

Carolyn Armstrong (Manager, Treasurer and Research Fellow)

Carolyn Armstrong is an MPhil/PhD student in the Department of Government at the LSE. Her research focuses on developments in regional cooperation regarding asylum policy in the European Union and North America. Carolyn has previously completed an MSc in the Politics and Government of the European Union at the LSE and holds a BA (Hons) with a double major in Political Science and History from McMaster University in Canada.

Email: c.armstrong@lse.ac.uk

Elliott Fox (Public Relations)

Elliott Fox graduated from the London School of Economics in 2009 with an MSc in Media and Communications. His dissertation looked at 'new media' and journalistic practices in the UK coverage of immigration policy. Prior to that, he was an intern at UNHCR's press office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He holds a BA in Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London).

Email: e.j.fox@lse.ac.uk

Luisa Feline Freier (Reading Group)

Feline Freier is an MPhil/PhD student in the Department of Government at the LSE. Her research analyses the impact of migration policy on south-south migration, focusing on African migration to Latin America. Feline holds a BA in Latin American Studies (Economics) from the University of Cologne and a MA in Latin American Studies (Sociology and Law) from UW-Madison.

Email: l.f.freier@lse.ac.uk

Mogens Hobolth (Working Papers and Reading Group)

Mogens Hobolth is an MPhil/PhD student at the LSE's European Institute. His research focuses on the development and implementation of the EU's border policy. Mogens holds a BA and MA in Political Science from the University of Copenhagen and an MA in International Relations from King's College London.  

Mogens Hobolth is an MPhil/PhD student at the LSE's European Institute. His research focuses on the development and implementation of the EU's border policy. Mogens holds a BA and MA in Political Science from the University of Copenhagen and an MA in International Relations from King's College London.

Website: http://personal.lse.ac.uk/hobolth/
Email: m.h.hobolth@lse.ac.uk

Laura Robbins-Wright (Reading Group)

Laura Robbins-Wright is an MPhil/PhD student in the Department of Government at the LSE. Her research focuses on public-private partnerships in refugee resettlement in Canada and the United States and responsibility sharing in the European Union. Her other research interests include the dynamics of European Union asylum policy, the evolving migration-security nexus, and the externalisation of migration controls. Laura holds a Master of Arts in European Political and Administrative Studies from the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium and an Honours Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from the University of Toronto in Canada.

Website: http://personal.lse.ac.uk/robbinsw/
Email: l.i.robbins-wright@lse.ac.uk

Dr Martina Viarengo (Working Papers)

Dr Martina Viarengo is a Research Officer at the London School of Economics where she works at the Centre for Economic Performance, and a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. Her research interests lie in the areas of Comparative Education Policy, Inequality and Migration, as well as education policy and labor market outcomes in the OECD and developing countries. She holds a PhD from the London School of Economics, a Master's from Northwestern University and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Turin.

Email: m.g.viarengo@lse.ac.uk

Advisory Board

Professor Didier Bigo

Didier Bigo is a Professor of International Relations at Sciences-Po and a Visiting Professor in the Department of War Studies at King's College, London.

Website: Visit Professor Bigo's website

Dr Elspeth Guild

Dr Elspeth Guild is a Professor of European Migration Law at the University of Nijmegen, Netherlands. She is also a Visiting Professor at the LSE and a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels.

LSE Faculty Associates

LSE Student Associates

  • Federico Baradello
  • Claire Beaugrand
  • Max Bolt 
  • Elisabeth Frantz
  • Lior Herman
  • Malcolm James
  • Matthias Mayer

External Affiliates

Working papers

The LSE MSU is proud to host the following papers:

Working Paper Author Title
2012/03 Hobolth, Mogens  Researching Mobility Barriers: The European Visa Database
2012/02 Schulzek, Nina  The impact of welfare systems on immigration: An analysis of welfare magnets as a pull-factor for asylum seekers and labour migrants
2012/01 De Somer, Marie Enhanced competences for the European Court of Justice: "Re-shuffling" the dynamics of EU migration policy-making?
2011/14 Thielemann, Eiko  How effective are migration and non-migration policies that affect forced migration?
2011/13 Bagameri, Daniel Changing integration policy towards third-country nationals in the European Union: Language and knowledge of society tests in the Member States
2011/12 Pavan, Marianna Can/Will Italy be held accountable for its 'push back' policy in relation to international refugee, human rights and European Union law?
2011/11 Garcia-Gomez, Jaime The impacts of international migration on the developmental convergence of Mexican municipalities
2011/10 Cooper, Hannah Prospects for the governance of refugee protection: Exploring the effect of an unbalanced level of asylum recognition rates amongst European countries
2011/09 Regout, Sybille The integration of immigrant communities in France, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands: National models in a European context
2011/08 Paul Bouanchaud Scaling Knowledge, Attitudes, Practices and Media Exposure – Are Migrants at Increased Risk of HIV in China?
2011/07 Guy Taylor China's Floating Migrants: Updates from the 2005 1% Population Sample Survey
2011/06 Irene de Lorenzo-Cáceres Cantero Explaining the uneven Europeanisation of Spanish Immigration Policy through the notion of usage 
2011/05 Ada Shima Setting the rules of the border: The Carrot, the Stick… and the Fence? The case of Albanian-Greek migration
2011/04 Robin Nobleman To be a man: Exploring masculinity and HIV service needs among African men in London
2011/03 Farah Seedat Determinants of HIV Risk among Male Migrant Workers in Mumbai
2011/02 Mauro Longo Italian policy towards legal economic migration: Aims, limits and failures
2011/01 Elise Brau UK Immigration: Motivations Behind the Introduction of the Points-Based System
2010/09 Max Nathan The long term impacts of migration in British cities: Diversity, wages, employment and prices
2010/08 Leila Mulloy Questioning Spaces: Host Society Development and Diaspora - The Asociación Cultural de Ayuda Social Europa-Africa por el Progreso de Senegal
2010/07  Sin Yee Koh Towards a Theory of "Skilled Diasporic Citizenship": Tertiary-Educated Chinese-Malaysians in Singapore as Citizens, Diasporas, and Transnational Migrants Negotiating Citizenship and Migration Decisions
2010/06 Maria Teresa Vanikiotis Contemporary Minority Politics: Local Empowerment via International Advocacy 
2010/05 Victoria Livinski  Is Moldova able to convert international anti-trafficking treaties into domestic policies that prioritize the interests of its citizens? A Policy Process Approach
2010/04 Milica Petrovic Freedom of movement in the European Union: Visa liberalisation in the Western Balkan countries
2010/03 Andrew Salomone Viteritti An independent norms entrepreneur? The European Commission and asylum rights
2010/02 Aliza Amlani Bonds, Bridges and Links: Exploring the role of how a community centre can strengthen the social capital of Iraqi and British elders for improved health and psychosocial wellbeing
2010/01 Fiona C. Thomas  Exploring coping mechanisms in conditions of displacement: The struggles and strengths of Pakistani and Somali urban refugees in Nepal
2009/02 Markus Sperl 'When prime ministers replace policemen': An analysis of the adoption of European Council immigration and asylum JHA work programmes
2009/01 John Campbell Caught between the ideology and realities of development: Transitioning from the Horn of Africa to Europe
2008/04 Astrid Dentler Why do Some States Draw Upon Amnesties While Others Do Not? A Comparison Between Spain and the United Kingdom
2008/03 Eiko Thielemann The Future of the Common European Asylum System: In Need of a More Comprehensive Burden-Sharing Approach
2008/02 Anna Boucher The political participation of Berlin's Turkish migrants in the dual citizenship and headscarf debates: A multi-level comparison
2008/01 Stephen Castles Migration and Social Transformation

The Working Paper Series is managed by the LSE Migration Studies Unit (MSU). It aims to promote and disseminate interdisciplinary research on migration issues. The series is currently edited by Mogens Hobolth and Dr Martina Viarengo.

Guidelines

Who may submit working papers?

Academics, research fellows, taught and research students. Generally, authors will be expected to be either members of the LSE community or affiliates of the MSU.

What kind of work should be submitted?

The main criterion for submission is whether the paper is of a sufficient quality and falls within the aims and scopes of the MSU. The contribution can be from various disciplines including political science, sociology, anthropology, geography, economics, law, and philosophy. The contribution must relate to the subject of migration.

We are also pleased to publish post-graduate LSE master's dissertation on the subject of migration. The purpose is to present the wide range of solid and excellent post-graduate work carried out at the school to a wider audience.

What are the guidelines for submitting?

  • Working papers should resemble articles in a peer-reviewed academic journal regarding format, quality, and length.
  • The working paper should include an abstract of 100 to 200 words and a list of up to 10 keywords.
  • Contributions should usually be between 8,000 and 10,000 words in length, including bibliography and footnotes.
  • Contributions should be in "Times New Roman" with font size 12 Pt, and a line spacing of 1.5.
  • The Harvard System of referencing should be used.
  • Papers should be submitted as Microsoft Word files.
  • Graphs, pictures and tables should be included as appropriate in the same file as the paper.
  • Submissions should be emailed to the editors.

What is the review procedure?

  • The working papers are reviewed internally by the editors.
  • The reply will indicate one of the four options: (a) accept without changes; (b) accept with minor changes; (c) allow resubmission after major changes; or (d) reject.
  • If a paper is accepted, the author is kindly asked to address possible minor linguistic or other stylistic errors, in addition to other comments.

Migration research at LSE

The LSE Migration Studies Unit is currently involved in the following research projects:

IMPALA (International Migration Policy and Law Analysis)

The IMPALA Database is a collaborative project, bringing together social science and legal researchers from:

We are currently gathering comparable data on immigration law and policy in over 25 countries of immigration between 1960 and 2010. We examine all major categories of immigration law and policy, covering the acquisition of citizenship, economic migration, family reunification, permanent immigration, temporary migration, asylum and refugee protection, and policies relating to undocumented migration and border control.

The IMPALA project page

International Burden-Sharing: Redistributive Politics Beyond the State

The question of how to share the costs for the provision of collective goods or common initiatives between states has long been prominent among researchers interested in international organisations, in particular in the area of collective security. 

More recently, one has been able to observe a widening of the burden-sharing debate, with more questions being asked about states 'regional and global responsibilities in areas such as peace-keeping, climate change, as well as forced migration, as countries have been faced with significant and very unequal responsibilities as a result of highly fluctuating inflows of asylum seekers into their territories.

Dr Eiko Thielemann is in the process of completing a research monograph which will analyse the rationale, mechanisms and effectiveness of international burden/responsibility-sharing in the case of international refugee protection. 

The International Burden-Sharing project page

International Migrants Bill of Rights

The International Migrants Bill of Rights is a dynamic blueprint for the protection of the rights of migrants, drawing from all areas of international law, including treaty law, customary international law, areas of State practice and best practices. It is the result of a two-year collaboration between students at:

The International Migrants Bill of Rights project page

LSE Migration Studies Unit Working Papers

The working papers series aims to promote and disseminate interdisciplinary research on migration issues. It is open to LSE staff and students, as well as affiliates of the Migration Studies Unit. You can find the full listings in the Working Paper section on this page.

Subscribe

General Newsletter

The LSE MSU aims to bring together students and researchers interested in migration throughout broader London. If you would like to be kept informed of the latest LSE MSU events, please write an email to LISTSERV@jiscmail.ac.uk with 'subscribe MSU' written in the email body only. You will be automatically added.

To unsubscribe, write an email to LISTSERV@jiscmail.ac.uk with 'unsubscribe MSU' in the email body.

Reading Group Newsletter

The MSU reading group also operates a mailing-list, which you can subscribe to by writing to LISTSERV@jiscmail.ac.uk with 'subscribe MSU-READING-GROUP' written in the email body.

Web resources

Academic sites

Europe

North America

Advocacy Groups

Government Bureaus

International Organisations

Reading group

Students and staff are invited to discuss key texts in the field, which can then be used as a platform for debates on particular research interests. The issues could include but are not limited to: migration and development; highly skilled immigration; refugee policy; immigration law; theories of migration; migration and integration; family migration; and, international coordination of migratory flows.

For more information, please contact Laura Robbins-Wright.

Stay informed

If you would like to be added to the mailing list for the LSE MSU reading group, please send an email to LISTSERV@jiscmail.ac.uk with 'subscribe MSU-READING-GROUP' in the email body only. You will be automatically added.

To unsubscribe, send an email to LISTSERV@jiscmail.ac.uk with 'unsubscribe MSU-READING-GROUP' in the email body.

Contact us

For all enquiries please contact MSU@lse.ac.uk