PhD on Migration at the University of Birmingham

The Governance of Migration: Policy-making in an Age of Superdiversity (PhD)

School of Government and Society and Institute for Research into Superdiversity, University of Birmingham

Supervisors: Katherine Tonkiss and Jenny Phillimore

An exciting opportunity has arisen to study for a PhD with joint supervision from the School of Government and Society and the new Institute for Research into Superdiversity (IRiS). Immigration policy is of significant public concern both in the UK and many other countries around the world. Yet the desire, and ability, to exert more control over borders is challenged by increasingly complex dynamics of migration associated with the emergence of superdiversity. Migrants  arrive from an increasingly large range of home countries through a variety of different channels. The process of designing and implementing immigration policy is becoming ever more difficult.

An emergent research agenda at the University of Birmingham  focuses upon the governance of migration policy.  The focus of this agenda  is on the processes of migration policy-making and particularly the involvement of  different actors within this  – for example government, the public, arm’s length bodies and third sector organisations. In taking up this opportunity, you will have a key role in developing this emerging research agenda.

Some possible topics for PhD study include:
1. The involvement of arm’s length (unelected) bodies in migration policy-making
2. The use of evidence and ‘fact’ in migration policy-making
3. The governance of migration in contexts with a myriad of different migration channels
4. Migration policy-making processes in comparative perspective
5. The role of the public and third sector organisations in migration policy-making
6. The impact of media and public opinion on immigration policy-making

You will be located in the University’s School of Government and Society, which has some 130 PhD researchers and 90 staff from the UK and around the world; and also will work with IRiS, the UK’s first multidisciplinary centre for the study of superdiversity, with 70 staff and a Doctoral Researchers Diversity Network.

Applications are welcomed from outstanding graduates in political science, sociology, public or social policy, geography and other related fields. You should have, or be in the process of completing, a masters degree in a relevant field  – with grades well above the pass mark.

Outstanding applicants meeting the ESRC’s UK residence requirement may be submitted into the University of Birmingham ESRC DTC funding competition for entry to the PhD programme in October 2014. To find out if you are eligible, see the ESRC website. However, if you wish to be considered you must send an outline application and CV by 27th September 2013, even if you have not completedyour Masters dissertation.

Self-funded students meeting the academic qualifications set out above are welcome to apply.

Potential applicants should submit a CV and outline research proposal to Dr Katherine Tonkiss:


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