Department of Political Science


Migration Cluster

The Migration Cluster is a newly formed research cluster at UCL’s Department of Political Science, that fosters exchange and facilitates collaboration in the area of migration research. The cluster's main activities are to discuss its members’ migration-related work in progress and to connect with external researchers in the area of migration research.



Cluster meetings

  • Sascha Riaz's presentation on "Racial Threat in Public Social Spaces" (April 30th, 2024). 

Past meetings

  • Stephanie Schwartz's presentation on "Refugee Return without Refoulement: Human Rights Norm Compliance and the Hollowing Out of the Refugee Protection Regime" (February 20th, 2024).
  • Julia de Romémont's presentation on "Good moves, bad moves: how does the public evaluate the relative legitimacy of causes of fleeing?" (January 30th, 2024).
  • Jonathan Thomas' presentation on "Asylum Seeker Right to Work in the UK: Data, Policy and Campaigning" (January 19th, 2024).
  • Moritz Marbach's presentation on refugee integration (November 21st, 2023).
  • Michal Ovadek's presentation on "Judicial Discretion and Immigration Appeals: Evidence from the UK" (October 17th, 2023).
  • Peter Dinesen's presentation on "Persuasion or Polarization? Understanding the Effects of Rhetorical References to Identity Politics" (June 13th, 2023).
  • Moritz Marbach's presentation on "Geographic Mobility and Political Behavior in Europe" (May 23rd, 2023).
  • Andrea Caflisch's presentation on "Rebuilding your tukul: understanding the drivers of IDP return and reintegration in South Sudan" (February 7th, 2023).
  • Zara Goldstone's presentation on "Migration as reparation for colonialism" (January 24th, 2023).
  • Gloria Gennaro's presentation on "The political legacy of violent inter-group contact" (December 6th, 2022).
  • Sigrid Weber's presentation on "The two-way attitudes between hosts and displaced persons in the Kasai, DRC" (November 22nd, 2022).

If you are interested in our work and think you would like to join our group, please contact us.

Guest speaker events

Jacqui Broadhead's work on "destitution in the UK" - Word Cloud

Ms Jacqueline Broadhead gave a presentation on "Understanding Migrant Destitution in the UK", a research project focussed on social services support for those subject to the NRPF condition

28 February 2023, 1pm-2pm

Noam Gidron's presentation on immigration and affective polarisation - word-cloud

Professor Noam Gidron gave a talk on "Immigration drives affective polarization as a cultural issue and an economic issue: Evidence from a ten-country experiment" with UCL's Comparative, Political Economy and Behaviour cluster. 

17 January 2023, 11am-12pm




Participants of the academic workshop are seated in a table and are paying attention to Dr Marbach who is delivering a presentation

In July 2022, the UCL Department of Political Science hosted a joint academic workshop between the UCL SPP Migration Cluster and the ETH Zurich Immigration Policy Lab entitled “The reception of past, current and future refugees - lessons learned and challenges ahead”. The goal was to foster exchange and build a foundation for future research collaborations between the SPP Migration Cluster at UCL and the Immigration Policy Lab (IPL) at ETH Zurich. During our workshop we shared insights from past research and explored their relevance to emerging challenges. We worked to identify knowledge gaps regarding new challenges stemming from the war in Ukraine, and to develop new research projects.


Members of the second joint academic workshop between the Migration Cluster and IPL discussing around a table and looking at a presentation on the screen.

The second joint academic workshop between the UCL SPP Migration Cluster and the ETH Immigration Policy Lab was hosted by the ETH Immigration Policy Lab in Zurich in July 2023. Several of our members presented and discussed joint as well as individual migration-related research, ranging from early ideas to advanced projects. The collaborative, supportive and stimulating atmosphere made for an engaging and thought-provoking environment and great feedback and discussions. We're already looking forward to the third iteration of the workshop.



Dr Weber's and Dr Turkoglu's new research publication (2023)

New research publication: "When to Go? A Conjoint Experiment on Social Networks, Violence, and Forced Migration Decisions in Eastern and Southeastern Turkey".

Dr. Sigrid Weber and Dr. Oguzhan Turkoglu contribute empirically to the literature on forced migration with individual-level evidence on the decision-making process underlying flight reactions to violence.



A drone hovers above a field of sorghum

Book launch: "Robots and Immigrants: Who is stealing jobs?" 

Who steals jobs? Who owns jobs? Focusing on the competitive labour market, this book scrutinises the narratives created around immigration and automation.

Join us on 29 March 2023, 12:00 pm–2:00 pm, for a critical discussion of the book with the authors, and the key themes explored within in. All are welcome to attend.


Watch the Policy and Practice seminar on Challenges Faced by LGBTIQ+ Migrants and Asylum Seekers.

Filmed on 26 January 2023


Our members conduct research on a variety of migration-related issues, ranging from immigration sentiments and exclusionary attitudes to inclusivity in post-conflict transitions and the politics of counting people on the move.

Selected Publications


Our team consists of the Political Science Department's members of staff and PhD students interested in topics around migration.

Andrea Caflisch

Andrea Caflisch is smiling at the camera, he is wearing sport attire and he is against a mountaineous background.

MPhil/PhD student at UCL’s Department of Political Science and School of Public Policy

Andrea’s main interest is in the politics of voluntary and forced migration

Alexandra Hartman


Associate Professor of Political Science and Public Policy

Alex’s main interest lies in the political economy of forced displacement, including the institutional and individual factors that shape decision-making during humanitarian crises

Denny Pencheva

denny pencheva

Lecturer (Teaching) European Politics and Public Policy

Denny’s main interest lies in European migration policies and Brexit

Gloria Gennaro

Gloria Gennaro wearing glasses and smiling at the camera against a landscape of green mountains.

Lecturer in Public Policy and Data Science

Gloria’s is particularly interested in electoral behaviour and comparative political economy

Ioanna Gkoutna

Ioanna smiles into the camera. She is standing in front of green foliage.

Ph.D. student at the Department of Political Science at UCL

Ioanna’s main interest is in political economy and social policy

Judith Spirig


Lecturer in Political Science 

Judith’s main interests is in the causes and consequences of exclusionary attitudes

Moritz Marbach

Mortiz smiles into the camera.

Associate Professor in Data Science & Public Policy

Moritz is mainly interested in how policies regulating migration affect citizens’ policy preferences and behaviour

Peter Dinesen

Headshot of Peter Dinesen

Professor of Political Science

Peter’s main interest is in the social cohesion of Western societies and the sources of immigration sentiments among the native-born

Julia Du Pont De Romemont

Julia is wearing a white shirt with navy blue dots and a cardigan. Her hair is up. She is smiling. She looks like she is standing at the end of a tunnel, and green light is coming in from behind her.

Lecturer in Quantitative Methods and Political Science and holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Oxford.

Julia’s main interest in is the consequences of social heterogeneity for public support for the welfare state

Zara Goldstone

Zara Goldstone wearing a black shirt and smiling at the camera

PhD student in Political Theory

Zara is interested in the ethics of migration, in particular whether migration rights should be used as a form of reparations for historical injustices

Maria Patouna

Maria at a white background smiling at the camera

Research Assistant for the SPP Migration Cluster 

Maria is a MSc Data Science and Public Policy student


Former members

Sigrid Weber 

Postdoctoral Fellow at the Immigration Policy Lab at Stanford University.

Sigrid is particularly interested in forced migration, statelessness and civilian resilience in fragile settings.

Niu Nelson 

MSc Applied Social Data Science Graduate