Research Network


Research collaboration lies at the heart of the ASYFAIR project. We aim to bring together legal practitioners, charity workers, activists, volunteers, asylum seekers, researchers working on asylum adjudication in Europe, as well as professionals working in asylum adjudication.

If you would like to become part of the research network, please email (or click here).

Research Network

John R Campbell

John R Campbell is a Reader in the Anthropology of Law and Africa in the Department of Anthropology & Sociology, School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS), London. His current interests focus on: refugees, the anthropology of law and magistrates’courts. Recent publications include: ‘Expert evidence in British Asylum Courts: The judicial assessment of evidence on ethnic discrimination and statelessness in Ethiopia’ in Iris Berger, Tricia Redeker Hepner, Benjamin N. Lawrance, Joanna Tague, and Meredith Terretta. Eds. 2015. Law, Expertise, and Protean Ideas about African Migrants. Ohio State University Press. Pp. 201-120; ‘Asylum v sovereignty in the 21st century: How nation-state’s breach international law to block access to asylum’, International Journal of Migration and Border Studies 2016, 2, 1, 24-39; and Bureaucracy, Law and Dystopia in the United Kingdom’s Asylum System. Routledge: N.Y. & Oxford (2017). Email: 

Julia Dahlvik

Julia Dahlvik earned her PhD in Sociology at the University of Vienna and is currently researching and teaching at the University of Applied Sciences, FH Campus Vienna (Austria). Her research focuses on organisations, law and society, public administration, and asylum. Her dissertation ‘Inside Asylum Bureaucracy’ was an ethnographic case study on the Austrian asylum administration and is forthcoming with Springer in 2018. She recently published ‘Asylum as construction work: Theorizing administrative practices in Migration Studies’. Email:

Moira Dustin

Moira Dustin is a Research Fellow in the School of Law, Politics and Sociology, working on the SOGICA project. ‘SOGICA – Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Claims of Asylum: A European human rights challenge’ is a four-year project funded by a Starting Grant of the European Research Council (ERC).  Moira is responsible for the UK casework on the Project.

Moira has a PhD in Gender Studies from the London School of Economics, where she is a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE). Before joining the University of Sussex, Moira was Director of Research and Communications at the Equality and Diversity Forum, a network of equality and human rights organisations, where she coordinated the Equality and Diversity Research Network. Moira has also worked at the Refugee Council, providing advice and information and developing national services for refugees and asylum-seekers. She has worked as a freelance sub-editor on the Guardian and Independent newspapers and was the Information Worker for the Carnegie Inquiry into the Third Age. For more information about Moira’s research and publications, please see


Chrisa Giannopoulou

Chrisa Giannopoulou received her PhD. from the Department of Balkan, Slavic and Oriental Studies in the University of Macedonia (Thessaloniki, Greece) in December 2015. Her thesis focused on the survival strategies of separated asylum-seeking children in Greek reception centres. She has worked with the Asylum Appeals’ Committees in Athens and her work and research experience also include victims of trafficking and regular migrants in Greece. In 2018 she joins a research program at the Department of Geography at the University of Aegean (Mytilene, Lesvos – Greece), titled Refugees’ Right to the city. State reception centres and housing commons: Case studies from Athens, Thessaloniki and Mytilene. She is also part of a research program at the Centre for Research on Womens’ Issues titled Assessments of accessibility and barriers to GBV services in Attica, Northern Greece, islands and Evros regions.


Anthony Good

Anthony Good is Emeritus Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh. His initial research in South India focused on domestic life-cycle ceremonies, especially those of puberty, marriage, and death. Subsequent field research in a Hindu temple was concerned with the ceremonial economy linking gods, priests and worshippers, as well as with daily and festival worship. He has frequently acted as an expert witness in asylum appeals involving Sri Lankans, and has carried out research on uses of expert evidence in the British asylum courts, and (with Robert Gibb, University of Glasgow) on the conversion of asylum applicants’ narratives into legal discourse in the UK and France. Relevant publications include Anthropology and Expertise in the Asylum Courts (Routledge-Cavendish 2007), ‘Anthropological evidence and Country of Origin Information in British asylum courts,’ pp. 122-44 in Benjamin N. Lawrance & Galya Ruffer (eds), Adjudicating Refugee and Asylum Status: The Role of Witness, Expertise and Testimony. (Cambridge University Press 2015), Of Doubt and Proof: Ritual and Legal Practices of Judgment (co-edited with Daniela Berti & Gilles Tarabout: Ashgate 2015), and ‘Law and anthropology: legal pluralism and “lay” decision-making,’ pp. 211-238 in Dawn Watkins & Mandy Burton (eds), Research Methods in Law (2nd edition: Routledge 2017). Email:


Carolina Kobelinsky

Carolina Kobelinsky is a Research Fellow at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), Laboratoire d’ethnologie et de sociologie comparative (LESC), Nanterre (France). Her current interests focus on asylum policies and its effects on ordinary life; asylum adjudication process; and deaths at the EU borders. Recent publications include: La mort aux frontières de l’Europe: retrouver, identifier, commémorer, by Collectif Babels, Ed. le passager clandestin, 2017; Trapped to the local: The effects of immigration detention in France (with S. Le Courant), In Furman R. D. Epps & G. Lamphear (eds.) Detaining the Immigrant Other: Global and Transnational Issues, Oxford University Press, 2016, pp. 129-139; Judging Intimacies at the French Court of Asylum, PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review, 38-2, 2015, pp. 338- 355. Email:


Tone Maia Liodden

Tone Maia Liodden has completed a PhD in sociology on asylum decision-making in Norway. In the thesis, she explores how decision-makers in asylum cases reach a sense of conviction about the outcome in a context of uncertainty, and how organizational and institutional factors affect the experience of discretion, responsibility and doubt. The data material consists of interviews with asylum caseworkers, review of casefiles and observations of cases in court. The thesis contributes by demonstrating how local practices may give rise to different understandings of who a refugee is, thereby contributing to explaining disparities in recognition rates for similar claims; and second, by arguing for the centrality of doubt in the exercise of discretion. The findings illustrate the importance of the institutional and bureaucratic context for understanding how “the refugee” comes into being. E-mail:


Stephanie Schneider

Stephanie Schneider is a PhD Researcher at the Department of Social Sciences at the University of Siegen, Germany. Her PhD project is an empirical investigation of frontline asylum administrative practices in Germany and the contestations around ‘good work’. Stephanie’s research interests lie at the intersection of political sociology, sociology of law and administration, and of space and borders. Recent publications include Official Standards and Local Knowledge in Asylum Procedures (Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 2017, with Karin Schittenhelm) and „Ohne ‘ne ordentliche Anhörung kann ich keine ordentliche Entscheidung machen …“ (in Lahusen und Schneider (ed.) 2017, with Kristina Wottrich). Email:


Barbara Sorgoni

Barbara Sorgoni is Associate Professor in Cultural anthropology and the Anthropology of Migrations at the Department of Cultures, Politics and Society (University of Turin, Italy). Her current interests focus on the anthropology of different forms of asylum seekers’ reception policies and practices, and the role and use of narratives in refugee status determination procedure in Italy. Recent publications include: “Practices of Reception and Integration of Urban Refugees: the Case of Ravenna, Italy”, in K. Koizumi, G. Hoffstaedter (eds), 2015, Urban Refugees. Challenges in Protection, Services and Policy, Routledge Research in Place, Space and Politics: Abington & New York, pp. 116-135; “Anthropology and Asylum Procedures and Policies in Italy” in E. Tauber, D. Zinn (eds), 2015, The Public Value of Anthropology: Engaging Critical Social Issues through Ethnography, Bozen: bu,press, pp. 31-60; “Chiedere asilo. Racconti, traduzioni, trascrizioni”, in B. Pinelli (ed.), 2013, “Migrazioni e Asilo Politico”, Antropologia, special issue, 13(15), pp. 131-151. Email:


Massimiliano Spotti

Massimiliano Spotti is Assistant Professor at the Department of Cultural Studies at Tilburg University (Netherlands). Dr. Spotti’s expertise includes the implication of the internet for asylum seeking practices, e-citizenship, e-inclusion/exclusion, as well as discourses of morality and national belonging. He is also deputy director of Babylon – The Centre for the Study of Superdiversity at Tilburg University, where he works on institutional responses to super-diversity in urban and non-urban spaces across Europe. Email:


Zachary Whyte

Zachary Whyte is Associate Professor at the Centre for Advanced Migration Studies (AMIS) / SAXO-Institute at the University of Copenhagen (Denmark).  He works with asylum seekers and refugees in Denmark and Europe. He is interested in the intersections of transnationality, state practices, uncertainty and everyday life. He wrote his DPhil (University of Oxford) drawing on a year’s ethnographic fieldwork at a Danish asylum centre, and completed a post.doc. (University of Copenhagen) examining refugees’ experiences at Danish language schools. He has since pursued numerous academic and advisory projects working with asylum seekers and refugees, local communities, as well as state, municipal, private and civil society actors. Email:

Laura Scheinert

Laura Scheinert is a PhD candidate at the University of Exeter. Her project looks to investigate in detail the changing influences over judicial reasoning before and after 2015 for specific countries and regions in Europe. Before joining the University of Exeter in September 2018, Laura worked as an evaluator at the German Institute for Development Evaluation in Bonn, Germany, as part of the team evaluating the German development volunteer service ‘weltwaerts’ (evaluation report).

Laura graduated in sociology from the University of Mannheim (Germany) in 2014 and subsequently successfully completed a Master’s programme in Sociology and Social Research at Newcastle University (2014-2015). Her MA thesis examined definitions of the ‘refugee’ based on the case of Germany’s so-called Temporary Humanitarian Admission Programmes (THAP) for Syrian refugees set up between 2013 and 2015. Two publications developed out of this work (with movements and the German Bundeszentrale fuer politische Bildung). All through her BA and MA studies as well as her work experience, Laura has developed and sustained an interest in issues around migration, asylum, citizenship and integration, looking in particular at the ways in which legal provisions play out in practice. Email:

Cevdet Acu

Cevdet Acu is a PhD candidate in Economics at the University of Exeter. He is interested in economic history, refugee economies and economic development. His focus is on the macroeconomic influence of displaced people on receiving countries. In particular, his research is concerned with the question of how Syrian refugees impact the labour market in host countries (with a focus on Sweden, Jordan, and Lebanon). He also investigates employment barriers when refugees try to find a job in order to better understand the influence of Syrian refugees in these countries. Email: 

Jo Hynes

Jo Hynes is a PhD candidate at the University of Exeter, exploring the legal geographies of EU and UK immigration law. Using ethnographies of tribunal hearings and interviews with their key actors, she will examine the impact of space and technology on access to justice in immigration bail hearings.

During her geography undergraduate at the University of Oxford (2015), Jo became interested in issues of immigration detention and was involved in student activism around Campsfield Immigration Removal Centre, in particular resisting it’s proposed expansion. After a year completing a social impact graduate scheme and working for Quakers in Britain on issues of peace and social justice, Jo went back to academia to study for an MSc in Global Migration at University College London (2017). Here she paired her experience of doing long-term ethnographies with her interests in the process of immigration law, to complete a dissertation exploring varying success rates in immigration bail hearings across three UK hearing centres. The key findings of this formed the basis for a Bail Observation Project report, which Jo looks forward to developing in this PhD research. Email:

Sarah Hughes

Sarah M. Hughes is an ESRC postdoctoral research fellow within Durham University’s Geography Department. Her current research focuses upon on conceptualisations of resistance within the UK asylum system. In addition to this research, she has pursued her interest in questions around resistance, knowledge production and what constitutes ‘the political’ through collaborative work on other projects (e.g. exploring the politics of memory at the ten-year anniversary of the London bombings and an ongoing interdisciplinary project focusing upon Chelsea Manning and the politics of knowledge curation). Email: Twitter: sarah_hughes90

Annika Lindberg

Annika Lindberg is a PhD candidate in Sociology at the University of Bern, and currently visiting scholar at the Centre for Criminology, University of Oxford. Her research focuses on the street-level enforcement of deportation processes via an ethnography of migration detention and deportation centres in Denmark and Sweden. Her research interests include migration and border enforcement, political ethnography, carceral geographies, and law and society. She is co-author of the collaborative ethnography of migration control practices in the Schengen Area (together with Lisa Marie Borrelli, Tobias Eule, and Anna Wyss, University of Bern), entitled ‘Migrants Before the Law: Contested migration control in Europe’, forthcoming with Palgrave Macmillan in 2018. Email:

Emma Marshall

Emma Marshall is a PhD candidate at the University of Exeter and a Research Fellow at the Public Law Project, which is a national legal charity that promotes access to justice for disadvantaged and marginalised groups. Her current research interests focus on the availability of immigration advice, access to legal aid in the UK, the responsibility of the state and the politics of justice. She uses ethnography to combine an interdisciplinary background of law, politics and human geography with activism and community-based research. She has also recently helped to set up a legal clinic in the Law School at University of Exeter to assist members of the public with ‘exceptional case funding’ applications for legal aid. Her PhD research is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, and supported by the South West Doctoral Training Partnership and Doctoral College at the University of Exeter. Email:

Martin Joormann

Martin Joormann has recently submitted and defended the manuscript of his Doctoral Thesis (to be published with Lund University Press) in Sociology of Law. For this research, he focuses on asylum cases decided at Sweden’s migration courts. More precisely, the study analyses how the highest legal instance, the Migration Court of Appeal (MCA), legitimizes decisions that concern asylum seekers. After conducting ten interviews with judges at Sweden’s four (second-instance) Migration Courts as well as at the (third-instance) MCA, Martin reviewed more than 200 precedents (published 2006-2016). Following Robert Stake’s approach to what he calls collective case studies, the interviews are used to sample six precedents, which are then analysed in line with Norman Fairclough’s research agenda of critical discourse analysis. With the analysis of these last-instance decisions, it is exemplified how precedents of Swedish asylum law discursively represent 1) families with children, 2) class, ethnicity and religion, gender and sexuality, and 3) the policy of ‘regulated immigration’. Besides this research on asylum determination within the Swedish migration bureaucracy, Martin is currently co-editing (with Dalia Abdelhady and Nina Gren) a book on refugee migration to Northern Europe, preliminary title “Refugees Encountering Northern European Welfare States – The Construction of Crisis and the Bureaucratization of Everyday Life”. Email: