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Associate Professor in the Department of Geography+44 (0) 191 33 41967



2020-present Associate Professor in Political Geography, Durham University

2016-2020 Assistant Professor/Lecturer in Political Geography, Durham University

2016-2019 Associate Editor, Environment & Planning D: Society and Space.

2013-2015 Academy of Finland Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Geography, University of Oulu, Finland.

2011-2013 Postdoctoral Researcher, Mobilities, Borders & Identities Research Group, Department of Geography, University of Oulu, Finland.

  • BA, Philosophy, Grinnell College, USA
  • MA, Geography, University of Kentucky, USA
  • Certificate in Gender and Women's Studies, University of Kentucky, USA
  • PhD, Geography, University of Kentucky, USA
  • Docent, Political Geography, University of Oulu, Finland
Research Projects

Economies of Exclusion: Money, Labour and Value in Immigration and Asylum Politics (Political Economy Fellowship 2020, Independent Social Research Foundation)

The proposed research theorises how migrants are made valuable to others through new economies of migration control. I draw from broader geographical debates about value, lively commodities, and bioeconomies to think through the economics of securitised migration control. Research on the privatization, outsourcing, and commodification of migration control practices identifies a number of new political economic orders: immigration industrial complexes, migration industries, detention rights industries, and intimate economies of detention. Public-private governance is increasingly common in refugee and migration governance, as state borders and citizenship administration are outsourced in many countries. To date, however, these analyses have focused on political and legal problems arising from the delegation of sovereign power, lack of transparency, and the global attenuation of refuge, understanding the problem to be the passage from public to private. The proposed project instead argues that privatisation, outsourcing and marketization of migration and asylum control is a reorganisation of authority that incorporates economic governance alongside illiberal immigration practices. To understand contemporary migration control regimes, in short, we must examine the novel economic relationships sustain them. Analysing privatised immigration detention in the US and asylum-seeker debit cards in the UK, this research proposes a novel theorisation of the circuits of value that allows carceral practices of migration control to expand and endure.

GLiTCH: ESRC Standard Grant 2020-2022

This project examines how financial and digital technologies are transforming refugee governance. Debit cards have radically changed humanitarian aid and post-disaster relief, allowing both providers and recipients greater flexibility in providing for basic needs. Tech start-ups and volunteer cartographers have produced a range of apps, maps and digital information hubs for refugees seeking local information. Financial and digital technologies allow people to move, live and work in new ways and yet there is little research asking how digital technologies and debit cards change relationships between humanitarian organisations, aid workers, refugees and recipients, new private sector actors and government agencies.

Conceptually, GLiTCH bridges bridging research on economies of migration control, finance-security assemblages, and techno-humanitarianism. Recent research has investigated the role of migrants' social media use in their journeys and diasporic identity (Diminescu & Loveluck 2014; Leurs & Ponzanesi 2018; Sun Lim et al. 2016) and a recent special issue has investigated the role of smartphones in refugee journeys as their "digital passages" (Gillespie et al., 2018; Latonero & Kift 2018; Smets 2018; Trimikliniotis et al., 2015; Zijlstra & Liempt 2017). Our project asks how these technologies are changing humanitarianism, governance and refugees' everyday lives. By including diverse actors in the refugee sector and participatory co-produced research, our project aims to reveal emerging transformations in humanitarian outreach and the new barriers produced by them.

Research Team: Glenda GarelliMartina Tazzioli, Lauren Martin, Aila Spathopolou, Hanna Ruszczyk.



Research interests

  • Border and Migration Policing
  • Carceral Geographies
  • Feminist Geography
  • Political Geography
  • Security


Book review

Chapter in book

Journal Article

Other (Digital/Visual Media)

Working Paper

Supervision students