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School of Geography

Citizenship & Belonging – PhD projects

We have considerable experience in guiding students successfully through a PhD and helping applicants develop proposals and seek funding. We welcome expressions of interest in any of the research areas list below.

Research areas

For further details of our research and staff, please click here.

1. Social identities

Members of the cluster are interested in how social identities and difference are (re)constructed, contested, and resisted in a range of contexts and at a range of scales, from the body, home, city, nation and globally. A key focus for the group is the negotiation of multiple identities and the notion of intersectionality in different geographical contexts. We are interested in the theoretical, empirical, and practical/policy dimensions of these issues, and have a particular concern for how our research can influence international debates on equality, diversity, and discrimination.

We would welcome research proposals on:

  • The geographies of childhood, youth, age, intergenerationality, and education/schooling
  • Geographies of disability, race, ethnicity and segregation
  • Religion and religious change
  • Sexualities and queer geographies
  • Gender and feminist geographies
  • The body and embodied politics
  • Geographies of art
  • Social exclusion and inclusion
  • Material and virtual identities

Cluster members interested in potential PhD students in this area include:

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2. Migration and transnationalism

Migration and transnationalism have become key terms to understand movements and flows across the globe. We are interested in how migration and transnationalism affect the geographies around us and the intersections with experiences of citizenship and belonging. Our research focuses on the theoretical, empirical, and practical dimensions of these issues.

We would welcome research proposals on:

  • Asylum seekers and refugees
  • Economic migrants, detention and immigration
  • Transnational urbanism
  • Remittances & social/economic development
  • Transnational religious movements

Cluster members interested in potential PhD students in this area include:

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3. Human rights, legal geographies, and equalities

We are interested in the construction and contestation of legal frameworks to promote equality and protect human rights, as well as the formation of legal subjectivities. This includes research on forced and unfree labour; the regulation of hate crime and hate speech; the impact of workplace policies on LGBT populations; and experiences of 'illegality' amongst urban squatters and other marginalised groups.

We would welcome research proposals on:

  • Hate speech and hate crime
  • Gender violence and informal justice
  • Everyday experiences of law and illegality
  • Geographies of legal subjectivities
  • The regulation and policing of legal equalities

Cluster members interested in potential PhD students in this area include:

4. Environmental and Ecological citizenships

We are interested in questioning what it means to be an ecological citizen in the context of a global crisis of climate change, resource depletion and struggles over the commons. This includes research on how those in the global south are enacting new forms of citizenship tied to human-nature relations, struggling to save their homes and livelihoods from forces of neoliberalism, urbanization or climate change, and articulating their rights and responsibilities vis-a-vis local and global commons, resource use and sustainability.

We would welcome research proposals on:

  • Environmental rights and justice
  • Active citizenship practices around resource use and global/local commons
  • Social movements and citizen-ecology relations
  • Lived experiences of ecological change

Cluster members interested in potential PhD students in this area include:

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5. Urban citizenship and Development geographies

Urban citizenship struggles and concern with uneven development experiences remain a key part of human geography with its commitment to social justice. As well as 'traditional' development themes in the Global North and South we are also interested inhow claims to urban citizenship are made during displacement, dispossession and exclusion from urban development in different geographic contexts. . We are interested in the themes below and in alternative ways of being/doing that connect to ideas of citizenship and belonging.

We would welcome research proposals on:

  • Urban displacement and dispossession
  • Precarity and transformative politics for migrant workers
  • Gender and urban politics
  • Social movements and resistance

Cluster members interested in potential PhD students in this area include:

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6. Geographies of nation and nationalism

Questions regarding the role and nature of nation, nationalism and national identity are at the forefront of a range of contemporary political debates. These include concerns over the erosion of national cultures, the promotion of national identity as a route to social cohesion and changes in the political structure of the UK. Members of our cluster are interested in exploring the 'doings' of nation, nationalism and national identity in a range of social and spatial contexts. In particular, we are interested in critically exploring the utility of these concepts in addressing the needs and ambitions of socially and culturally diverse communities.

We would welcome research proposals on:

  • Emotional geographies of national identity
  • The (re)production of nations and/or national identities in everyday life
  • Gender and nation/national identity
  • Intersections of national identity and citizenship
  • National identity and social integration
  • Alternative nationalisms

Cluster members interested in potential PhD students in this area include:

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