Modern Poland: Migration and Transformations

The ‘Modern Poland’ project brings together leading scholars from the Migration Research Group at the University of Sheffield and the Centre for Migration Research at the University of Warsaw.  The project is funded by the Noble Foundation’s Programme on Modern Poland ( It runs from October 2017 to September 2019.

The project uses the lens of migration to examine key dynamics in modern Polish society and uses the transnational field to explore the interconnections between Poland and Britain. The unfolding consequences of Brexit form an important backdrop to the project.

The large numbers of Polish people living in the UK link these two societies together in many important ways. This project explores how the exchange of ideas and values, cultural practices, family relationships, caring strategies and obligations, economic and social remittances, visits and plans to return, impact both on the UK and Polish society.

The project has four main objectives:

  1. To develop a deeper knowledge and understanding of the complexity and dynamics of modern Polish society, through the lens of migration, especially among academics and the wider local communities in the North of England.
  2. To provide training to PhD students in both Poland and the UK so they can share ideas, learn new skills and access new bodies of knowledge and understanding.
  3. To foster greater cooperation between leading Polish and UK scholars through building up a new, active network between the Centre for Migration Research in Warsaw and the Migration Research Group in Sheffield.
  4. To generate new knowledge and analysis through developing an edited book, and a special issue of the Central and Eastern European Migration Review.

As part of this project, we will host a Programme of Public Lectures and Master Classes in Sheffield and Warsaw.

This project will also host a one-week Summer School in September 2018 for PhD students in collaboration with the Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews.

Finally, an International Conference will be held at the University of Sheffield in Spring 2019 which will bring together leading scholars from Poland, the UK and elsewhere to present cutting edge research on migration and its impact on various aspects of modern Polish society. PhD students and early career researchers will be especially encouraged to participate and present their work. The best papers from the conference will be invited to be part of an edited book.

Professor Louise Ryan, Dr. Majella Kilkey and Dr. Aneta Piekut lead the Sheffield team.


The MIGRATE Project

The MIGRATE Jean Monnet project aims to create a trans-European forum for debate and dialogue and build a network of researchers, with expertise in EU Integration, Western Balkans Integration, Migration, Political Economy, Sociology, Law, Politics and Economics. MIGRATE project

The project focuses on EU integration processes through investigating the impact of the on-going post-2014 migrant crisis on these processes as a trigger-event of instability and transformation.

The project began in September 2016 and is a collaboration between the University of Sheffield, The University of Belgrade, The South-East European Research Centre, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University, The Centre for Southeast European Studies, The Navarino Network, Konrad Adenauer Stifting, Biklent University, and Central European University. Dr. Majella Kilkey leads the Sheffield team’s work on the impact of the ‘crisis’ on European integration. Dr. Francesca Strumia also works on the project.

For more information, please click here.



Prospects for International Migration Governance (MIGPROSP)migprosp logo

MIGPROSP is a five year project funded by the European Research Council Advanced Grants scheme awarded to Professor Andrew Geddes in the Department of Politics at the University of Sheffield.

The MIGPROSP project’s main aim is to know more about what could be called the ‘micro-political’ foundations that shape the context of choice for individuals within migration governance systems. The project then asks how this context of choice influences and shapes the capacity of governance systems to respond now and in the future to the challenges associated with international migration. Or put more simply, how do actors within these systems understand international migration? How susceptible are these understandings to change? And what do these understandings and possible change in them mean now and in the future for the governance of international migration at state, regional and international levels.

The MIGPROSP project focuses in particular on Europe, North America, South America and the Asia-Pacific region because of the significant variations in migration governance within these regions.

For more information, please click here.



Asylum. Welfare. Work.

This three year research project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is being undertaken by Dr. Lucy Mayblin at the University of Sheffield. The research is all about asylum seekers’ rights to take paid employment, with a focus on the UK context.

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Challenges in Researching the Shadow Economy

Lead Researcher: Dr. Genevieve LeBaron, Senior Lecturer, Department of Politics

Forced labour, human trafficking and slavery are widely believed to be rapidly proliferating in the global economy. There is however, no reliable global estimate of slavery or trafficking, nor a sound methodology for measuring prevalence of severe labour exploitation. Given the risks associated with researching the shadow economy, few scholars and organizations have even attempted to collect hard data. Reliable estimates and data are necessary for future research on forced labour. This programme will provide a vehicle for an interdisciplinary group of expert scholars to tackle this problem.

Funded by the British Academy for the Humanities and Social Sciences



Understanding and Governing Forced Labour in Global Supply Chains

Lead Researcher: Dr. Genevieve LeBaron, Senior Lecturer, Department of Politics

The overall aim of this research is to achieve an in-depth understanding of how forced labour (and overlapping practices like slavery and human trafficking) operate in global supply chains. Key questions include: What factors create ‘demand’ for forced labour within supply chains? What are the pathways that allow forced labour access to formal industry? How effective are recent public and private governance initiatives to combat forced labour, especially in the sub-tiers of global production? These questions will be investigated through a range of qualitative methods including elite interviews with key informants and ethnographic field research among workers themselves. Supply chain analysis will be used to understand the firm-to-firm dynamics of forced labour along the supply chain (raw material, component, manufacture, distribution and retail). Project partners include Yale University, the International Labour Organization, UK House of Commons, Impactt Ltd, and

Funded by UK Economic and Social Research Council Future Research Leaders Grant.



Identifying Promising Innovations to Enhance Equity and Efficiency in Care for New Migrant Populations

This research project is being undertaken by Liz Such, Liz Walton, Sarah Salway, Janet Harris and Brigette Colwell from the Health Equity and Inclusion Group at the University of Sheffield. It is funded by Sheffield CCG and aims to 1) undertake a mapping and formative evaluation of innovative practice at the primary care-community interface related to meeting the needs of new migrant populations, 2) identify a promising package of innovation that warrants further refinement and testing and 3) develop research capacity among primary care colleagues and strengthen research-practice linkages to support knowledge translation.