Dr Roxana Barbulescu


I joined the School of Sociology and Social Policy in September 2016 as University Academic Fellow in New Migrations in UK and Europe. She is interested in practices of migration and migrant lives particularly in connection with migrant integration, citizenship, migrants' rights, intra-EU mobility and migration control. Her work contributes to our critical understanding of how in a globalised world and rising anti-immigrant sentiment, receiving societies accommodate migrant communities, prescribe rights to non-citizens and, in doing do, they transform ideals of citizenship. She sits on the Advisory Board of Comparative Migration Studies, she is the Deputy-Editor of Investment Migration Working Papers and acts as Country Expert for EUDO Citizenship Observatory.

Dr. Barbulescu's book Migrant Integration in a Changing Europe. Immigrants, European Citizens and Co-ethnics in Italy and Spain (University of Notre Dame Press, December 2018) is comparative in approach and seeks to explain migrant integration strategies across national, regional, and city-levels. She argues that societies pursue no one-size-fits-all strategy for the integration of migrants, but rather simultaneously pursue multiple strategies that vary by category and which sit on a spectrum of multiculturalism to neoassimilation. In doing so, societies, ascribe integration duties that are inversely correlated with rights and social inequalities, posing high duties and few rights on the most socially disadvantaged categories while freeing from integration duties and accruing more rights to those better off.

In her more recent research projects, she has worked unpacking the impact on Brexit on local communities and on exploring the consequences of the economic crisis and the migration crisis for migration to Europe. Her project with Prof. Adrian Favell, Brexit and its impact on diversity and Inter-ethnic community relations in Northern towns is funded by the ESRC IAA. Working closely with partners in local goverment and civil society, the project focuses on how Brexit transformed communities in small- and mid-size localities in the North and in particular how it reshapes community relations between established BAME and the newer Central and Eastern European communities.

Dr. Barbulescu has received a PhD in Social and Political Sciences from European University Institute (Florence, Italy), her MA in at Jacobs University (Germany) and she read in Sociology and Philosophy at the University of Craiova (Romania) and University of Bielefeld (Germany) for her undergraduate studies. Before joining the School, she has been Research Fellow at the ESRC Centre for Population Studies, University of Southampton, the College of Europe (Natolin Campus) and the University of Sheffield.

Research interests

My research interests are comparative migrants’ rights regimes, immigrant integration and race relations, citizenship, freedom of movement in EU, attitudes towards immigrants and Roma people, unaccompanied minors and the sociology of human rights. I am particularly interested in new and atypical migrations in UK and Europe.

Media coverage and contributions:

TV: BBC News Channel live (26/11/18, 2.20pm)
Interview on the impact of Brexit on migration and local communities in the North of England. 

Radio: BBC Radio 5 Live (26/11/18, 6.15pm)
BBC Radio 5 Live 26th November - Broadcast (link only available for 1 month)
Interview on the potential implications of Brexit for European citizens and local communities in their everyday lives. From 2h15m.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Student education

I contribute to modules on migration, ethnicity, refugees and social policy at undergraduate and graduate level.

I convene SLP2690 module Racism, Ethnicity, Migration and Decolonial Studies.

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Ethnicity and Racism Studies
  • Leeds Social Science Institute

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>The school welcomes enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>