Photo of Dr Mayblin

Dr Lucy Mayblin

Research Fellow

Contact Details
Telephone: +44 (0)114 222 1654
Room: First floor, Elmfield Lodge
Feedback and consultation hours: Tuesday 10am-12am, Wednesday 10am-12am


Lucy joined the department in March 2015 as an ESRC Future Research Leaders Fellow. Lucy holds a first class degree from the University of Birmingham and Distinctions at Masters level from the Universities of Birmingham and Warwick. She has degrees in Human Geography, European Studies, Social Research Methods, and Sociology. Lucy has worked as a research associate at the Centre for Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University, the Centre for Urban and Regional Studies at the University of Birmingham, and for the Interdisciplinary Centre for the Social Sciences at the University of Sheffield. Her ESRC funded doctoral research at the University of Warwick analysed the connections between Britain’s colonial past and asylum policy today (see below). Following this she worked with Professor Gill Valentine on the ERC funded LIVEDIFFERENCE project at the University of Sheffield which investigated the capacity for communities and individuals to live with difference in the 21st century. She is co-convenor of the British Sociological Association study group on ‘Diaspora, Migration and Transnationalism’.

Lucy’s research focuses on the politics of asylum. Her doctoral research was a historical institutionalist analysis of the ways in which Britain’s colonial past continues to influence contemporary British asylum policy in terms of ideas of insiders, outsiders, the deserving and the undeserving. This involved in depth analysis of moments in Britain’s political history when ideas of humanity were revised. Most importantly, efforts by the British government to exclude colonised peoples from access to human rights (including the right to asylum) at the inception of the human rights regime. Lucy’s new project, funded through an ESRC Future Research Leaders grant, focuses on the politics of asylum, welfare and work in Britain. See ‘current research’ below for more information.

In spring 2016 Lucy is Visiting Fellow at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute, Florence, Italy.

Research interests: asylum, immigration, human rights, postcolonialism and decoloniality, cultural political economy and practices of policy making.


From September 2015 Lucy will be teaching the following third year course:

  • POL3147: The Politics of Asylum

Lucy’s new project, funded through an ESRC Future Research Leaders grant, focuses on the politics of asylum, welfare and work in Britain. Set against the backdrop of widespread political and public hostility to asylum seekers coupled with the austerity agenda and a shrinking welfare state, the project looks at the ban on working for the majority of asylum seekers. Using Bob Jessop’s cultural political economy as an analytical framework, the project investigates how policy is made in relation to asylum seekers’ access to welfare and work, and what the implications of those policies are economically, socially and politically.

Professional Activities

  • Co-convener of the British Sociological Association’s ‘Diaspora, Migration and Transnationalism’ study group
  • Reviewer, Citizenship Studies

Key Projects

Awarding Body: ESRC
People Involved: Lucy Mayblin (PI)
Title of Research: Asylum, Welfare and Work in the Age of Austerity
Amount: £240,000

Publications and Papers

View full list of Publications

Key Publications

  • Mayblin, L. (forthcoming 2016) Troubling the Exclusive Privileges of Citizenship: Mobile solidarities, asylum seekers, and the right to work, Citizenship Studies
  • Mayblin, L. Valentine, G. Winisarka, A. (forthcoming 2016) Migration and Diversity in a Post-socialist Context: Creating -Integrative Encounters in Poland, Environment and Planning A
  • Mayblin, L. Valentine, G. Andersson, J. (2015) In the Contact Zone: Engineering Meaningful Encounters across Difference, The Geographical Journal, [online first] DOI: 10.1111/geoj.12128
  • Mayblin, L. Piekut, A. Valentine, G. (2014) ‘Other’ Posts in ‘Other’ Places: Poland through a Postcolonial Lens?, Sociology, [online first] DOI: 10.1177/0038038514556796
  • Mayblin, L. (2014). Colonialism, Decolonisation, and the Right to be Human: Britain and the 1951 Geneva Convention on the Status of Refugees. Journal of Historical Sociology, 27(3):423-441
  • Mayblin, L. (2014) Asylum, Welfare and Work: Reflections on Research in Asylum and Refugee Studies, International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 34(9/10)
  • Mayblin, L. (2013) Never Look Back: Political Thought and the Abolition of Slavery, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 26:1, 93-110
  • Battel-Lowman, E. and Mayblin, L. (2011) Theorising the (Post)colonial, Decolonising Theory, Studies in Social and Political Thought, 19.

Recent Invited Papers and Keynote Lectures

  • 2015: ‘Complexity reduction and policy consensus: Asylum seekers, the right to work, and the pull factor thesis in the UK context’. Invited speaker, Sussex Centre for Migration Research, Sussex University.
  • 2013: Invited discussant, Hidden Economy Expert Group meeting (top civil servants and academics discussing policy options for government): ‘Asylum, Welfare and Work: Implications for the Hidden Economy’
  • 2013: Invited presentation ‘Consuming Campus: Geographies of Encounter on a University Campus’, Higher Education Academy Seminar, Improving integration in the learning environment: Student and staff perspectives, University of Sheffield
  • 2011: Invited speaker 'Making Sociology Relevant to a New Generation' invited participant on panel, 'What we do when we teach sociology' -British Sociological Association Annual Conference, London.

Back to top | Back to index of Academic Staff