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Michaela Bruckmayer

PhD Research Student

Contact Details

Email: m.bruckmayer@sheffield.ac.uk





  • POL111: Politics of Globalisation, University of Sheffield
  • Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) Certificate, Oxford Seminars (2013)

Previous Experience:

  • Research Consultant and Visiting Scholar at the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies (CGRS), UC Hastings, College of the Law (Aug. 2012 – Apr. 2014)
  • Public Relations and Outreach Intern at Refugee Transitions (Summer 2012)
  • Research and Translation Intern at the Organisation of Refuge, Asylum and Migration (fulltime, Jan.-May 2012)

Previous Education:

  • MA, International Affairs, California State University, Sacramento
  • BBA, Business Administration, Management, Midwestern State University
  • Matura, Billroth Gymnasium, 1190 Vienna

English and German (fluent), Spanish (basic)


Working Thesis Title: A Vulnerable Threat? The Impacts of Policy Framing on Child Migration Policy Outcomes

Start Year: 2014

Supervisors: Professor Andrew Geddes and Professor Nicola Phillips

Research Topic:

The aim of this research is to gain insight into how actors in child migration governance understand the causes and consequences of child migration and how these understandings shape policy-outcomes. ‘Actors’ in this context include policy-makers, members of immigration authorities, members of child welfare institutions, and civil society organisation. More specifically, this research investigates the question as to why the United States government tends to prioritise child migrants’ status as migrants, as opposed to their status as children. This study argues that this policy situation can be explained through the use of a frame analysis which investigates 1) how actors understand the causes and consequences of child migration, 2) how they develop policy narratives based on these understandings, and 3) how they use the narratives to influence policy outcomes. Findings are based on the conduction of interviews with actors in Washington D.C. and at the U.S.-Mexico border and an extensive document analysis.

This PhD is funded by the European Research Council. Click here for more information.

Research Questions:

  • Who are the key actors in child migration governance in the United States?
  • How do these actors understand the causes and consequences of child migration?
  • How do these understandings shape policy outcomes?

Research Interests:

  • International Migration Governance
  • U.S.-Latin American Relations
  • Children, women and LGBT migrants
  • Research Methods

Conferences and Activities:


Research Assistance for -

  • Center for Gender & Refugee (CGRS) and Justice and Huma Rights Center (2015) Childhood and Migration in Central and North America: Causes, Policies, Practices, and Challenges.
  • Center for Gender &Refugee Studies (CGRS) and Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) (2014) A Treacherous Journey: Migrant Children Navigating the U.S. Immigration System.
  • Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (2014) Review of Gender, Child, and LGBTI Asylum Guidelines and Case Law in Foreign Jurisdiction: A Resource for U.S. Attorneys.
  • Organization for Refuge, Asylum and Migration (ORAM) (2012) Opening Doors: A Global Survey of NGO Attitudes towards LGBTI Refugees & Asylum Seekers.

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