lucy smaller image 2018Dr Lucy Mayblin

Senior Lecturer in Sociology


Telephone: 0114 222 6445 (external), 26445 (internal)
Room: Elmfield, LG27


Lucy joined the department in 2018 as Senior Lecturer in Sociology. Prior to this she was Assistant Professor of Sociology at Warwick University (2016-2018). She has held two postdoctoral research fellow positions at the University of Sheffield (in the Interdisciplinary Centre for the Social Sciences 2012-2014, and then in the Politics Department 2015-2016) and prior to her PhD was a Research Assistant at the Centre for Urban and Regional Studies at the University of Birmingham 2006-2008.

Lucy is a Political Sociologist whose research focuses on asylum, human rights, policy-making, and the legacies of colonialism. She holds a first class degree from the University of Birmingham and Distinctions at Masters level from the Universities of Birmingham (European Studies) and Warwick (Social Research Methods) as well as a PhD in Sociology from the University of Warwick.

In 2017 Lucy’s article with Aneta Piekut and Gill Valentine ‘”Other” Posts from “Other” Places: Poland Through a Postcolonial Lens?’ won the SAGE Prize for Innovation and Excellence in the Journal Sociology, and in 2018 her book ‘Asylum After Empire’ won the British Sociological Association’s Philip Abrams Memorial Prize.

Lucy has worked with, and presented to, a range of organisations in her research including the Home Office, the Department for Work and Pensions, the British Refugee Council, Refugee Action, The Red Cross, ASSIST (Sheffield), Asylum Welcome (Oxford), and City of Sanctuary.

She is co-convenor of the British Sociological Association study group on ‘Diaspora, Migration and Transnationalism’ and an external examiner for Sociology at the LSE.


Lucy is a Political Sociologist whose research focuses on asylum, human rights, policy-making, and the legacies of colonialism. Her ESRC funded doctoral research at the University of Warwick, which she passed without corrections, analysed the connections between Britain’s colonial past and asylum policy today. This project became the monograph ‘Asylum After Empire: Postcolonial Legacies in the Politics of Asylum Seeking’ (Rowman and Littlefield International, 2017) which won the British Sociological Association’s Philip Abrams Memorial Prize 2018.

Since 2015 Lucy has been leading a project funded through an ESRC Future Research Leaders scheme which investigates the politics of asylum, welfare and work in Britain. The project explores how policy is made in relation to asylum seekers’ access to welfare and work, the implications of restricting asylum seeker’s economic rights (keeping them in poverty) for the third sector, and then the impact upon asylum seekers in their everyday lives. This project has been awarded an additional £10,000 of funding through the ESRC’s Impact Acceleration scheme for work with third sector organisations on the issue of the third sector’s sole in asylum support.

Grants and Funding

Asylum, Welfare and Work in the Age of Austerity (PI)

Duration: 2015-2018
Awarding Body: ESRC
Amount: £240,000

Civil Society filling the Gaps: Supporting Asylum Seekers at the Local Level (PI)

Duration: 2017
Awarding Body: ESRC Impact Acceleration Account
Amount: £10,340 (ES/M500434/1)


Level 1: Classical Sociological Theory
Level 2: Race, Immigration, and Multiculturalism

Director of the new MA Sociology starting September 2019

Lucy welcomes PhD applications from students interested in asylum and refugee policy, colonialism and human rights.



Mayblin, L. (2017) Asylum After Empire: Colonial Legacies in the Politics of Asylum Seeking, London: Rowman and Littlefield International

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Bales, K., & Mayblin, L. (2018). Unfree labour in immigration detention: exploitation and coercion of a captive immigrant workforce. Economy and Society, 1-23. doi:10.1080/03085147.2018.1484051

Mayblin, L., & James, P. (2018). Asylum and refugee support in the UK: civil society filling the gaps?. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 1-20. doi:10.1080/1369183X.2018.1466695

Bhambra, G. K., Last, A., Mayblin, L., & Tilley, L. (2018). Global Social Theory: Building resources. Area. doi:10.1111/area.12479

Mayblin, L. (2018) Imagining asylum, governing asylum seekers: complexity reduction and policy making in the UK Home Office, Migration Studies, DOI: /10.1093/migration/mnx060

Mayblin, L. (2016) Complexity reduction and policy consensus: asylum seekers, the right to work, and the ‘pull factor’ thesis in the UK context, The British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 18(4): 812–828

Mayblin, L. Valentine, G. Winisarka, A. (2016) Migration and Diversity in a Post-socialist Context: Creating -Integrative Encounters in Poland, Environment and Planning A, DOI: 10.1177/0308518X15623534

Mayblin, L. (2016) Troubling the exclusive privileges of citizenship: Mobile solidarities, asylum seekers, and the right to work, Citizenship Studies, 20(2): 192-207

Mayblin, L. Piekut, A. Valentine, G. (2016) ’Other’ posts in ‘other’ places: Poland through a Postcolonial Lens?, Sociology, 50(1):60–76
Winner: 2017 SAGE Prize for Innovation and Excellence in the journal Sociology

Winiarska, A. Jackson, L. Mayblin, L. Valentine, G. (2015) “They kick you because they are not able to kick the ball”: normative conceptions of sex difference and the politics of exclusion in mixed-sex football, Sport in Society: Cultures, Commerce, Media, Politics, 19(8-9): 1332-1348, DOI: abs/10.1080/17430437.2015.1067778

Mayblin, L. Valentine, G. Schneider, T. Kossak, F. (2015) Experimenting with Spaces of Encounter: Creative Interventions to Develop Meaningful Contact, Geoforum, 63:67–80

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. (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): 375-391

Harris, C. Jackson, L. Mayblin, L. Piekut, A. Valentine, G. (2014) “Big Brother Welcomes You”: Exploring Innovative Methods for Research with Children and Young People Outside of the Home and School Environments, Qualitative Research, 15(3): 583-599

Valentine, G. Jackson, L. Mayblin, L. (2014) Ways of Seeing: Sexism, the Forgotten Prejudice? Gender, Place and Culture, 21(4): 401-414

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.

Book Chapters

Mayblin, L. (2018) Postcolonial Theory, in The Sage Handbook of Political Sociology, London: Sage

Mayblin, L. (2017) Is there a Black and Minority Ethnic Third Sector in the UK? In Informal community groups: understanding the role of organisations on the edge of the voluntary sector, McCabe, A. Phillimore, J. (Eds), Bristol: Policy Press

Valentine, G. Mayblin, L. (2016) Creating Meaningful Contact: Boundaries and Bridges in the Intercultural City, Marconi, G. and Ostanel, E. The Intercultural City: Migration, Minorities, and the Management of Diversity, London: I.B. Taurus

Mayblin, L. (2014) Creating ‘Meaningful contact’. Some Findings from the LIVEDIFFERENCE
Research Programme, in Zaborowska, M. (ed) Sport for Dialogue: Good Practices Around Europe, Warsaw: Fundacja dla Wolności


Mayblin, L. James, P. (2017) Asylum and refugee support: civil society filling the gaps?

Kitchin, H. Phillimore, J. Goodson, L. Mayblin, L. Jones, A. Pickstock, A. Weir, S. Blick, A. (2009) Communicating Cohesion: Evaluating Local Authority Communication Strategies, Local Government Association, London.

Lee, P. Mayblin, L. Liu, X. Tice, A. Saunders, H. Rowlands, R. (2008) Transform South Yorkshire Housing Market Renewal Pathfinder: Final Evaluation Report, Centre for Urban and Regional Studies, Birmingham.

Phillimore, J. Ergün, E. Hennessy, D. Lee, P and Mayblin, L. (2007) Evaluating the Outcomes of Refugee Support, Report for Birmingham City Council

Wells, P. Mayblin, L. (2006) Applying Innovative Methodologies to Evaluation Research, Yorkshire Forward, Leeds.

Cole, I. Mayblin, L. (2006) Improving the Residential Offer in Leeds City Region: Developing a Strategic Response to the Challenges of Economic Growth, Report to Leeds City Region Development Partnership, Annex to Leeds City Region Development Plan Submission 2. Leeds, Leeds City Council.

Working Papers

James, P. Mayblin, L. (2016) Restricting the economic rights of asylum seekers: cost implications, ASYLUM.WELFARE.WORK Working paper 11/16.1, University of Warwick.

Mayblin, L. James, P. (2016) Factors influencing asylum destination choice: A review of the evidence, University of Warwick.

Mayblin, L. Soteri-Proctor, A, (2011) The Black and Minority Ethnic Third Sector: A Review of the Literature, TSRC Briefing Paper 58, Third Sector Research Centre, University of Birmingham.

McCabe, A. Phillimore, J. Mayblin, L. (2010). Below the Radar: A Summary Review of the Literature, TSRC Briefing Paper 29, Third Sector Research Centre, University of Birmingham.

Book Reviews

Mayblin, L. (2016) Movement and the Ordering of Freedom: On Liberal Governances of Mobility, Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History

Mayblin, L. (2015) Freedom Time: Negritude, Decolonization and the Future of the World by Gary Wilder, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 39(3): 524-526

Mayblin, L. (2013). Border Watch by Alexandra Hall. 2012. LSE Review of Books [online]

Mayblin, L. (2012) Captives: Britain, Empire and the World 1600-1850 by Colley, L. 2003. Reinvention: an International Journal of Undergraduate Research, 5(2).

Mayblin, L. (2012) Decolonizing European Sociology: Transdisciplinary Approaches by Rodríguez, E. G., Boatca, M., and Costa, S. (eds), 2010. Sociology, 46, 4:772-773.

Mayblin, L. (2011) International Relations and Non-Western Thought: Imperialism, Colonialism and Investigations of Global Modernity by Robbie Shilliam (ed), 2011. International Organisation, 87(5):1230-2131

Mayblin, L. (2011) Citizenship and Immigration by Christian Joppke, 2010. The Sociological Review, 59(1):183-185.

Mayblin, L. (2010) The Idea of Human Rights, by Charles Beitz, 2009. Political Studies Review, 8(3): 376.

Mayblin, L. (2009) The Exclusionary Politics of Asylum, by Vicki Squire, 2009. Critical Policy Studies, 3(1): 147-148.

Mayblin, L. (2008) Gender, Conflict and Migration, by Navnita Chadha Behera, 2006, Journal of Refugee Studies, 21(1):138-140.

Other Media/Publications

Bales, K. Mayblin, L. (2017) ‘Paid work’ or underpaid labour? The labour exploitation of detainees within immigration detention, Discover Society, Issue 47.

Mayblin, L. (2017) Soil, Blood and Identity, The Sociological Review blog,

Mayblin, L. James, P. (2016) The economic case for allowing asylum seekers to work – and giving them more cash, The Conversation,

Mayblin, L. (2016) Myth of Pull Factor Mires U.K. Asylum Seekers in Poverty, Refugees Deeply,

Mayblin, L. (2016) Asylum seekers in Britain: putting the economic ‘pull factor’ in context, LSE Policy and Politics Blog,

Mayblin, L. James, P. (2016) Is access to work really a pull factor for asylum seekers? The Conversation,

Mayblin, L. (2015) The politics of asylum: the boring bits matter, Open Democracy

Mayblin, L. (2015) Why the UK’s 2015 Immigration Bill is bad for vulnerable migrant workers, Open Democracy,

Mayblin, L. (2015) On the Frontline: Asylum, welfare and work, Discover Society, Issue 26,

Mayblin, L. (2015) The Refugee crisis: what the experts say, University of Sheffield,

Mayblin, L. (2011) Dall’Inghilterra. «Non siamo più la generazione post-ideologica: noi oggi siamo il cuore della resistenza», Menodizero (Italian online journal), 13.02.11

Mayblin, L. (2010) Beyond the Hostile State: Imagining Universities of Sanctuary, Oxford Monitor of Forced Migration, 1(1):35-40

Mayblin, L. (2010) “We are no longer the post-ideological generation; we are now the generation at the heart of the resistance” Campaign for the Public University, republished by The Sociological Imagination and the International Sociological Association blog 'Universities in Crisis'

Mayblin, L. (2010) University of Sanctuary. The Sociological Imagination

Mayblin, L. (2010) Thinly Veiled Persecution. The Sociological Imagination

Mayblin, L. (2010) New Politics? Even for Asylum Seekers? The Sociological Imagination

Mayblin, L. (2010) The Problem of Riches: An interview with Professor Karen Rowlingson, Network (BSA magazine)

Mayblin, L. (2010) Dear Prime Minister, Policy World, Summer edition.

Mayblin, L. (2010) Historically European, Morally Universal? The 1951 Geneva Convention on the Status of Refugees. e-International Relations [online journal]

Mayblin, L. (2009) Another Sociology is Possible: An interview with Boaventura De Sousa Santos, Network (BSA magazine), Issue 103

Mayblin, L. (November 2009) Interview with Professor Boaventura De Sousa Santos, BSA Postgraduate Forum Podcast, available on itunes.