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Politics and International Relations (PIR): People


Nina Perkowski

Nina Perkowski
Nina Perkowski
Edinburgh UK
Research Interests
EU border management, Frontex, Migration, Humanitarianism, border security, Human rights, critical migration research, European Union migration policy, irregular migration, critical security studies


PhD in Politics, University of Edinburgh

MSc Refugee and Forced Migration Studies, University of Oxford

BA Liberal Arts and Sciences, University College Maastricht, Maastricht University

Current Position

Nina completed her PhD in November 2016.

Currently, she works as researcher and lecturer in the Department of Criminology at the University of Hamburg (see her profile page here). 

From November 2015 - May 2017, Nina was a Research Fellow on the ESRC-funded project “Crossing the Mediterranean Sea by Boat: Mapping and Documenting Migratory Journeys and Experiences” at the Department of International Studies, University of Warwick, led by Dr Vicki Squire. From January 2016- May 2017, she was also the Research Coordinator of the ESRC's Mediterranean Migration Research Programme.

Research Interests

Nina's academic interests revolve around analyses of and reflections on migration governance and the effects of border policies and practices. Within her doctoral work, she examined the relationship and interactions between humanitarianism, human rights, and security in EUropean border governance, in particular in relation to Frontex.


Prof Christina Boswell

Dr Andrew Neal


2012 - 2015     Chrystal Macmillan Studentship

2010 - 2011     Jane and Ron Olson Scholarship for Refugee Studies

2009 - 2011     German National Academic Foundation Scholarship

2009                German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Scholarship

Conferences and Publications


'Deaths, Interventions, Humanitarianism and Human Rights in the Mediterranean 'Migration Crisis'', Mediterranean Politics, DOI: 10.1080/13629395.2016.1145827  

'The Construction of Frontex as a Civilising Force and the Question of Europe'. Presentation at the symposium Migration, Post-Coloniality, and the Question of Europe, July 9th, 2015 at the University of Warwick.

'The Optimisation of Border Controls, or, the Construction of Frontex as a Civilising Force'. Presentation at the workshop The Mediterranean in Motion, May 5th, 2015 in Edinburgh.

'Beyond security: Humanitarianism and human rights in the EU border regime'. Presentation at the workshop The European Union and the Arab Spring: Constructions of Security in the Southern Mediterranean, November 13-14, 2014 in Amsterdam.

'Humanitarianism, security, and the production of (in)visibility in the border regime'. Presentation at the conference Security/Mobility: Between Imagination and Authority at the University of Amsterdam, September 25-26, 2014.

‘The role of the exception in the EU border regime: from security to humanitarian emergencies?’. Presentation at the conference Politics in Times of Anxiety at Manchester University, 9-11 June 2014.

‘Logics of humanitarianism and security in EU border governance’. Presentation as part of the European International Relations Summer School Security, Mobility, and Borders of the University of Kent, King's College London and Sciences-Po Paris. Brussels, 2-13 Sept 2013.

‘‘When saving a boat there is no limit’: Exploring humanitarianisation and securitisation in EU migration governance’. Presentation at the conference Evolving Europe: Voices of the Future. UACES, Loughborough, 8-9 July 2013.

 ‘‘When saving a boat there is no limit’: Exploring humanitarianisation and securitisation in EU migration governance’. Presentation at the conference Mapping Conceptual Change in Thinking European Borders. University of Eastern Finland and University of Bergamo. Bergamo, 3-5 July 2013.

 ‘A Normative Assessment of the Aims and Practices of the European Border Management Agency FRONTEX’, Refugee Studies Centre Working Paper 81, April 2012.

‘Putting ‘Normative Power Europe to the Test: European Values and Frontex’ Border “Management” in Historical Perspective’. Presentation at the conference Managing Migration and Asylum in Europe: Current Challenges and Policy Responses at the University of Cambridge, 15-16 March 2012.

‘A Normative Assessment of the Aims and Practices of the European Border Management Agency Frontex’. Presentation at the GRAMnet Postgraduate Colloquium: 1951 UN Refugee Convention – 60 Years On. University of Glasgow, 13 June 2011.


'Migration evidence shows how badly the EU needs to rethink its strategy', the Conversation, 7 March 2016 (with Vicki Squire)

'More Frontex is not the answer to the refugee crisis', openDemocracy, 2 October 2015

'Europäische Flüchtlingspolitik: Der Wahnsinn geht weiter!' Alsharq Blog, 5 May 2015

'Legal entry routes are the only real solution to migrant deaths in the Mediterranean', LSE European Politics and Policy (EUROPP) Blog, 20 April 2015

Strengthening EU border security won’t stop the deaths of migrants in the Mediterranean’, LSE European Politics and Policy (EUROPP) Blog, 1 July 2014

No accident: why have 19,142 died at Europe’s frontiers?’, openDemocracy, 7 Oct 2013

Three-part series on Frontex for the Fahamu Refugee Law Newsletter, Nov 2012 – Jan 2013

The Arrival and Summary Deportation of Irregular Migrants in Sicily’, Oxford Monitor of Forced Migration, Volume 2, Number 2, 74-77

Migration in Italy – a ‘State of Emergency’?openDemocracy, 30 Aug 2012

Border control: the unanswered calls’, openDemocracy, 9 Sep 2011


'Politics and Discourses of Humanitarianism in Mobility Governance', University of Edinburgh, May 25-26, 2015.

'First Edinburgh Conference in Critical Migration and Border Studies', University of Edinburgh, January 8-10, 2015 (with Veit Schwab).

Teaching Experience

Tutor of four tutorial groups for the course 'Global Security', University of Edinburgh (2015). Lecture on 'The Politics of Securitization and Migration'.

Tutor of three tutorial groups for the course 'Sociology 2A: Global Perspectives', University of Glasgow (2014).

Tutor of four tutorial groups for the course 'International Cooperation in Europe and Beyond', University of Edinburgh (2013).

Research Networks and Activities

Organiser, Migration and Citizenship Research Group Seminar Series (2012/2013)

Member of kritnet, borderline-europe, and moblab.