Section: Staff Profiles
1993: BA Hons in Politics, Philosophy and Economics (Balliol College, Oxford University)
1994: MA in European Politics (College of Europe, Bruges)
2001: PhD in International Relations (London School of Economics and Political Science)
My research explores issues of regulation, steering and political legitimacy. I am particularly interested in the relationship between knowledge and public policy. How do policy-makers construct knowledge about policy problems and about the impact of their policy interventions? How do they draw on expert knowledge and research to underpin and legitimise policy responses? In addressing these questions, my work draws on theories from public policy, organisational sociology, science and technology studies, and Luhmann's systems theory. I have tended to explore and develop these ideas through applying them to the case of immigration and asylum policy.
I am currently PI on an ESRC-funded project on "The Politics of Monitoring: Information, Indicators and Targets in Climate Change, Defence and Immigration Policy". The project will run from April 2013 - February 2016. It brings together a team of Edinburgh researchers from Politics & International Relations, and Science & Technology Studies.
I am also Co-I on a Volkswagen Foundation collaborative project on "Science-Society Dialogues on Immigrant Integration in Europe", 2011-13, led by researchers at the Erasmus Rotterdam University. I am leading the UK case study on the use of research in policy-making on immigrant integration.
Previous projects include a major EU project (2004-2008) on “Expanding the Knowledge Base of European Labour Migration Policies”. You can find a summary of the project and publications here. The key publication from the project is my monograph book on "The Political Uses of Expert Knowledge: Immigration Policy and Social Research" (Cambridge University Press, 2009).
Christina joined PIR as a Lecturer in 2006, and was promoted to a Senior Lectureship in 2007 and a Personal Chair in 2011. Before coming to Edinburgh, she worked at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, before moving to Hamburg University to take up a Marie Curie postdoctoral fellowship (2001-3). In 2003 she joined the Hamburg Institute of International Economics, where she founded and led a research department on migration.
In addition to her academic research, Christina has done a variety of consultancy work on immigration and asylum, including for the UN High Commission for Refugees, the UN Global Commission on International Migration, the British Foreign Office and the European Commission. She also had a stint as a field officer for the UNHCR in Burundi, 1995-6.
The Political Uses of Expert Knowledge: Immigration Policy and Social Research (Cambridge University Press, 2009).
(with Andrew Geddes) Migration and Mobility in the European Union (Palgrave, 2011)
The Ethics of Refugee Policy (Ashgate, 2005)
European Migration Policies in Flux (Blackwell’s, 2003)
Special Issues and Edited Books:
With Andrew Geddes and Peter Scholten, eds. (2011) States, Knowledge and Narratives of Migration: The Construction of Migration in European Policy-Making Special Issue of the British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 13:1.
With Peter Mueser, eds. (2008) Economics in Migration Research: Towards Interdisciplinary Integration? Special Issue of the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 34:4.
With Gianni D'Amato, eds. (2012) Immigration and Social Systems: Collected Essays of Michael Bommes (Amsterdam University Press).
(2012), 'How Information Scarcity Influences the Policy Agenda: Evidence from UK Immigration Policy'. Governance (25:3), 367-389.
(2011) "Migration Control and Narratives of Steering", British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 13:1, 12-25.
(2009) “Knowledge, Legitimation and the Politics of Risk: The Functions of Research in Public Debates on Migration”, Political Studies, 57:1.
(2009) with Oana Ciobanu, 'Culture, utility or social systems? Explaining the cross-national ties of emigrants from Borsa, Romania', Ethnic and Racial Studies, 57:1.
(2008) “The Political Functions of Expert Knowledge: Knowledge and Legitimation in European Union Immigration Policy”, Journal of European Public Policy, 15:4, 471-488.
(2008) “Evasion, Reinterpretation and Decoupling: European Commission responses to the ‘External Dimension’ of Immigration and Asylum”, West European Politics, 31:3, 491-512.
(2008) “Combining Economics and Sociology in Migration Theory” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 34:4, 549-566.
(2008) "The Elusive Rights of an Invisible Population", Ethics and International Affairs, 22:2.
(2008) with Dan Hough “Politicising Migration: Opportunity or Liability for the Centre-Right in Germany”, Journal of European Public Policy, 15:3, 331-347.
(2007) “Migration Control in Europe after 9/11: Explaining the Absence of Securitization” Journal of Common Market Studies, 45:3, 589-610.
(2007) “Theories of Migration Policy: Is There a Third Way?” International Migration Review, 41:1, 75-100.
For a full list of previous publications, click here.
Christina is Deputy Dean of Research for the College of Humanities and Social Science, and REF Coordinator for Politics and International Relations. She is a member (and founder) of the Migration and Citizenship Research Group and the research groups Public Policy and European Integration.
Christina teaches on the Honours course Europe and International Migration, and convenes the MSc course Politics of Migration.
Christina is interested in supervising PhD research in three main areas: (1) immigration, asylum and integration policy (2) the uses of research in politics and policymaking, and (3) organizational sociology and systems theoretic approaches to public policy.
If you are interested in being supervised by Christina Boswell, please see the links below for more information:
This page was published on 10 April 2013