Helen Williams

Incremental change in citizenship and naturalisation policy in the UK and Germany, 2000-2010

Supervisors: Sarah Colvin, David Bailey

My research applies institutional change theory to citizenship and naturalisation policy change in the UK and Germany over the last ten years. The theoretical framework combines Rational Choice Institutionalism, Historical Institutionalism, and Sociological Institutionalism with contributions from organisational theory and psychology to explain the patterns of change evident in citizenship and naturalisation policy. The methods of research include discourse analysis of parliamentary debates and public speeches and interviews with civil servants, politicians, and stakeholder organisations in the UK and Germany.

Profile

I graduated with a BA in International Economics and Cultural Affairs (area studies – Western Europe) and German, a minor in French, and associate status in the humanities honours college with a dissertation topic of "Immigration in France and Germany: A Comparative Study of History, Economics and Political Trends in Two European Countries". I spent a year as a DAAD scholarship holder studying at the Institut für Politikwissenschaft at the University of Tübingen and two months as an intern at the Center for Interethnic Cooperation in Moscow. This was followed by a Master’s degree from the Centre for Russian and East European Studies at the University of Birmingham, with a dissertation topic of "Polish-German relations from the Polish perspective". Since 2007, I have been an Institute for German Studies doctoral candidate and the IGS scholarship holder. I have spent time as a visiting scholar at the University of Potsdam while conducting research for my German case study; I teach on three undergraduate modules for POLSIS; and I worked as a research assistant for Professor Simon Green and Professor Anand Menon. I am fluent in English and German and academically fluent in French.

Qualifications

  • BA International Economics and Cultural Affairs, German summa cum laude (Valparaiso University, USA)
  • MA Russian and East European Studies with merit (University of Birmingham)

Research interests

  • Citizenship
  • Immigration
  • Asylum
  • Immigrant experience
  • National identity
  • Sovereignty
  • New Institutionalism
  • German politics and governance
  • British politics and governance

Teaching responsibilities

  • POLS SD1D Research Skills and Literacy
  • POLS SD2D Methods 2
  • POLS 202D Foundations of Modern Political and Social Theory

Conference papers

Williams, H (2010) “Changing the national narrative: discourse on citizenship and naturalisation policy in Germany and the UK”, DAAD Conference (May 2010)

Williams, H (2008) “Meinungen über Einwanderung, Einwanderer und Ausländer – Deutschland und Frankreich im Vergleich”, DAAD 3rd International Doctoral Conference (July 2008)

Williams, H (2006) “Immigration in France and Germany: A Comparative Study of History, Economics and Political Trends in Two European Countries”, Midwestern Political Science Association Annual Conference (Poster Session) (April 2006)

Williams, H (2006) “Immigration in France and Germany: A Comparative Study of History, Economics and Political Trends in Two European Countries”, Valparaiso University Celebration of Undergraduate Research (Poster Session) (April 2006)

Williams, H (2006) “Immigration in France and Germany: A Comparative Study of History, Economics and Political Trends in Two European Countries”, National Conference on Undergraduate Research (April 2006)

Publications

Williams, H (forthcoming) "Changing the national narrative: discourse on citizenship and naturalisation policy in Germany and the UK", Political Perspectives

Contact:

Email: hxh612@bham.ac.uk
Twitter: http://twitter.com/mrshmwilliams
Blog: http://mrshelenmwilliams.blogspot.com/