Dr Irina Kuznetsova, University of Birmingham


I have worked at the University of Birmingham since 2015, and currently in a position of Birmingham Fellow at the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences. Previously I worked in Russia, being the director of the EU Centre and the Institute for the Contemporary Studies of Modernity at the Kazan Federal University. My research expertise includes migration, health, diversity, social policy and accessible cities. I led and participated in various applied and academic studies founded the AHRC, European Commission, Open Society Institute, MacArthur Foundation, Russian Foundation for Humanities and others. My interest around the topic of Laws: Rigidity and Dynamics has come to the forefront of my research in recent years. My current projects are concerned with the social, legal, and increasingly the mental health impacts of displacement, be it through economic migration or internal displacement due to conflict. As a social scientist working within the human geography/sociology discipline my most recent projects have an explicit interdisciplinary nature, working with colleagues from the University of Birmingham’s Law and Psychology departments.

Throughout all of my current research projects, across migration, refugee policy, necropolitics, environmental justice, public health accessible cities and everyday life, I explore the interplay between law and landscapes, in all its definitions, and how this impacts upon bodies. My Wellcome Trust funded project, Mental Health and well-being of internally displaced people: copying tactics and resilience in conflict-affected societies, explore the mental health impacts of forced displacement from Ukraine’s war-torn regions through a socio-legal viewpoint. Another study, funded by the Russian Foundation for Humanities, explores how health care reform in Russia corresponds with public attitudes, and understandings, of social justice in relation to medical provision within the framework of post-Socialism, informality and corruption. 


Current Projects and Position

Current position: 
2016 – Birmingham Fellow in Critical Urbanism, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Studies, University of Birmingham

Current projects:

  • ‘Ukraine’s hidden tragedy: understanding the outcomes of population displacement from the country’s war-torn regions’ (PI, AHRC PACCs 2016-2018)
  • ‘Mental health and well-being of internally displaced people: copying tactics and resilience in conflict-affected societies’ (PI, Wellcome Trust/UoB, 2017-2018)
  • ‘Asylum seekers from Eastern Ukraine in Russia: identities, policies and discourse in the context of forced migration from the Ukraine conflict’ (British Academy Small Grant, 2016-2017)
  • ‘Russian megacities in the context of new social and environmental challenges: building complex interdisciplinary model of an assessment of 'green' cities and strategies for their development in Russia’, (Co-I, Russian Scientific Foundation 2017-2019)
  • 'Social justice and equality in health care: experts' views, mass-media discourse and people's attitudes'  (Co-I, Russian Foundation for Humanities, 2016-2017)


Selected Publications