Dr Irina Kuznetsova

Dr Irina Kuznetsova

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Birmingham Fellow

Contact details

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Irina Kuznetsova is a sociologist and social geographer. Her research expertise includes migration, religiosity, health, disabilities studies, social policy and accessible cities.  She has led and participated in various applied and academic studies founded by regional bodies in Russia and also the European Commission, Open Society Institute, MacArthur Foundation, Russian Foundation for Humanities and others.


BA and MA in Sociology (Cum Laude, 1998) – Kazan State University, Russia
PhD (2001) - Kazan State University, Russia


Irina Kuznetsova joined the University of Birmingham in May 2015. Previously she was director of the European Union Centre VOICES, funded by a grant from the European Commission at Kazan Federal University (Russia, 2012-2015). She is currently a board member of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence VOICES+ at the same university.  Between 2011 – 2015 she was also a director of the Institute for the Comparative Studies of Modernity at Kazan Federal University, created to develop postgraduate teaching and research with a young team of talented academics (now  - the Centre for Postsocialists Studies). She led many international conferences and workshops, including three European Youth Forums in Kazan (2012-2014), Issues of super-diversity: migration in Russia and EU (November 2013 Kazan), Russia ‘EU economics, politics and society in uncertain times: implications for the EU - Russia relationship’ (May 2012 Kazan), ‘Still Postsocialism? Cultural memory and social transformations’ (May 2013, Kazan), ‘Social policy towards vulnerable groups’ (23-24 November 2011 Kazan) amongst many others.

Between 2007-2011 Dr Irina Kuznetsova was head of department for sociological studies at the Centre for Advanced Economic Research of Academy of Science of Republic of Tatarstan, Russia where she organized many applied research projects regarding quality of life, social policy, corruption, health, urban development, and education. She received an award  ‘Best Scientist of 2008’ by the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tatarstan for achievements in sphere of scientific studies in issues of social policy and elaboration of fundamental and applied projects directed to improvement of life in Republic of Tatarstan. Prior to this, from 2001, she was as a lecturer at the Faculty of Social Work at the Kazan State Medical University.

She has been principal investigator and participant of many research and educational projects funded by the European Commission, Open Society Institute,  MacArthur Foundation, Ford Foundation, Russian Foundation for Humanities amongst others.

Postgraduate supervision

I am happy to hear from prospective Birmingham PhD students working on critical urbanism, migration and also in geography of health and medicine. 

Current doctoral researcher:

  • Tessa Frost (ESRC Studentship) Russia Without Orphans? (with Dominique Moran and Phil Jones)

Completed PhDs:

  • Aiziryak Zagrutdinova (2009-2014) – The health of adolescents in transforming  Russia: sociological study (case of Republic of Tatarstan)
  • Lyala Miphtakhova (2011-2015) – Social Integration of children and youth with mental disabilities (based on case of Republic of Tatarstan, Russia)


Irina Kuznetsova is a member of the following research groups within Human Geography:  

  • Geopolitics, transition and the carceral
  • Bodies, landscapes and materialities

Current projects:

  • Fellow of 3rd UBIAS Intercontinental Academia (ICA) on Laws: Rigidity and Dynamics with a project ‘Law, landscapes and bodies: developing an interdisciplinary theoretical and methodological approach to studying the causes and outcomes of displacement’ (2017-2019)
  • ‘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)
  • 'Constructing regional models for diagnosis and forecast of contemporary climate change and its social and ecological consequences (based on materials of Volga Federal area) (Co-I, Russian Foundation for Basic Research, 2015-2017)

Recent research projects:

  • 2016-2018 Ukraine's hidden tragedy: understanding the outcomes of population displacement from the country's war-torn regions (AHRC/ESRC GCRF / PaCCS Interdisciplinary Research Innovation Awards, Principal Investigator)
  • 2016-2017 British Academy Small Grant ‘Asylum seekers from Eastern Ukraine in Russia: identities, policies and discourse in the context of forced migration from the Ukraine conflict’
  • 2016-2017 'Social justice and equality in health care: experts' views, mass-media discourse and people's attitudes', Russian Foundation for Humanities, Co-I
  • 2013-2015 The everyday lives of Central Asian migrants in Moscow and Kazan in the context of Russia’s Migration 2025 Concept: from legislation to practice, Open Society Foundation, Co-PI (with Dr John Round)
  • 2012-2014 VOICES: The Volga International Centre for EU studies. European Union: Support to the Establishment of EU Centers in the Russian Federation II. European Commission  Project coordinator.
  • 2015 – 2016 Climate change in Russia’s Tatarstan republic, Russian Foundation for Basic Research. Contractor.
  • 2013-2014 Social effects of sport mega events in Russia: based on examples of Kazan’s Universiade, 2013 and the Sochi Winter Olympics, 2014’, Russian Foundation for Humanities, Co-PI.
  • 2012-2013 Social integration of labor migrants in a context of social security in Tatarstan, (Russian Foundation for Humanities,PI)
  • 2012 Identification and assessment of priority needs for infrastructure adapted for young people with disabilities. Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Care of Republic of Tatarstan.
  • 2011 ‘Internationalising Higher Education’, Kazan Federal University, British Council exploratory grant (with Dr John Round)
  • 2008-2010 The dynamic of religiosity among youth in Republic of Tatarstan. Russian Foundation for Humanities. Conractor.
  • 2009-2012 Modernizing Russian social work education and teaching. TEMPUS. Сoordinator at the Kazan State Medical University. 


Kuznetsova I. (2017) Dangerous and Unwanted: Policy and Everyday Discourses of Migrants in Russia. In Pikulicka-Wilczewska A.& Uehling G. (eds.) Migration and the Ukraine Crisis: A Two-Country Perspective. E-IR Edited Collection:149-163. 

Round J., Kuznetsova I. (2017) Necropolitics and the Migrant as a Political Subject of Disgust: The Precarious Everyday of Russia’s Labour Migrants’ in Critical Sociology 42.7-8 (2016): 1017-1034 

Kuznetsova I. and Round J. (2014) Communities and Social Work in Russia: The role of religious charity amongst Tatarstan’s Muslims. In International Social Work (5) 486-496

Kuznetsova I., Muchyaramova L. (2014) Labor migrants and health care access in Russia: formal and informal strategies In Journal for Social Policy Research V.12 (1) 7-20 (in Russian)

Kuznetsova I., Muchyaramova L. (2014) Social integration of migrants in Russia in a context of social security (case of Republic of Tatarstan) Kazan University Press (in Russian)

Kuznetsova I., Donetskaya O., Shults T. (2014) (eds) Citizenship in the European Union and in Russia. Collection of articles. Kazan University Press

Kuznetsova I. (2013) The Social Consequences of Sport Mega-Events: Between Stimulus and Simulation? The case of the 2013 Universiade in Kazan In Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology # 5 (In Russian)

Kuznetsova I. (2012) Forming Social Capital among Muslims: the role of charity In Sociological Research [Sosiologicheskye Issledovaniya] # 2 (in Russian)

Kuznetsova I. and Yasaveev, I. (2012) ‘Kazan unassessable’: closeness of urban space for people with disabilities: challenges of public and reaction of authorities. In Yarskaya-Smirnova E. (eds) Social workers as agents of changes. Moscow (in Russian)

Kuznetsova I. (2013) The Social Consequences of Sport Mega-Events: Between Stimulus and Simulation? The case of the 2013 Universiade in Kazan In Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology # 5

Kuznetsova I. (2013) Heath of migrants as a social problem. In Kazan Medical Journal, with Moucharyamova and G. Vaphina # 2.

Kuznetsova I., Mucharyamova L. (eds) (2011) Social work in a Health Care. Textbook. Nyznyi Novgorod University Publishing House. (in Russian)

Kuznetsova-Morenko, I. (2010 ) Others or Ours: Muslims in the Public Space of Russia. In Jonker G. and Thobani, Sh. (Eds.) Narrating Islam. Interpretations of the Muslim World in European Texts. I.B. Tauris.

Kuznetsova-Morenko, I. (2008) Main political events in Tatarstan in 2005-2006. In Genov, N. (Ed.) Interethnic integration in five European societies. Kramer, pp. 65-85.

Kuznetsova-Morenko, I. (2008) Gift and charity in Muslim dimensions of daily life and official practices in Republic of Tatarstan. In Romanov, P and Iarskaya-Smirnova, E. (Eds.) Social policy in modern Russia: reforms and daily life. Moscow: Variant, pp. 391- 420. (in Russian)

Mucharyamova, L., Kuznetsova-Morenko, I., Petrova, R. and Salakhatdinova, L. (2008) Regional Health Care under the Conditions of the National project “Health” and the delimitation of budgetary powers in the Republics of Mariy El and Tatarstan. The Journal of Social Policy Studies. Vol. 6, No. 4, pp. 483-50. (in Russian)

Kuznetsova-Morenko, I. and Panchenko, O. (2008) Further vocational training of people with disabilities as a factor of their positioning in the society (based on the example of the Republic of Tatarstan). The Journal of Social Policy Studies. Vol.6, No, 1, pp. 71-88. (in Russian)

Kuznetsova-Morenko, I. (2008) Theories of Social Justice: Universalizm and Particularizm. Journal Collegium. pp. 8-14.

Kuznetsova-Morenko, I. (2007) Russian Tatars: Identity and Social Integration. In: Genov, N. (Ed.) Patterns of Interethnic Integration. Arneitspapiere des Osteueuropa. Berlin, Instituts der Freien Universitat. pp. 79-82.

Kuznetsova-Morenko, I. (2006) Muslims in the Russian and Tatarstan Media Prospects for Media Policy Promoting Tolerance. In Kilpadi, P. (Ed.) Islam and Tolerance in Wider Europe. International Policy Fellowships, Open Society Institute Budapest. P. 80-86.

Ponarin, E.,  Kouznetsova-Morenko, I (2006) The Islamic Challenge in Russia’s Muslim Regions. The case of Tatarstan. In Georgetown Journal of International Affairs. Summer/Fall, pp. 21-25.

Kouznetsova-Morenko, I. and Salakhatdinova, L. (2006) The Changing Face of Islam inTatarstan. In Kultura. September, pp 3-9.

Kouznetsova-Morenko, I. and Salakhatdinova, L. (2005) New female Muslims of Tatarstan: to the issue of becoming social group. In Dushanbe, P. (Ed.) Gender: tradition and the modernity. The collection of scientific articles. pp. 146-162. (in Russian)

Humphries, H., Conrad, B. Kouznetsova, I., and Salakhatdinova , L (2005) New ethnic identity: the Islamization process in the Russian Federation. International Review of Modern Sociology. Vol 31, No 2, pp. 207-231.

Mukharyamova, R., Kouznetsova, I., Petrova, R. and Salakhatdinova, L. (2004) The Influence of the language of education on access to higher education. Sociologicheskye Issledovaniya (Sociological research). No. 3, pp. 58-66 (in Russian)


Internally displaced persons; migration in Post-Soviet countries; public health in Russia