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

Dr Irina Kuznetsova's research expertise includes areas of migration, forced displacement, health, and critical urbanism. Her recent projects focus on social consequences of population displacement in Ukraine, Russia, Rwanda, Nigeria and Japan, including mental health and well-being, and the impact of migration on rural communities.


BA and MA in Sociology, PhD - Kazan Federal University, Russia


Dr Kuznetsova’s recent projects focus on social consequences of population displacement from Ukraine’s war-torn territories was supported by AHRC, British Academy and Wellcome Trust. Dr Kuznetsova also works on the impact of migration on rural communities in Kyrgyzstan in a Horizon2020 project lead by Prof Mollinga, SOAS. Another strand of her research regards mental health and forced displacement both in Global South and Global North with projects on IDPs in Ukraine, refugees in Lagos and Kigali, and evacuees from Fukushima in Japan.

She is involved in interdisciplinary collaborations with colleagues from Psychology, Sociology and Environmental Sciences. She is a Fellow of the Intercontinental Academia on Laws: Rigidity and Dynamics and an associate member of the Institute for Research into Superdiversity (IRiS) at the University of Birmingham.

Before her appointment at Birmingham, she was director of the European Union Centre VOICES, funded by a grant from the European Commission at Kazan Federal University (Russia, 2012-2015), where she was also a director of the Institute for the Comparative Studies of Modernity. 



  • Russia in a Global Context BA
  • Planning methods and Techniques MA
  • Tokyo field trip for 3rd year BA students

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. 

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 lead of the Urban and regional studies research group and member of the following research groups within Human Geography:  

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

Current and recent projects:

2019-2021 Horizon 2020 ‘Leaving something behind’ - Migration governance and agricultural & rural change in ‘home’ communities: comparative experience from Europe, Asia and Africa’ (Co-Investigator)

2018-2019 GEES University of Birmingham pump-priming grant 'The mental health impacts of forced displacement resulting from the 2011 Fukushima disaster' (with Dr John Round)

2018-2019 GCRF Academy of Medical Sciences, UK ‘Well-being and mental health of forced displaced people in African cities’, principal investigator

From 2017, Fellow of 3rd UBIAS Intercontinental Academia (ICA) on Laws: Rigidity and Dynamics

2016-2018  ‘Ukraine’s hidden tragedy: understanding the outcomes of population displacement from the country’s war-torn regions’ (principal investigator, AHRC PACCs)

2016-2019 ‘Mental health and well-being of internally displaced people: copying tactics and resilience in conflict-affected societies’ (PI, Wellcome Trust/UoB, 2017-2018)

 2016-2017 ‘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)

2016-2019 ‘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) 

2016-2017 'Social justice and equality in health care: experts' views, mass-media discourse and people's attitudes'  (Co-I, Russian Foundation for Humanities, 2016-2017)

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.


Briefing papers, pre-prints

Kuznetsova, I, Mikheieva, O., Catling, J., Round, J., & Babenko, S. (2019). The Mental Health of IDPs and the general population in Ukraine. http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.2585564

Kuznetsova, I.; Mikheieva, O.; Gulyieva, G.; Dragneva, R.; Mykhnenko, V. (2018) Policy brief. The social consequences of population displacement in Ukraine: the risks of marginalization and social exclusion. DOI 10.5281/zenodo.121783

Kuznetsova, I., & Mikheieva, O. (2018). NGO Representatives’ Views of the Social Consequences of Forced Displacement in Ukraine. http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1247928


Kuznetsova, I. (2016) From ‘Shifts’ to Cultural Transformations: Art Activism in Eastern Ukraine

Kuznetsova, I. (2016) Art and geopolitics in a fractured Eastern Ukraine

Articles, chapters

Kuznetsova I. & Round J. (2018) Postcolonial Migrations in Russia: the racism, informality and discrimination nexus, In: International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSSP-08-2018-0131

Kuznetsova I. (2018) Refugees from Ukraine: migration policy and everyday life, In: Journal for Social Policy Research, 16(4), 577-594 (in Russian). https://doi.org/10.17323/727-0634-2018-16-4-577-594

Round J. & Kuznetsova I. (2018) States of Exception in a Super-Diverse City: the Compromised Mobility of Moscow’s Labor Migrants, In Laurelle M., Schenk, C. (eds) Eurasia on the Move interdisciplinary approaches to a Dynamic Migration region. The George Washington university, Central Asia Program, pp. 107-118.

Ermolaeva P.O., Kuznetsova I.B. (2018) Public assessment of social and economic effects of climate change. Based on the case of the Republic of Tatarstan.  Moscow University Bulletin. Series 5. Geography. (In Rus.)

Interview to Nature Climate Change  in Richler, J. International Perspectives.  Nature Climate Change 9: 4–6 (2019) https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-018-0374-8

Savelyeva Zh., Mukharyamova L., Kuznetsova I. (2018) Social Justice in Healthcare in the Experiences and Attitudes of Russians. Universe of Russia27(3), 154-179. (in Russian) https://doi.org/10.17323/1811-038X-2018-27-3-154-179

Mukharyamova L., Savelyeva Zh., Kuznetsova I. (2018) Equity and Justice in Health Care: patients’ and experts opinions and mass-media discourse. Kazan University Press, 153 p. (in Rus.) 

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)

View all publications in research portal


Dr Kuznetsova provided consultancy for GIZ and European Asylum Office and presented her recent projects internationally including Columbia University, Chatham House, UNDP, Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre amongst others.