Dr Irina Kuznetsova

Dr Irina Kuznetsova

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Associate Professor

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


Irina Kuznetsova is an Associate Professor at the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (GEES) at the University of Birmingham. Her area of specialism includes population migration, well-being, and critical urbanism. She leads Cities, Regions, and Mobility Research subtheme in GEES and works in the admissions team. 
Irina is an associate member of the Institute for Research into Superdiversity and Centre for Urban Wellbeing. She is a Fellow of Intercontinental Academy ‘Laws. Rigidity and dynamics,’ University-based Institutes of Advanced Studies (UBIAS).
Her current research focuses on population displacement from Ukraine and Russia. She leads the QR funded Policy impact project ‘Futures of Ukraine: youth, mobility and post-war reconstruction’ studying everyday experiences and aspirations of displaced youth in the UK, Germany, and Poland. Another study, funded by IGI, University of Birmingham focuses on ‘Everyday geopolitics and war as experience: displacement from Russia and new Russian literature within re-considered post-Soviet space in the Caucasus and Central Asia.’

Irina Kuznetsova has studied the social consequences of population displacement from Ukraine's war-torn territories since 2016 and funded by the AHRC PaCCs and the British Academy, collaborating with the Ukrainian Catholic University and national and international stakeholders on lived experiences and well-being of internally displaced people (IDPs) (Kuznetsova et al 2018, Kuznetsova&Mikheieva 2020, Kuznetsova 2021, etc). Since 2022, she was involved in research and impact work on gender-based violence towards Ukrainian refugees in Poland and IDPs in Ukraine (Pertek et al 2022, Pertek, Kuznetsova & Tsarevska 2023).
Dr Kuznetsova has been working on migration from Central Asia to Russia for several years together with Dr John Round focusing on everyday experiences of migrants in a hostile environment (Round&Kuznetsova 2016, Kuznetsova&Round 2018, etc). She also works on the impact of migration on rural communities in low- and middle-income countries (AGRUMIG, Horizon2020), and the impact of forced displacement on wellbeing in Brazil and Nigeria (Adejoh, Kuznetsova & Dhesi 2021). Another strand of her studies focuses on population immobility via the prim of intersectionality, including forced immobility and well-being of older adults and people with disabilities in conflict-affected countries (Mikheieva& Kuznetsova 2023, AbuQamar et al 2023). 
Irina leads the final year undergraduate and PGT module on ‘Urbanity and well-being’ that has been established due to the EUniwell project at the University of Birmingham. 
Before coming to the UK in 2014, she established and led the European Union Centre Voices with the O.5 ml Euro grant from the European Commission at the Kazan Federal University, Russia. She also worked on various research projects on migration, social inclusion, and sustainability in the region. 
Dr Kuznetsova’s research engages with feminist geographies, critical border studies, decolonisation studies, necropolitics, and geographies of art. 


  • Geographies of Russia in a Global and Regional Context
  • Work, Migration and Alternative Economies
  • Tutorials and Study Skills for Geographers
  • Fieldwork Project Design
  • Geography and Planning Research (dissertations)
  • Advanced field trip (Tokyo, Dubai)  
  • Urban lives (MSc Urban Planning, Dubai)

Postgraduate supervision

Forced displacement, migration, well-being, ageing


Migration, city, social inclusion, health, social policy, ethnic relations, religion, superdiversity


Recent publications


Mikheieva, O & Kuznetsova, I 2024, 'War-time volunteering and population displacement: from spontaneous help to organised volunteering in post-2014 Ukraine', Voluntary Sector Review, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 74–91. https://doi.org/10.1332/20408056Y2023D000000009

Murzakulova, A, Kuznetsova, I & Mogilevskii, R 2023, 'Has immobility been left behind in migration regulatory infrastructures?', International Migration. https://doi.org/10.1111/imig.13191

AbuQamar, M, Eltayyan, D, Kuznetsova, I, Dhesi, S, Catling, J, Al-Dadah, R, Mahmoud, SM & Abuhaiba, M 2023, 'The impact of access to electricity on mental health in conflict-affected territories: An exploratory study in Gaza', International Journal of Social Psychiatry, pp. 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1177/00207640231194479

Pertek, S, Kuznetsova, I & Tsarevska, I 2023, 'Ukrainian internally displaced women at risk of sexual and gender-based violence' Forced Migration Review, no. 72, pp. 56-59. <https://www.fmreview.org/sites/fmr/files/FMRdownloads/en/ukraine/magazine.pdf>

Yasmin, T, Dhesi, S, Kuznetsova, I, Cooper, R, Krause, S & Lynch, I 2022, 'A system approach to water, sanitation, and hygiene resilience and sustainability in refugee communities', International Journal of Water Resources Development. https://doi.org/10.1080/07900627.2022.2131362

Adejoh, S, Kuznetsova, I & Dhesi, S 2022, 'Internally displaced people in Lagos: environmental health conditions and access to healthcare in the context of COVID-19', Critical Public Health. https://doi.org/10.1080/09581596.2022.2096427

Kuznetsova, I, Garapshina, L & Mukharyamova, L 2021, 'Between withdrawal and resistance: parents strategies in navigating preschool education in Russia for children with developmental disabilities and autism', Journal of Children’s Services, vol. 16, no. 4, pp. 304-317. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCS-08-2020-0051

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Kuznetsova, I 2023, ‘Longing for Home’: Internally Displaced People in Ukraine Before 2022. in L Lessard-Phillips, A Papoutsi, N Sigona & P Ziss (eds), Migration, displacement and diversity: The IRiS anthology. Oxford Publishing Services, Oxford, pp. 172-176.

Kuznetsova, I 2022, Internal Displacement and Mental Health in Ukraine. in Global Uncertainties: Collected Conversations from the Partnership for Conflict, Crime & Security Research. Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security Research, Cambridge , pp. 84-86.

Kuznetsova, I & Round, J 2021, Migrants’ Islamic practices in Russian cities: coping in “cities of exception”. in M Laruelle & J Schmoller (eds), Cultures Of Islam: Vernacular Traditions and Revisionist Interpretations across Russia. Central Asia Program, The George Washington University, Washington , pp. 95-101. <https://www.centralasiaprogram.org/cultures-islam-vernacular-traditions-revisionist-interpretations-russia>

Kuznetsova, I, Mogilevskii, R, Murzakulova, A, Abdoulbaetova, A, Wolters, A & Round, J 2021, Migration and COVID-19: Challenges and Policy Responses in Kyrgyzstan. in M Laruelle & B Radjabov (eds), COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND CENTRAL ASIA: Crisis Management, Economic Impact, and Social Transformations. Central Asia Program, The George Washington University, pp. 149-158. <https://www.centralasiaprogram.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Laruelle-ed-Covid-and-Central-Asia-2021-Final-1.pdf>

Conference contribution

Effiong, C, Kanu, E, Dhesi, S, Kuznetsova, I, Mahmoud, SM, Al-Dadah, R & Aziz, AN 2024, Air Pollution and Solid Waste: Promoting Green and Resilient Recovery in Nigeria. in AL Pisello, I Pigliautile, SSY Lau & NM Clark (eds), Building Resilient and Healthy Cities: A Guide to Environmental Sustainability and Well-being. 1 edn, vol. 1, Advances in Science, Technology & Innovation, Springer, Switzerland , pp. 31-43, 1st International Conference on Health and Environmental Resilience and Liveability in Cities, 20/01/22. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-33863-2_4

Aziz, AN, Mahmoud, SM, Al-Dadah, R, Dhesi, S, Kuznetsova, I, Effiong, C & Kanu, E 2021, Conversion of mixed waste of wood and plastic to clean fuels using pyrolysis in Nigeria -numerical study. in Conference Proceedings Proceedings of the 7th World Congress on Mechanical, Chemical, and Material Engineering (MCM’21)., HTFF 135, Proceedings of the World Congress on Mechanical, Chemical, and Material Engineering, Avestia Publishing, 7th World Congress on Mechanical, Chemical, and Material Engineering (MCM'21), 2/08/21. https://doi.org/10.11159/htff21.135

Other report

Mikheieva, O & Kuznetsova, I 2023, Internally displaced and immobile people in Ukraine between 2014 and 2022: older age and disabilities as factors of vulnerability. IOM Migration Research Series, no. 77, IOM. <https://publications.iom.int/books/mrs-no-77-internally-displaced-and-immobile-people-ukraine-between-2014-and-2022-older-age>

Pertek, S, Kuznetsova, I & Kot, M 2022, “Not a single safe place”: The Ukrainian refugees at risk of violence, trafficking and exploitation. Findings from Poland and Ukraine. University of Birmingham. <https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/documents/college-social-sciences/social-policy/iris/2022/sereda-cee.pdf>

View all publications in research portal


  • Population displacement from Ukraine (including youth)
  • Population displacement from Russia as the result of the war
  • Population immobility in well-being of older adults and people with disabilities in conflict-affected countries
  • Migration from Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Moldova


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.