Dr Anna Papoutsi

Dr Anna Papoutsi

Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology
Leverhulme Early Career Fellow

Contact details

School of Social Policy
Room 1146
Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Anna Papoutsi is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow (2022-2025) at the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology. Her project, Border time: everyday temporal practices in Athens, Berlin, and Liverpool, aims to unveil, analyse and conceptualise the temporalities of border control and the politics of time involved in migration governance. Border Time is designed around three urban case-studies in distinct socio-political contexts: Athens, Berlin, and Liverpool. It focuses on different types of accommodation: formal and informal camps, informal shelters, privatised facilities, such as hostels, hotels and apartments. In Athens and Berlin, a constellation of different types of camps (registration, transit etc) has emerged to house those whose status has not yet been settled. In parallel, a wide range of grassroots and community organisations, and individual practitioners have mobilised around migrants’ housing precarity, resulting in various projects and networks. In the UK a system of forced dispersal around the country, driven by the availability of empty housing, has resulted in the concentration of asylum seekers in deprived urban centres, dislocating them from their social networks and infrastructure. Border Time, by focusing on accommodation, investigates how bordering is practised there through imposed routines, rhythms, and cycles; how it is experienced, acknowledging its gendered dimensions; and how it influences and is influenced by migrants’ everyday practices.


  • PhD in Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology, University of Birmingham
  • MA in Geography, King’s College London
  • MSc in Science and Technology Studies, SPRU – Sussex
  • BA in Philosophy of Science, University of Athens

Postgraduate supervision

  • Yunchong Bao


Anna is an interdisciplinary scholar working at the intersection of border studies, migration, urban studies, and social policy. Her expertise lies in conducting qualitative critical research on borders, migration, and human mobility, through an urban lens and a focus on the micro-level, the local, the neighbourhood, the community.

She is currently working on time, gender, and the border, exploring the politics of time and time punctuation in relation to migration. In particular, she is interested in exploring how the border and the migratory journey disrupt people’s perception of time and the control that they have over it.

At the same time, she is working on the project ‘Decolonising the City’ (DtC), funded by the Urban Studies Foundation and the Independent Social Research Foundation. The key aim of the project is to generate a participatory arts-based methodological toolkit, co-designed with migrant communities, that will help explore how migrants practice urban citizenship. The project focuses on migrant communities of African descent in Athens (Greece) and follows the theoretical trajectories of de Sousa Santos’ “Epistemologies of the South”.

She has also been part of the University of Birmingham’s SEREDA project, focusing on: the geographies of shame experienced by forced migrant survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV); the impact of SGBV on survivors’ integration; the mobilisation of survivors to resist their double disenfranchisement; and finally the potential of feminist approaches to prevent and treat SGBV among forced migrants.

Her PhD work focused on the impact of the 2015 border crisis on the city of Athens, its institutions, public space and social movements. It explored the new spatialities and temporalities of the new normative requirements of EU’s encampment strategies and border policies.

Finally, during 2015-2016, she conducted extensive research in landing sites and camps on Lesbos and in Athens, investigating the new governance strategies and tools developed by the European Commission, their everyday implementation and impact on the spaces and lives of migrants and local communities.


Papoutsi, A., Phillimore, J., Akyüz S., Bradby, H., Goodson, L. and Vaughan C. (2022) Geographies of shame: Diachronic and Transnational Shame in Forced Migrants with Experiences of Sexual and Gender-based Violence. Journal of Refugee Studies 35(3): 1221-1249.

Phillimore, J., Block, K., Bradby, H., Ozcurumez S. and Papoutsi, A. (2022) Forced Migration, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and Integration: Effects, Risks and Protective Factors. Journal of International Migration and Integration

Papoutsi, A. (2021) Temporal bordering in the space of the camp: Producing and contesting abandonment in Skaramagas and Elaionas camps in Athens. Political Geography 89.

Vradis, A., Papada, E., Papoutsi, A., Painter, J. (eds), (2020) Governing mobility in times of crisis: practicing the border and embodying resistance in and beyond the hotspot infrastructure [Special Issue]. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 38(6).

Gonzales, R., Sigona, N., Franco, M. and Papoutsi A. (2019) Undocumented Migration: Borders, Immigration Enforcement and Belonging. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Papada, E., Papoutsi, A. Painter J. and Vradis A. (2019) Pop-up governance: Transforming the management of migrant populations through humanitarian and security practices in Lesbos, Greece, 2015–2017, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 38(6): 1-18.

Vradis, A., Painter, J., Papada E. and Papoutsi A. (2018) New Borders: Hotspots and the European Migration Regime. London: Pluto Press.

Papoutsi, A., Painter, J., Papada, E. and Vradis A. (2018) The EC hotspot approach in Greece: creating liminal EU territory, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 45(12): 2200-2212.

View all publications in research portal