Dr Jennifer Allsopp

Dr Jennifer Allsopp

Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology
Birmingham Fellow
Founder and Co-Chair, University of Birmingham University of Sanctuary
Co-Founder and Birmingham Lead, Transatlantic Fellows Program

Contact details

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

Jennifer’s work centres on how people move and mobilize to support what they perceive to be viable futures for themselves, their families and their societies in the context of migration. She is drawn to interdisciplinarity and often incorporates the humanities to inform the content and practice of her research. She is passionate about comparative studies in international migration and the pursuit of innovative methodologies and co-production. 

Jennifer moved to the University of Birmingham in 2021 to take up a Birmingham Fellowship following positions at Harvard University, the London International Development Centre and the University of Oxford among others. Prior to pursuing a career in international academia, she worked as a writer and journalist with openDemocracy 50.50 and as a feminist civil society campaigner. This community ethos informs her approach to research. 

Her first co-authored book, Policing Humanitarianism: EU Anti-Smuggling Policies and their Impact on Civil Society (Hart, 2019) reports on extensive fieldwork which she conducted in Hungary and Serbia, Italy, Greece, the UK and France between 2015 and 2018 at the height of the so-called European ‘refugee crisis’.

Her second co-authored book, Youth Migration and the Politics of Wellbeing (Bristol University Press, 2020), is the product of a cutting-edge four-year participatory research project, Becoming Adult, which examined the wellbeing trajectories of over 100 unaccompanied young migrants and refugees in Europe.

She is currently working on a monograph, Reading Dante with Refugees which uses literary theory to unlock stagnant debates in political and social science through an exploration of the centrality of narrative as part of a universal search for subjective and civic wellbeing.

She is host of the podcast Immigration & Democracy produced by Harvard University. 


  • PhD in Social Policy, Department of Social Policy and Intervention, University of Oxford, Green Templeton College October 2014 – December 2018). Pass with excellent comments, no corrections.  
  • MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies (Distinction), University of Oxford, St Antony’s College October 2010 - July 2011 (Thesis title: ‘Contesting Fraternité: Vulnerable Migrants and the Politics of Protection in Contemporary France’. Supervisor: Professor Matthew Gibney.)
  • BA Hons in Modern Languages: French and Italian (First Class), University of Oxford, Wadham College October 2006 - June 2010 (Thesis title: Narratives of exclusion and inclusion: the ethics of hospitality in the novels of Maryse Condé)


Before joining the University of Birmingham in June 2021, Jennifer worked for two years at Harvard University as a Postdoctoral Fellow in International Migration and Coordinator the Immigration Initiative at Harvard (IIH) where she led the global Immigration Fellows program and policy research brief series.

She also organized a global online conference which attracted a live audience of 700 early career scholars from across the five continents. Prior to this, Jennifer worked as a Research Fellow with the London International Development Centre Migration Leadership Team (LIDC-MLT) where she co-developed a participatory strategy for global migration research for the United Kingdom’s Economic and Social, and Arts and Humanities Research Councils. As part of this work, Jennifer co-convened migration conversations with a range of stakeholders in 12 locations around the world including in Delhi, Nairobi, Medellin, London, New York, Thessaloniki, Barcelona, Brussels, Beirut and Johannesburg.

Jennifer has previously worked for the United Nations; as a strategist with a range of non-for-profits; as a researcher at the Universities of Oxford, Exeter, Birmingham, Queen Mary and the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London); and as a consultant with the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS). For six years, she worked as a commissioning editor for the human rights and social justice platform openDemocracy 50.50 where she reported on questions of gender equality, social justice and migration from around the world. 

Postgraduate supervision

Jennifer currently co-supervises the following ESRC-funded PhD students:

  • Critical humanitarianism and the Community Sponsorship Programme PhD (2023) (Natasha Nicholls)
  • Hospitality, hostility and home: understanding the use of hotels as precarious accommodation for asylum seekers in the UK PhD (2026) (Olivia Petie)

She is interested to take on new PhD students researching:

  • Migration and refugee studies with a focus on wellbeing, gender and ageing;
  • Comparative politics and social policy of migration and asylum;
  • Civil society mobilisation and human rights defenders;
  • The role of narrative and storytelling in individual and family migration projects;
  • Creative methodologies that integrate the humanities and the arts alongside the social sciences;
  • Existential anthropology;
  • The ethics of co-production.

She is keen to work with internationally minded scholars. Her geographical specialisms include Europe, North and Central America and the Middle East. She speaks French, Italian, Spanish and basic Arabic.

Jennifer is mentor to one Post-doctoral ESRC Fellow:

  • Integrated intersectional and socioecological approach: Engaging with religion to strengthen protection from violence against women in forced displacement (Dr Sandra Pertek)

Doctoral research

PhD title
Thesis title: ‘“Becoming Adult in Another Man’s Land”: Unaccompanied Young Migrant and Refugee Men Negotiating Pathways through Welfare, Asylum and Immigration Regimes’. Funded by the ESRC.  Supervisors: Professor Dawn Chatty (Refugee Studies Centre, Department of International Development, University of Oxford), Fran Bennett (Department of Social Policy and Intervention, University of Oxford) and Dr Elaine Chase (Institute of Education, University College London) Assessors: Dr Liza Schuster (City University of London) and Professor Mary Daly (Department of Social Policy and Intervention, University of Oxford).


Welcome Re-Course: Supporting the Inclusion of Refugee, Migrant and International Students

Role: PI

Timescale: June 023 – October 2024

Funder: EUniwELL (European Parliament)

Other ongoing, collaborative or recently completed research projects include:

Reading Dante with Refugees: Understanding Displacement, Citizenship and Belonging through the Arts  

Role: PI 

Timescale: October 2022 – December 2023 

Funder: School of Social Sciences and Birmingham Enterprise  

Windrush Tales  

Role: Consultant Researcher 

Timescale: October 2022 – December 2023 

Funder: OKRE  

Building Futures, Sharing Good Practices: Migrant Children’s Transition to Adulthood  

Role: Consultant Researcher 

Timescale: January 2023 – June 2023 

Funder: Council of Europe and European Parliament 

Life Facing Deportation   

Role: Co-I 

Timescale: May 2020- March 2022 

Funder: GCRF   

The Approach to Migration in the Mediterranean            

Role: Co-I 

Timescale: September 2020- March 2021

Funder: European Parliament       

Becoming Adult 

Role: Grant-linked studentship  

Timescale: September 2014 to December 2018  

Funder: ESRC


Published Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Allsopp, J., Chase, E. and Pherali, T. (2023) ‘Critical rights literacy as foundational

learning: Lessons from Indigenous migrant communities’, NORRAG, Special Issue-09, Foundational Learning: Debates and Praxes.

Allsopp, J. (2022) English ‘iron rod’ welfare versus Italian ‘colander’ welfare: understanding the

intra-European mobility strategies of unaccompanied young migrants and refugees, Journal of European Social Policy 32(4),

Gill, N. Hoellerern, N., Allsopp, J., Burridge, A., Fisher, D., Griffiths, M., Hambly, J.,

Paszkiewicz, N., Rotter, R and Vianelli, L. (2022), ‘Rethinking Commonality in Refugee Status Determination in Europe: Legal Geographies of Asylum Appeals’, Political Geographies.

Allsopp, J., Vosyliute, L. and Smialowski, S. (2021) ‘Picking 'Low-Hanging Fruit' While the Orchard Burns: The Costs of Policing Humanitarian Actors in Italy and Greece as a Strategy to Prevent Migrant Smuggling’, European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research

Allsopp, J. (2017) ‘Solidarity, Smuggling and the European Refugee Crisis: Civil Society and its Discontents’ Diritto, Immigrazione, Cittadinanza (Rights, Immigration, Citizenship) 3, 1-29.

Allsopp, J. and Chase, E. (2017) ‘Best interests, durable solutions and belonging: future prospects for unaccompanied migrant minors coming of age in Europe’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2017.1404265.

Allsopp, J., Chase, E. and Mitchell, M. (2015) ‘The tactics of time and status: Young people’s experiences of constructing futures while subject to immigration control’, Journal of Refugee Studies 28(2), 163-182.

Carrera, S.  Allsopp, J. and Vosyliūtė, L. (2018) ‘The Effects of Anti-Migrant Smuggling Policies on Humanitarian Assistance in the EU’. International Journal of Border and Migration Studies (IJBMS): 3(4), 236-276.

Gill, N., Allsopp, J., Buddrige, A., Fisher, D., Griffiths, M., Hambly, J., Hoellerer, N., Paszkiewicz, and Rotter, R. (2020) ‘What’s missing from legal geography and materialist studies of law? Absence and the assembling of asylum appeal hearings in Europe. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 45(4), 937-951.

Gill, N., Rotter, R., Burridge, A., Allsopp, J. (2018) ‘The limits of procedural discretion: Unequal treatment and vulnerability in Britain’s asylum appeals’, Social and Legal Studies 27(1), 49–78.

Gill, N., Rotter, R., Burridge, A., Allsopp, J. and Griffiths, M. (2016) ‘Linguistic Incomprehension in British Asylum Appeal Hearings’, Anthropology Today, 32(2), 18-21.

Gill, N., Rotter, R., Burridge, A., Griffiths, M., and Allsopp, J. (2015) ‘Inconsistency in asylum appeal adjudication’, Forced Migration Review 50, 52-54.

Published Books

Chase, E. and Allsopp, J. (2021) Youth Migration and the Politics of Wellbeing: Stories of Life in Transition. London:  Bristol University Press.

Chase, E. and Allsopp, J. (2020) Youth Migration and the Politics of Wellbeing: Stories of Life in Transition. London: Bristol University Press.

Carrera, S., Mitsilegas V., Allsopp, J. and Vosyliūtė, L. (2018) Policing Humanitarianism: EU Policies Against Human Smuggling and their Impact on Civil Society. London: Hart.

Published Book Chapters

Allsopp, J. (2023) ‘The Divine Comedy of Forced Migration: The Journey as Method and Beyond’. In Lessard Phillips et al. eds. Migration, Displacement and Diversity. Birmingham: IRiS.

Allsopp, J. (2022) DIY Rights? Unaccompanied Migrant and Asylum-Seeking Children and Youth and Secondary Migration. In E. Chase, N. Sigona and D.Chatty, eds. Becoming Adult on the Move Journeys, Encounters and Life Transitions. London: Palgrave.

Allsopp, J., Lala, M., and Mai, N.(2022) ‘Blood Feuds, Rap and Romance: Cultural Conceptions of Albanian Youth Migration, In E. Chase, N. Sigona and D.Chatty, eds. Becoming Adult on the Move Journeys, Encounters and Life Transitions. London: Palgrave.

Allsopp, J. and Chase, E. (2022) ‘Trading Futures: The Place of Education in the Trajectories of Unaccompanied Migrant Young Men Becoming Adult in England and Italy’, In A. North and E. Chase, Education, Migration and Development: Critical Perspectives in a Moving World. London:  Bloomsbury.

Cadavid-Gonzalez, V. and Allsopp, J. and (2022) Sewing Migrant Journeys in a Bullet-proof Vest: The Museum as a Site of Memory and Mutual Learning in Medellín, Colombia, In A. North & E. Chase, Education, Migration and Development: Critical Perspectives in a Moving World. London: Bloomsbury.

Glockner, V., Flores, W., Chase, E., Allsopp, J., Warwick, I., Zion, D., Blitz, B., Muniz-Trejo, R., Van Tuyl, P. and Cheng, T. 2022). The theoretical and practical potential of ‘acompañamiento’ for research with people marginalised through immigration controls. In Benhadjoudja, L. et al., eds. Being Migrant, Racialized or Indigenous in Times of “Crisis”.  (Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press)

Allsopp, J. (2017) ‘Agent, Victim, Soldier, Son: Intersecting Masculinities in the European “Refugee Crisis”’. In Freedman, J., Kıvılcım, Z. and Özgür, N. (Eds) A Gendered Approach to the Syrian Refugee Crisis. London: Routledge, 155-175.

Allsopp, J. (2016) ‘The European Facilitation Directive and the Criminalisation of Humanitarian Assistance to Irregular Migrants: Measuring the Impact on the Whole Community’. In Carrera, S. and Guild, E. (Eds) Irregular Migration, Trafficking and Smuggling of Human Beings: Policy Dilemmas in the EU. CEPS: Brussels, 47-57.

Allsopp, J. and Manieri, M.G.  (2016) ‘The EU Anti-Smuggling Framework: Direct and Indirect Effects on the Provision of Humanitarian Assistance to Irregular Migrants’ in ibid., 81-93.

Gill, N., Allsopp, J., Burridge, A., Griffiths, M. Paszkiewicz, N. and Rotter, R. (2018) ‘Law, Presence and Refugee Claim Determination’. In Mitchell, K. Jones, R. and Fluri, J.(Eds) Handbook on Critical Geographies of Migration. Edward Elgar: London.

Carrera, S. and Allsopp, J. (2017) ‘The irregular immigration policy conundrum: problematizing “effectiveness” as a frame for EU criminalization and expulsion policies’. In Ripoll Servent, A. and Trauner, F. (Eds) Routledge Handbook of Justice and Home Affairs Research. London: Routledge, 70-82.

Reports, Working Papers and Arts-based Research Outputs

Allsopp, J., Chase E., Buddenhorn, S., Downing, C., Passerelli, D. (Forthcoming, 2023) Learning from Critical Rights Literacy as a Pathway for Exercising Rights among Indigenous Migrant Communities in Guatemala, Mexico and the USA. New York: United Nations University - Centre for Policy Research.

Moreno Lax, V., Allsopp, J., Tsourdi, E., and De Bruycker, P. (2021). The EU Approach on Migration in the  Mediterranean. European Parliament (report).

Carrera, S., Vosyliūtė, L., Allsopp, J. and Sanchez, G. (2019) Updated Study: Fit for purpose? The Facilitation Directive and the Criminalisation of Humanitarian Assistance to Irregular Migrants, Brussels: European Parliament (report).

Allsopp, J., Hammond, L., Datta, K. and Chase, E. (2018) ‘Bridging the “Evidence” Divide? Critical Reflections on Arts and Social Sciences Interventions in Global Migration Research’. Migration Leadership Team Report.  London: London International Development Centre (LIDC).

Allsopp, J., Hammond, L., Datta, K. and Chase, E. (2018) ‘De-centering the “Global”: A South Asian Migration Research Agenda’. Migration Leadership Team Report. London: London International Development Centre (LIDC).

Allsopp, J., Hammond, L., Datta, K., Chase, E. and Brain, L. (2018) ‘From Border Crossings to Everyday Mobility:  The State of Migration Research in the Horn of Africa’. Migration Leadership Team Report. London: London International Development Centre (LIDC).

Allsopp, J. (2017) ‘Unaccompanied Minors and Secondary Migration between Italy and the UK’, Becoming Adult Research Brief no. 8, London: UCL.

Allsopp, J, Mai, N and Lala, M. (2017) ‘Hillbilly or Tupac? Gendered Cultural Conceptions of Albanian Youth Migration’, Becoming Adult Working Paper no. 3, London: UCL.

Carrera, S., Guild, E., Aliverti, A., Allsopp, J., Giovanna Manieri, M., Levoy, M. (2016) Fit for purpose? The Facilitation Directive and the Criminalisation of Humanitarian Assistance to Irregular Migrants, Brussels: European Parliament (report).

Sigona, N., Allsopp, J., and Phillimore, J. (2014) Poverty, Asylum Seekers and Refugees in the UK: A Review of Evidence, iRiS Working Paper no. 1, Birmingham: Institute of Research into Superdiversity (iRiS).

Chase, E. and Allsopp J. (2013) ‘Future citizens of the world?’ The contested futures of independent young migrants in Europe, RSC Working Paper no. 97/Barnett Papers in Social Research 13.05, Oxford: Refugee Studies Centre.

Allsopp, J. (2012) Contesting Fraternité: Vulnerable Migrants and the Politics of Protection in Contemporary France, RSC Working Paper no. 82, Oxford: Refugee Studies Centre.

Allsopp, J. (2010) ‘Narratives of exclusion and inclusion: the ethics of hospitality in the novels of Maryse Condé’.  Working Paper. Oxford.

Allsopp, J. and Wenke, D. (2023) HELP Module Supporting Transitions to Adulthood for

Unaccompanied Minors. Brussels. Council of Europe.

Allsopp, J. and Khalegi, M. (2023) Dante on the Move Evenet and Exhibition. Trinity College Rome Campus, Rome and IRiS Birmingham.

Adin, M., Allsopp, J. and Wang, X. (2021) How Will You Use Your Voice, Immigration Initiative at Harvard, Perry World House and Institute for Research into Superdiversity (animation - producer credit). 

Allsopp, J. and Wang, X. (2020) Immigration and Democracy Podcast. Immigration Initiative at Harvard (producer and presenter credit). 

Imperial War Museum, Displacement Season, (2019-2020) (exhibition- researcher credit)

Positives Negatives (2019) Life on the Move (animation - researcher credit).

Positives Negatives (2018) Dear Habib (animation - researcher credit).

Tahiru, Y, di Francesco, A., Ndiaye, S., Hosseini, M. Allsopp, J (2017) Becoming Adult in

Another Man’s Land. Rome: Piccola Orchestra di Tor Pignatarra (song and music video – producer credit).

Allsopp, J., Anzaldi, A., Cossa, E., Di Della, R.A., Fabbrini, L., Legal. Y, Paderni, L. and Vannini, S., (2016) Narrazioni da Museo a Museo: Trasformazioni Migrant tra MAXXI e Museo Pigorini, Rome: European Commission SWITCH Project/ MAXXI Modern Art Museum (art exhibition and book – researcher and cocurator credit).

Chantry, J., Birch, A., Allsopp, J. Mollett, G. and Calcutt, I. (2016) Together: A Retrospective of Art by Young Refugees, Leicester: New Walk Museum/Arts Council England (art exhibition and book – researcher and co- curator credit).

Mitchell, M. and Allsopp, J. (2014) Captured: Stories of Everyday Life through Words and Image. London: Refugee Support Network (art exhibition and website – researcher and co-curator credit).


Jennifer is trained to a high level of media engagement proficiency in person and via editorials and interviews. 

Languages and other information

  • French
  • Italian
  • Spanish
  • basic Arabic

Media experience

Jennifer’s research has been featured in BBC World Service, ABC News, LBC, The Guardian, The Hindu Times, The New York Times, Al Jazeera, PBS, openDemocracy and The Conversation. She has been a delegate and reported from international feminist gatherings hosted by the Nobel Women’s Initiative (NWI), Association for Women in Development (AWID) and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) in the Hague, Istanbul, Belfast, Brussels and Berlin.  

Jennifer is the founder and host of the Immigration and Democracy podcast, and is active on Twitter 


Jennifer is a regular consultant advisor to the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties (LIBE) Committee on ethics, anti-smuggling and human rights and she has contributed to multiple government inquiries into migration and the human rights of children and young people. 

She recently worked on a strategy for coproduction in policy research and impact with Indigenous migrant communities in Central America with the United Nations University Centre for Policy Research in New York as a Senior Visiting Fellow and she has just completed a consultancy with the European Parliament and Council of Europe supporting the development of a new training module on migrant wellbeing during the transition to adulthood.  

Jennifer regularly advises on refugee inclusion in higher educational spaces in a voluntary capacity to NGOs in Lebanon, Jordan, the UK, Europe and the USA.  

She was editor of the widely cited policy issue brief series issued by the Immigration Initiative at Harvard (IIH) between 2019 and 2021.