Dr Melanie Griffiths BA (Oxon), MA, DPhil

Dr Melanie Griffiths

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Birmingham Fellow

Contact details

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

Dr Griffiths is a social scientist, working on mobility and immigration enforcement in the UK. She has been a Birmingham Fellow at the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences since February 2018, after completing an ESRC Future Research Leaders grant at the University of Bristol.


PhD (DPhil)


Dr Griffiths has been a Birmingham Fellow since February 2018. Based at the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, she is leading research on new developments in immigration enforcement. Between 2014-17, she was PI of an ESRC Future Research Leaders grant at the University of Bristol, working on the family lives and Article 8 rights of 'mixed-immigration status' families and men at risk of deportation.

In 2013, Dr Griffiths was an Associate Research Fellow at the University of Exeter, working with Dr Nick Gill on an ESRC-funded project looking at asylum appeals. Her DPhil research was conducted at the University of Oxford, on the British asylum system, with a particular focus on refused asylum seekers and immigration detainees. It considered the role and negotiation of identification requirements in the asylum system. Dr Griffiths also writes on time, uncertainty, masculinity and bureaucratic relations in the migration field.


Research interests:

Migration broadly (including irregular, undocumented, family, asylum, EEA), immigration enforcement and incarceration, ‘foreign criminals’ discourse, time, men and masculinity, family life and Article 8 rights, belonging and citizenship, bureaucracies, law and the judiciary, identity and identification. 

Find out about the Deportation and the Family project (2021)

Research identifier:

ORCID: 0000-0002-3331-2196, https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3331-2196

Other activities

  • Chair of trustees: Open Door (NGO in Oxford), 2011-
  • Member of the management committee (a trustee): Asylum Welcome (NGO in Oxford), 2011-
  • Member of the Detention Forum (London-based NGO), 2011-


Recent publications


Gill, N, Hoellerer, N, Allsopp, J, Burridge, A, Fisher, D, Griffiths, M, Hambly, J, Paszkiewicz, N, Rotter, R & Vianelli, L 2022, 'Rethinking commonality in refugee status determination in Europe: Legal geographies of asylum appeals', Political Geography, vol. 98, 102686. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polgeo.2022.102686

Griffiths, M & Yeo, C 2021, 'The UK’s hostile environment: Deputising immigration control', Critical Social Policy, vol. 41, no. 4, pp. 026101832098065. https://doi.org/10.1177/0261018320980653

Gill, N, Allsopp, J, Burridge, A, Fisher, D, Griffiths, M, Paszkiewicz, N & Rotter, R 2021, 'The tribunal atmosphere: on qualitative barriers to access to justice', Geoforum, vol. 119, pp. 61-71. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2020.11.002

Griffiths, M, Gill, N, Allsopp, J, Burridge, A, Fisher, D, Hambly, J, Hoellerer, N, Paszkiewicz, N & 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, vol. 45, no. 4, pp. 937-951. <https://rgs-ibg.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/tran.12399>

Griffiths, M 2019, '‘My passport is just my way out of here’. Mixed-immigration status families, immigration enforcement and the citizenship implications', Identities. https://doi.org/10.1080/1070289X.2019.1625568

Griffiths, M 2017, 'Foreign, criminal: a doubly damned modern British folk-devil', Citizenship Studies, vol. 21, no. 5, pp. 527-546. https://doi.org/10.1080/13621025.2017.1328486

Griffiths, M 2017, 'Seeking asylum and the politics of family', Families, Relationships and Societies, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 153-156. https://doi.org/10.1332/204674317X14845801814426

Gill, N, Rotter, R, Burridge, A, Allsopp, J & Griffiths, M 2016, 'Linguistic incomprehension in British asylum appeal hearings', Anthropology Today, vol. 32, no. 2, pp. 18-21. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8322.12240

Gill, N, Rotter, R, Burridge, A, Griffiths, M & Allsopp, J 2015, 'Inconsistency in asylum appeal adjudication', Forced Migration Review, vol. 50, pp. 52-54. <https://www.fmreview.org/dayton20/gill-rotter-burridge-griffiths-allsopp>


Griffiths, M 2021, Interrogating time and temporality in migration governance. in E Carmel, K Lenner & R Paul (eds), Handbook on the Governance and Politics of Migration. Elgar Handbooks in Migration, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd., pp. 316–328. https://doi.org/10.4337/9781788117234.00036

Griffiths, M 2017, The changing politics of time in the UK’s immigration system. in E Mavroudi, A Christou & B Page (eds), Timespace and International Migration. Edward Elgar.

Griffiths, M 2015, Identity. in J Jackson (ed.), Oxford Bibliographies in Anthropology. SIPRI/Oxford University Press, United Kingdom.

Book/Film/Article review

Griffiths, M 2016, 'Bosworth, M. (2014). Inside Immigration Detention: foreigners in a carceral age, Oxford: Oxford University Press', Journal of Refugee Studies, vol. 29, no. 3, pp. 425-427. https://doi.org/10.1093/jrs/few003

Other contribution

Griffiths, M & Morgan-Glendinning, C 2021, Deportability and the Family: mixed-immigration status families in the UK. University of Birmingham.

Griffiths, M & Silverman, S 2019, Immigration Detention in the UK. COMPAS. <https://migrationobservatory.ox.ac.uk/resources/briefings/immigration-detention-in-the-uk/>

View all publications in research portal