Professor Nando Sigona

Professor Nando Sigona

Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology
Chair of International Migration and Forced Displacement
Director of IRiS

Contact details

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

Nando Sigona is a social scientist with over fifteen years research and teaching experience in migration, refugee, citizenship and ethnic studies. He is the Director of the Institute for Research into Superdiversity (IRiS) and a Research Associate at the University of Oxford’s Refugee Studies Centre.

Professor Sigona’s work investigates the migration and citizenship nexus. This is achieved through in-depth examination of a range of experiences of societal membership including, but not limited to, those of: EU families; refugees; Roma, undocumented migrants, racialized minorities, unaccompanied minors, dual citizens, ‘failed’ asylum seekers, and stateless people.

Nando is one of the founding editors of Migration Studies, an international academic journal published by Oxford University Press and the editor of the book series Global Migration and Social Change by Bristol University Press.

His recent work includes Unravelling Europe’s ‘migration crisis’  (Policy Press 2017), Within and beyond citizenship (Routledge 2017), The Oxford Handbook on Refugee and Forced Migration Studies

(Oxford University Press, 2014) Sans Papiers: The Social and Economic Lives of Undocumented Migrants (Pluto Press, 2014). 

Since 2008 he maintains an academic blog - Postcards from... .

His work has been featured in a number of international media, incl. The Economist; BBC News; Al Jazeera; New York Times; AP; Reuters; Die Welt; RAI. He contributes regularly for magazines, newspapers and blogs (see recent media coverage), and is active on social media.

Follow Nando on Twitter @nandosigona


  • PhD in Sociology of migration and forced displacement, Oxford Brookes University
  • BSc in Politics (Hons), University of Naples L’Orientale, Italy


Before joining the School of Social Policy as a Birmingham Fellow in February 2013, Nando was Senior Research Officer at the Refugee Studies Centre and Senior Researcher the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS) at the University of Oxford.

Nando has a background in Politics, Sociology and Social Anthropology. He has taught on the MSc in Migration Studies and the MSc in Forced Migration and Refugee Studies at the University of Oxford and in October 2012 was awarded the University of Oxford’s Teaching Excellence Award for ‘outstanding contribution to the MSc in Migration Studies’. Previously, he taught sociology of diversity, migration and forced migration to undergraduate and postgraduate students at Oxford Brookes University and City University London.

His research sets to explore the impact of globalisation, migration and human rights regime on meanings and practices of citizenship and non-citizenship in countries affected by significant population movements. His research interests include: forced displacement; statelessness, diasporas and the state; Romani politics and anti-Gypsyism; ‘illegality’ and the everyday experiences of undocumented migrant children and young people; and governance and governmentality of forced migration in the EU.

His work has appeared in a range of peer reviewed journals, including Sociology, Social Anthropology, Citizenship Studies, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies and Ethnic and Racial Studies. He is author or editor of books and journal’s special issues including Within and beyond citizenship: Borders, membership and belonging (with Roberto G. Gonzales, 2017), Unravelling Europe’s ‘migration crisis’ (with Heaven Crawley, Franck Duvell, Katharine Jones, and Simon McMahon, 2017), Ethnography, diversity and urban space (with Mette Berg and Ben Gidley, Identities, 2013), The Oxford Handbook of Refugee and Forced Migration Studies (with Elena Fiddian Qasmiyeh, Gil Loescher, Katy Long, 2014), Romani politics in contemporary Europe: poverty, ethnic mobilisation and the neoliberal order (with Nidhi Trehan, Palgrave, 2009). 

Nando is also one of the founding editors of Migration Studies.

Nando speaks about his work on Mediterranean boat migration with IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre. Find out more about research into Migration and Displacement at the University of Birmingham.

Nando discusses his research into the experiences of EU families after the Brexit referendum in Breaking Brexit podcast series (2017)


Nando is the Director of the MA Migration Studies where he teaches on module: Globalisation, international migration and citizenship. He also contributes lectures and seminars to undergraduate and postgraduate modules in the Department of Social Policy and Social Work.

Postgraduate supervision

Nando welcomes proposals for doctoral and post-doctoral research in the following areas: 

  • Forced displacement and globalisation
  • Sociology of statelessness
  • Dual citizenship and the experiences of dual citizens
  • The intersection between migration, rights and citizenship 
  • Everyday experiences of superdiversity
  • Neoliberalism, globalisation and governance of human mobility
  • The politics of refugee voices and silences
  • Romani politics and anti-Gypsyism 
  • Undocumented migrants and experiences of ‘illegality’ through generations
  • Child and family migration 
  • Transnationalism and diasporas
  • Policy and practice of migrant integration and ideas of membership in the EU
  • Freedom of movement and intra-EU mobility

Current PhD students and projects include:

Anna Papoutsi, Refugee crisis and rebordering of Europe, January 2016-ongoing

Ozlem Young, Unaccompanied minors in the West Midlands, September 2017- ongoing

Koreana Ko, Homemaking practices among Korean elderly in Greater London, January 2016 – ongoing

Anja Benedikt, Integration and national identity in Germany, expected completion Dec 2018

Ayse Aydin, Asylum governance and refugee women in Turkey, January 2017 – ongoing (distance learning)

Aleksandra Koluvija, Refugee integration in Germany, January 2017 – ongoing (distance learning)

Bobby Beaumont, Children and circus in refugee camps, September 2017 - ongoing


IRiS: Asylum seekers, Roma, refugees and minority groups

  • ESRC-funded EU families and ‘eurochildren’ in Brexiting Britain (April 2017-October 2018)
  • Unravelling the Mediterranean Crisis (MEDMIG)
  • Becoming adult: Conceptions of futures and wellbeing among young people subject to immigration control in the UK
  • Causes and experiences of poverty among refugees and asylum seekers in the UK: Review of Evidence
  • Precarious status, migration governance and new geographies of mobility
  • Legal status, rights and belonging: International symposia
  • In protracted limbo: A comparative study of the transitions to adulthood and life trajectories of former unaccompanied children in Europe. In collaboration with the Oxford Institute of Social Policy, University of Oxford.
  • Stateless diasporas and immigration and citizenship regimes in Europe. Lead researcher, part of the Leverhulme-funded Oxford Diasporas Programme, University of Oxford.
  • Undocumented migrant children and families in the UK. Completed in 2012 and funded by the Barrow Cadbury Trust.

Other activities

  • Editor-in-chief, Global migration and social change Book Series, Policy Press
  • Associate Editor, Migration Studies, Oxford University Press 
  • Editorial board member, ‘Anthropology’ series, SEID Editore, Italy
  • Editorial board member, ‘Migration’ series, CISU, Italy
  • Member, British Sociological Association
  • Research Associate, Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford 
  • Member of the European Academic Network in Romani Studies, European Commission and Council of Europe
  • The Independent Advisory Board Group on Country Information (IAGCI), member


Recent publications


Benson, M, Sigona, N, Zambelli, E & Craven, C 2022, 'From the state of the art to new directions in researching what Brexit means for migration and migrants', Migration Studies, pp. 1-17.

Godin, M & Sigona, N 2021, 'Intergenerational narratives of citizenship among EU citizens in the UK after the Brexit referendum', Ethnic and Racial Studies.

Sigona, N, Kato, J & Kuznetsova, I 2021, 'Migration infrastructures and the production of migrants' irregularity in Japan and the United Kingdom', Comparative Migration Studies, vol. 9, no. 1, 31.

McMahon, S & Sigona, N 2020, 'Death and migration: migrant journeys and the governance of migration during Europe’s "migration crisis"', International Migration Review.

Humphris, R & Sigona, N 2019, 'The bureaucratic capture of child migrants: effects of in/visibility on children on the move', Antipode, vol. 51, no. 5, pp. 1495-1514.

McMahon, S & Sigona, N 2018, 'Navigating the Central Mediterranean in a time of ‘crisis’: Disentangling migration governance and migrant journeys', Sociology, vol. 52, no. 3, pp. 497-514.

Sigona, N 2018, 'The contested politics of naming in Europe’s “refugee crisis”', Ethnic and Racial Studies, vol. 41, no. 3, pp. 456-460.

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Sigona, N 2023, The decade that changed the geopolitics of migration and diversity. in L Lessard-Phillips, A Papoutsi, N Sigona & P Ziss (eds), Migration, displacement and diversity: The IRiS anthology. Oxford Publishing Services, Oxford, pp. 3-7.

Sigona, N & Godin, M 2023, “In London, I Am a European Citizen”: Brexit, Emotions, and the Politics of Belonging. in R Barbulescu, SW Goodman & L Pedroza (eds), Revising the Integration-Citizenship Nexus in Europe: Sites, Policies, and Bureaucracies of Belonging. 1 edn, IMISCOE Research Series, Springer, Cham, pp. 129-144.


Lessard-Phillips, L, Papoutsi, A, Sigona, N & Ziss, P (eds) 2023, Migration, displacement and diversity: The IRiS anthology. Oxford Publishing Services, Oxford.

Meissner, F, Sigona, N & Vertovec, S (eds) 2022, The Oxford Handbook of Superdiversity. Oxford Handbooks, Oxford University Press (OUP), New York.


Russell, NJ, Murphy, L, Nellums, L, Broad, J, Boutros, S, Sigona, N & Devakumar, D 2019, 'Charging undocumented migrant children for NHS healthcare: implications for child health', Archives of Disease in Childhood, vol. 104, no. 8, pp. 722-724.

Other contribution

Craven, C, Sigona, N, Benson, M & Zambelli, E 2022, EU citizenship and transnational political mobilisation after Brexit. London School of Economics and Political Science. <>

Other report

Lessard-Phillips, L & Sigona, N 2019, UK-born children of EU nationals in the UK. Eurochildren Research Brief Series, no.5 .

Lessard-Phillips, L & Sigona, N 2018, Mapping EU citizens in the UK: a changing profile?. <>

View all publications in research portal


Forced displacement, Roma, immigration, illegal migration, child and family migration, asylum in the EU, statelessness, integration and multiculturalism.

Media experience

Extensive radio, press and broadcast experience - see here for recent media coverage.

Contact via email or twitter (@nandosigona). Alternative contact number available for this expert: contact the press office.


Communities and Cohesion

Irregular migration, child and youth migration, forced displacement, asylum, EU migration, refugee crisis, Roma

Alternative contact number available for this expert: contact the press office