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Forced displacement, migration, well-being, ageing


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Research interests

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


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. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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