Melanie Griffiths


  • Birmingham Fellow and Associate Professor, Geography

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Migration, asylum, immigration detention, deportation, families, Article 8 rights, gender, men and masculinity, time, bureaucracies, legal courts, hostile environment


Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

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 deportation, the 'hostile environment' and new developments in immigration enforcement under Brexit. 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 fields.

Research interests

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


Other activities:

  • Chair of trustees: Open Door (NGO, Oxford), 2011-
  • Member of the Detention Forum (NGO, London), 2011-
  • Member of the management committee (a trustee): Asylum Welcome (NGO, Oxford), 2011-18

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 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, DPhil in social anthropology, University of Oxford


Master of Arts, Anthropology of Development, SOAS, University of London


Bachelor of Arts, Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Oxford



  • GN Anthropology
  • H Social Sciences (General)
  • G Geography (General)
  • immigration
  • asylum
  • refugee
  • law
  • policy
  • appeals
  • masculinities
  • time
  • detention
  • deportation
  • hostile environment


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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