Politics and International Studies


Christina Oelgemoller

Photo of  Christina Oelgemoller

Lecturer in International Relations


I joined Loughborough University in September 2013 as Lecturer in International Relations. Prior to working at Loughborough, I worked at the University of Sussex, where I also completed a DPhil. I have a multi-disciplinary background with degrees in Social Policy, Politics and Law; Intercultural Work, Human Rights and Conflict Management; and Research Methods awarded by Universities in both Germany and the UK. Outside of academia I have worked for several years in organisations relevant to the social sciences including the UNHCR Branch office in Berlin and an INGO in Geneva.

My research on governance, migration, missing persons and war is geopolitical in character and draws upon Critical International Theory for example through reading scholars such as Hannah Arendt, Jacques Rancière, Judith Butler, Ernesto Laclau and Michel Foucault. Currently I am particularly concerned with questions of transformations in migration governance, conceptual questions around violence and disappearance and genealogies of freedom of movement. My doctoral work, that was completed in 2012, is an interdisciplinary study in Geography and International Relations entitled ‘Migration Management: the radical violence of the international politics of migration’. In this work, questions are asked about the construction of the migrant as a particular political subject framed in the context of changes in the doctrine formation of international migration since the 1980s. Migration Management raises important questions about normative violence, governance and ethics.

My research is driven by questions about statecraft, democracy and ethics. I have two specific areas of research interest:

  1. Doctrine formation and systems of justification of discourses in international multilateralism and diplomacy where I focus in particular on governance approaches by the Global North directed at the Global South but also on changes in multilateralism of the international community.
  2. Constructions of political subjectivity and equality where I focus in particular on changes in thinking and policy-making vis-à-vis international migration paying attention to the use of new technologies, governance and normative violence. What motivates my research is an indignation with and puzzlement about discourses that both physically and politico-juridically disappear people, as is often the case with migrants or missing persons.

Since 2005 I have also participated in several large research projects which included international academic as well as non-academic partners. These projects broadly fall into research areas covering development studies, and more concretely the development of public policy on migration and poverty.


I teach predominantly in International Relations. I teach both at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. At postgraduate level I currently convene courses including Philosophical Foundations of Social Science Research, Research Design, and International Politics: Issues and Policies. At Undergraduate level I currently convene Security Studies.

I’m actively involved in and enjoy being a supervisor to students at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

I welcome research proposals from students in the following areas:

  • Geopolitics of Critical Migration and Border Studies;
  • Conflict and Post-conflict reconstruction which asks critical questions about normative violence and/or statecraft;
  • Contemporary international relations theory, especially post-structuralist, discourse theoretical approaches and ethics.

Current postgraduate research students

  • Ibrahim Magara (PhD, since 2018) provisional title: International Mediation in the South Sudanese Peace Process
  • James Ellison (PhD, since 2016) provisional title: On the boundaries of the state: visual representations of border violence in Calais, France
  • Aminu Muhammad (PhD, since 2015) provisional title: The Politics of Agreement on Immigration Returns an Prisoner transfers – A Case of Nigerians in the UK

Recent postgraduate research students

  • Thanachate Wisaijorn (2018) River/land Border Practices: Everyday Lives across the Thai-Lao Mekong Border

The Evolution of Migration Management in the Global North

2017 – Routledge

By Christina Oelgemöller

The Evolution of Migration Management in the Global North explores how the radically violent migration management paradigm that dominates today's international migration has been assembled. Drawing on unique archive material, it shows how a forum of diplomats and civil servants constructed the 'transit country' as a site in which the illegal migrant became the main actor to be vilified. Policy-makers are divided between those who oppose migration, and those who support it, so long as it is properly managed. Any other position is generally seen at best as utopian.

Read more about the book on the Routledge site >>

The Evolution of Migration Management in the Global North


Peer-reviewed Articles

  • Oelgemöller, Christina (2017) The Illegal, The Missing: An Evaluation of Conceptual Inventions. Millennium: Journal of international studies.46(1), pp.24–40.
  • Oelgemöller, Christina (2016) International Migration: Transit space - creative space? Int. J. of Migration and Border Studies. 3 (2-3), pp. 121-138.
  • Oelgemöller, Christina (2011) Informal Plurilateralism: The Impossibility of Multilateralism in the Steering of Migration The British Journal of Politics and International Relations Vol 13 pp. 110-126
  • Oelgemöller, Christina (2010) Transit and Suspension: Migration Management or the Metamorphosis of Asylum Seekers into 'Illegal' Immigrants Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies Vol 37 pp. 407-424

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