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Lucy Mayblin

Assistant Professor in Sociology

Research interests: asylum, immigration, human rights, postcolonialism and decoloniality, cultural political economy and practices of policy making.

Research Profile

Lucy joined the department in 2016 as Assistant Professor and ESRC Future Research Leaders Fellow. Lucy is a Political Sociologist and holds a first class degree from the University of Birmingham and Distinctions at Masters level from the Universities of Birmingham and Warwick. Her ESRC funded doctoral research at the University of Warwick analysed the connections between Britain’s colonial past and asylum policy today. Following this she worked with Professor Gill Valentine on the ERC funded LIVEDIFFERENCE project at the University of Sheffield which investigated the capacity for communities and individuals to live with difference in the 21st century. She is co-convenor of the British Sociological Association study group on ‘Diaspora, Migration and Transnationalism’ and an external examiner for Sociology at the LSE.

Lucy’s research focuses on the politics of asylum. Her 2017 book, which won the 2018 Philip Abrams Memorial Prize, offers a historical institutionalist analysis of the ways in which Britain’s colonial past continues to influence contemporary British asylum policy in terms of ideas of insiders, outsiders, the deserving and the undeserving. This includes efforts by the British government to exclude colonised peoples from access to human rights (including the right to asylum) at the inception of the human rights regime.

Lucy’s new project, funded through an ESRC Future Research Leaders grant, focuses on the politics of asylum, welfare and work in Britain. Set against the backdrop of widespread political and public hostility to asylum seekers coupled with the austerity agenda and a shrinking welfare state, the project looks at the ban on working for the majority of asylum seekers and the low levels of welfare support paid to them. The project investigates how policy is made in relation to asylum seekers’ access to welfare and work, and what the implications of those policies are economically, socially and politically.

Lucy has worked with numerous asylum and refugee organisations as part of her research and is involved with Article 26, a charity which supports asylum seekers to access Higher Education. If you are an asylum seeker thinking about applying to Warwick, get in touch!

In spring 2016 Lucy was Visiting Fellow at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute, Florence, Italy.

Grants and Funding

Asylum, Welfare and Work in the Age of Austerity (PI)

  • Duration: 2015-2018
  • Awarding Body: ESRC
  • Website:
  • Amount: £240,000


For a full publications list click here


Lucy welcomes prospective PhD students with interests in the politics of immigration and asylum, human rights and international institutions in postcolonial perspective.

Current PhD students:

  • Erika Herrera Rosales, Warwick International Scholarship recipient (co-supervised with Gurminder K Bhambra and Anastasia Chamberlain)

Lucy Mayblin



Room: D0.13

Asylum After Empire