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Dr Agnieszka Kubal
Office number 23
Thomas Coram Research Unit
26-7 Woburn Square
Tel: 02076126767
  • Lecturer in Sociology
  • IOE - Social Science
  • UCL Institute of Education

Agnieszka is an interdisciplinary socio-legal and migration scholar with area studies interest in Central Eastern Europe and Russia. She joined the Department of Social Science at UCL from the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies and Russian and Eastern European Studies, both at University of Oxford, where she held a research fellowship and a lectureship.

At UCL Agnieszka has just completed her second monograph Immigration and Refugee Law in Russia. Socio-Legal Perspectives (2019, Cambridge University Press). It results from her British Academy post-doctoral research fellowship project (2013-2017). 


Research Summary

Agnieszka’s DPhil at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, Wolfson College, University of Oxford (2011) focussed on the Polish post-2004 EU Enlargement migrants’ relationship with the legal system of the United Kingdom. She qualitatively explored Polish migrants values and attitudes to law within the framework of legal culture/ legal consciousness. This research led to her first monograph Socio-Legal Integration. Polish Post-2004 EU Enlargement Migrants in the United Kingdom (Ashgate/Routledge 2012).

Upon post-doctoral spells at International Migration Institute (Oxford) and Davis Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies (Harvard), she received a prestigious British Academy post-doctoral fellowship. Her grant was entitled ‘Human Rights and Access to Justice for Migrants in Russia’ (2013-2017). Agnieszka gathered ethnographic data in Russian courts, among legal aid clinics and migrant NGOs. This material compared with socio-legal data collected earlier from European countries allowed her to put Russian immigration and refugee law in a global perspective, and to question whether what happens to migrants and refugees in Russia is as much in contrast with the experiences of immigrants in Europe as many observes would tend to assume.

Agnieszka’s work on undocumented Syrian asylum seekers in Russia together with her participation in their case before the European Court of Human Rights resulted in a court decision LM and Others v Russia (2016) and a real impact beyond academia: establishing standards of protection of Syrians against deportation in all European countries.

Teaching Summary

Agnieszka is the Module Leader for the following post-graduate courses:

  • Advanced Qualitative Methods (SOCSG011B)

and an undergraduate elective course:

  • Migration and Society (from academic year 2018/19).

She welcomes inquiries from prospective PhD students in the following areas:

  • socio-legal approaches to migration and refugee issues;
  • legality, legal consciousness, legal pluralism;
  • migrants and refugees' everyday experiences of the law;
  • human rights and access to justice;
  • ethnography of the legal process, qualitative methods;
  • specific area studies interest: Eastern Europe and Russia.
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