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Dr Agnieszka Kubal
Office No. 421
16 Taviton Street
Dr Agnieszka Kubal profile picture
  • Associate Professor

Agnieszka completed her DPhil at University of Oxford (2011). Upon post-doctoral spells at International Migration Institute (Oxford) and Davis Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard, she was based at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies (Oxford), where she held a British Academy post-doctoral research fellowship project (2013-2017). Prior to coming to SSEES, she held lectureships in Russian and Eastern European Studies (Oxford), and Department of Social Science (UCL).

Research Summary

Agnieszka is an interdisciplinary socio-legal, migration and human rights scholar with area studies interest in Central Eastern Europe and Russia. She is the author of two monographs, 'Socio-legal Integration. Polish post-2004 EU Enlargement Migrants in the UK' (2012, Ashgate/ Routledge) and 'Immigration and Refugee Law in Russia. Socio-Legal Perspectives' (2019, Cambridge University Press). Together with Marina Kurkchiyan, Dr Kubal co-edited a volume on 'A Sociology of Justice in Russia' (2018, Cambridge University Press) acclaimed by the critics as 'the most analytically sophisticated and empirically rich volume ever produced on the everyday operation of the Russian legal system.' 

Research Projects

Dr Kubal is currently a Principal Investigator on an UKRI/ERC Starter Grant (2022-2027) ‘Who are the humans behind Human Rights in Eastern Europe and Russia?’ (HuRiEE) This five-year research (GBP 1.2 m) breaks new ground in studying human rights mobilisation as a window into the societies of Eastern Europe and Russia. The ultimate ambition for this project is to develop a brand-new theory of the relationship between human rights mobilisation, ECtHR’s legitimacy, and the development of societies under the conditions of ‘abusive constitutionalism’ (Russia), open military conflict (Ukraine), deep transformations (Romania) and democratic backsliding (Poland and Hungary). HuRiEE builds on a pilot research - The women behind Human Rights - funded by Leverhulme/British Academy, which explored the gendered experiences of pursuing human rights claims before the European Court of Human Rights from Poland. In the past Agnieszka was awarded research grants by the British Academy, Leverhulme/BA and the John Fell OUP Fund.

Research Impact

Agnieszka's research among undocumented Syrian asylum seekers in Russia together with her involvement in their case before the European Court of Human Rights resulted in a court decision 'LM and Others v Russia' (2015) and a real impact beyond academia: establishing standards of protection of Syrians against deportation in all European countries. This work has received recognition from the UCL’s Vice-Chancellor and Provost Office as it came first in the public vote in the ‘Justice and Equality’ category in MadeAtUCL campaign for a socially impactful and engaged research (2020).

Teaching Summary

Agnieszka teaches on the following modules at SSEES:

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.
Academic Background
    Magister Socjologii  
    Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy  
    MA in European Studies  
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