Simon McMahon

Simon joined the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations as a Research Fellow in September 2014. Prior to that he completed a PhD at King’s College London in 2013 and was a visiting researcher at the European University Institute (Florence, Italy) and the Interdisciplinary Research Group on Migration at the Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona, Spain).

Simon is the author of Immigration and Citizenship in an Enlarged European Union (Palgrave, 2015) and editor of The Handbook of International Political Economy of Migration (co-edited with Leila Talani, Edward Elgar, 2015), as well as often contributing written pieces to more mainstream outlets such as The Guardian and The Conversation. Recently, he worked on the MEDMIG project which was the first large-scale, systematic and comparative study of the backgrounds, experiences, routes and aspirations of refugees and migrants in during the so-called ‘migration crisis’ in the Mediterranean. He has received research funding from sources including the Economic and Social Research Council, Open Society Foundation, Ben & Jerrys, Santander Bank and the Anglo-Spanish Society.

  • Managing the migration crisis? Undocumented migrants and refugees at Europe’s southern border. Over recent years, hundreds of thousands of people have crossed the Mediterranean to Italy as part of what has come to be known as Europe’s ‘migration crisis’. This project seeks to better understand what the impact of attempts by EU institutions and national governments to manage the crisis has been on migrants’ status and journeys.
  • Unravelling the Mediterranean Migration Crisis (MEDMIG): Simon has been a researcher on the MEDMIG project, led by the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University, in collaboration with the University of Birmingham (UK), the University of Oxford (UK), ELIAMEP (Greece), FIERI (Italy), People for Change Foundation (Malta) and Yasar University (Turkey). The aim of this project was to better understand the unprecedented migration patterns in the Mediterranean region in 2015 by examining the journeys, motivations and aspirations of people in Italy, Greece, Turkey and Malta.
  • Beyond fear and hate: mobilising people power to create a new narrative on migration and diversity. Across Europe political and media debates on migration and diversity have become increasingly negative. There is growing evidence that narratives of fear and hate have moved from fringe positions to occupy the mainstream. We examined the factors that shape attitudes to migration and diversity in four case study countries: Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK, focusing in particular on the development of alternative narratives by a growing number of civil society and grass roots organisations, based on values of diversity, solidarity and human compassion.
  • Migrants and the media: examining migrant voices in Britain’s political debate: Immigration and its implications have long been among the most significant concerns of the British public, dominated the agendas of political parties and covered the pages of the print media. This project explored the engagement and representation of these migrant voices within the 2015 pre-election debate, asking how the voices and experiences of migrants were represented in media reporting and whether migrants themselves were able to have a say.