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Professor Sara de Jong



Sara de Jong joined the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of York in 2018. She is Co-Chair of the University of York Migration Network (MigNet) (with Professor Simon Parker).

She obtained her PhD in Politics (2010) from the University of Nottingham, Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice. She has held (visiting) fellowships at the University of Vienna (EU FP7 Marie Curie Fellowship), University of Goettingen, the International Institute of Social Studies (the Hague), the University of Leeds, the Jan van Eyck academy and the University of Nottingham.

Areas of Interest

Her areas of interests include the politics of NGOs and (global) civil society; migration and refugees, in particular support and advocacy initiatives; (post)colonialism, race and racism; gender, sexuality and feminist politics; the role of brokers in international development, conflict and migration; co-optation of radical politics and complicity.

Media Coverage (Selection):





She currently conducts research on the claims to protection and rights by Afghan and Iraqi military interpreters and other Locally Employed Civilians and the strategies and activities of their advocates, including veterans, lawyers and civil society activists.

Academic articles and reports:

Online blogs:

Or listen to the ‘Talking Migration’ podcast:

Her broader areas of interests concern the politics of unequal encounters in a global world, more specifically politics of NGOs and (global) civil society; migration and refugees, in particular support and advocacy initiatives; (post)colonialism, race and racism; gender, sexuality and feminist politics; the role of brokers in international development, conflict and migration; and co-optation and complicity in (radical) politics.


Selected publications

Her PhD research was published as a monograph with Oxford University Press (2017) in the Gender and IR book series under the title Complicit Sisters: Gender and Women's Issues across North-South Divides

The book has been reviewed in Times Higher EducationInternational Affairs, the LSE Review of BooksSociologyInternational Feminist Journal of Politics, and Women’s Studies International Forum.

Other selected publications include:



Other teaching

Sara is interested in critical pedagogy and innovation in learning. She co-edited the edited volume Decolonization and Feminisms in Global Teaching and Learning with Rosalba Icaza and Olivia Rutazibwa (Routledge 2018) and the (open access) special issue 'Decolonising the University' with Rosalba Icaza, Rolando Vázquez, and Sophie Withaeckx  (2017), Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies (Dutch Journal for Gender Studies). 

Together with Sanne Koevoets, she edited the book Teaching Gender with Libraries and Archives: The Power of Information (CEU Press). Free download available

External activities


She is an invited member of the Refugee Integration Forum Yorkshire and Humber and a member of the editorial board of Agenda Publishing 'Understanding Europe: The Council for European Studies' book series.

Impact and Engagement

Protection and Rights of Afghan Locally Engaged Civilians

In collaboration with photographer Andy Barnham, she developed the exhibition ‘We are here, because you were there: Afghan interpreters in the UK’, first shown in Glasgow, Cambridge, London, Cardiff and Leeds (2021-2022).

In August 2021, she was an invited speaker at a roundtable on the security situation in Afghanistan organised by the Defence committee in the Dutch Parliament. She was also an Invited Speaker for the digital event on “Locally Employed Civilians in Afghanistan: How can we save those in need of protection now?”, organised by Sven Giegold MEP (German Green Party), 20 August 2021. In 2021 and in 2017, she provided oral evidence to the UK Parliament's Defence Select Committee on Afghan locally employed civilians. Watch the Defence Select Committee session (2017). The Defence Select Committee's report was published in May 2018. Read also her response in The Conversation. She is a founding member of the advocacy initiative Sulha Alliance.

Refugee, Migrant and Ethnic Minority Staff in Refugee and Migrant Support Organisations

Watch one of her public talks, hosted at the Migration Museum in London, in which academics and third sector representatives came together to problematise this ‘migrant as outsider’ discourse.

The findings of her FP7 Marie Curie research project BrokerInG about refugee, migrant and ethnic minority staff of social sector organisations in the field of migration have been disseminated in a Methods in Motion blog, workshops, and public lectures, for instance at the Migration Museum Project in London. Third Sector Dissemination Brochure Research Results Employing the Cultural Broker in the Governance of Migration and Integration, 2016.

Academic-Artist Collaborations

Read her LSE Impact blogpost ‘“Success is not measured in how inspired we are” – Reassessing artist-academic collaborations under neoliberalism’ and the article (co-written with Alena Pfoser) ‘‘I’m not being paid for this conversation’: Uncovering the challenges of artist–academic collaborations in the neoliberal institution’.

She also contributed to the 2017 and 2018 'Who are We' Tate Exchange, a week-long event on identity, belonging, migration and citizenship through arts and audience participation at the Tate Modern museum, as part of The Open University Tate Exchange Associates' Consortium, and co-edited a special feature for openDemocracy ‘Who Are ‘We’ in a Moving World?’.

Sara De Jong image

Contact details

Professor Sara de Jong
Department of Politics and International Relations
University of York
YO10 5DD

Tel: +44 (0)1904 323567

Twitter: @de_Jong_Sara

Feedback and Guidance hours, Semester 2: Mondays 10:00-11:00 and Tuesdays 12:30-13:30