Axster, Sabrina

Area of Study: 
Migration, Identity, Racism, Critical Theory, Postcolonialism, Feminism, Global Political Theory, Discourse Analysis
Proposed Dissertation Topic: 

Private Actors in Migration Control


Sabrina Axster is a doctoral student at the Rutgers Division of Global Affairs where she also works as teaching assistant. Prior to her PhD studies, Sabrina served as research consultant at the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs for over four years. Here she was part of the core team supporting the substantive preparation and intergovernmental negotiations on the 2013 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Sabrina obtained an MSc in International Development Studies from the University of Amsterdam in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and as part of her Master’s degree independently conducted field research in Nairobi, Kenya. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Media and Cultural Studies from the University of the West of England in Bristol, United Kingdom. Before coming to the US she lived and worked in Pretoria, South Africa, and Berlin, Germany. She has conducted two separate guest research stints at the Max-Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity in Göttingen, Germany. Moreover, Sabrina was recently awarded the DAAD/AICGS Research Fellowship and will spend two months at John Hopkins University in the summer of 2016.
In her doctoral research, Sabrina aims to explore the role of private actors in immigration and emigration to develop an understanding of what drives these privatization trends and how the migrant is understood as a human being as part of these. Sabrina is a Global Ethics Fellow for the Future at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, the President of the local chapter of the Sigma Iota Rho Honor Society for International Studies and the Vice President of the Student Association for Global Affairs at Rutgers DGA. She has presented her research at multiple conferences, including the annual Millennium Conference at the London School of Economics, the annual IMISCOE Conference hosted by the Network for International Migration, Integration and Cohesion and the annual conference by the European Consortium for Political Research, among others.

Reseach Activities
Conference Participation: 

  1. "Beyond the Obvious: Unpacking the Racialized Underpinnings of Refugee Myths and Discourse", 2016 Millennium Conference on Racialized Realities in World Politics, London, UK. 
  2. "How Do We Talk About Refugees? Unpacking How Visual Images in Comics Help to Reinforce Popular Myths About Refugees.” 13th IMISCOE Annual Conference, Workshop on ‘Using Images in Migration Research: A Mutual Exchange Between Scholars and Artists”, Prague, Czech Republic.
  3. “Mapping International Law on Migrants”. European Consortium for Political Research, 2016 Graduate Student Conference, Tartu, Estonia.
  4. “Unpacking the Concept of ‘Asia’.” Presentation as Ethics Fellow for the Future at the Carnegie Council’s Global Ethics Fellow Fifth Annual Conference in New York City: “An Ethical Dialogue between Asia and the West: Philosophical Traditions, Moral Contentions, and the Future of US-Asia Relations.”
  5. “Creating Legitimate Refugees: Examining International Cooperation on Refugees in Light of the Absence of an International Protection Regime for Migrants.” European Consortium for Political Research, 2015 General Conference, Montreal, Canada.
  6. (Panel Chair)“The Glocalization of Human Rights.” University of Marburg Conference on “The Glocalization of Development”, Hannover, Germany.
  7. “Creating the Legitimate Migrant.” Dutch and Belgian Political Science Associations, 2015 Politicologenetmaal Conference, Maastricht, NL.

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