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Sarah Kunz



UCL Department of Geography
University College London
Pearson Building
Gower Street



Tariq Jazeel (UCL Geography)
Claire Dwyer (UCL Geography)


Power, migration and identity: tracing the expatriate in three sites

This project aims to examine the category expatriate by ‘opening it up’ and explore its multiple meanings, constitutive acts, its fault lines, internal politics and the larger power relations it is embedded in. Categories come into being at certain times in particular contexts. This project asks how expatriation as a condition and identity of migration is produced and lived but also challenged in the context of unequal global power relations; in particular, how it relates to issues of race, class, and citizenship. It further inquires into the term’s social history and its varied functions. Ultimately, this research considers not only the category’s own narrative and material constitution as a contested socio-political formation; it thereby also explores the larger power relations it is embedded in. To do so, this research draws on qualitative ethnographic methods to trace the category expatriate in and through three sites: through the archive, Human Resource Management literature, and urban spaces of expatriate belonging in Nairobi, Kenya.

This research is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council


Academic Background

PhD student, Human Geography, University College London (UCL) 2014-present

MSc Sociology (Contemporary Social Thought) (High Merit), LSE, 2011-2012
BA Liberal Arts and Sciences (Summa Cum Laude), Maastricht University, 2007-2010

Professional Experience

Researcher, NatCen Social Research, London, UK, 2013 - 2014
Graduate Research Trainee, NatCen Social Research, London, UK, 2012 – 2013

Scholarships and awards

PhD studentship, Economic and Social Research Council, 2014 – 2017
Prince Bernhard Research Scholarship, CEDLA, University of Amsterdam (with M.J. Oomen), 2012
Graduate Studies Scholarship, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), 2011 – 2012
German National Academic Foundation (Studienstiftung ddV), 2009 – 2012
Study Abroad Scholarship, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), 2009
Top 3 % Award, Maastricht University, 2008, 2009, 2010



Oomen, M.J. and Kunz, S. (2017 forthcoming). Gender roles and relations within Bolivian transnational social networks: transgressions, regressions and new autonomies. In Amrith, M. & Sahraoui, N. (Eds.) (Dis) Empowering Labour: Gender, Work and Migration. Abingdon: Routledge.

Kunz, S. (2016). Privileged mobilities: locating the expatriate in migration scholarship. Geography Compass, 10(3), 89–101.

Other Publications

Kunz, S, Oskala, A, & Morrell, G. (2015). An evaluation of the Gateway Protection Programme. A report prepared for the Home Office. NatCen Social Research: London.

Clery, E. Lee, L., & Kunz, S. (2013). Public attitudes to poverty and welfare, 1983-2011. Analysis using British Social Attitudes data. NatCen Social Research: London.

Ahmed, H., Cullinane, C., Keeble, J., Kunz, S., Marcinkiewicz, A., & Ryley, A. (2013). From Food Waste to Fighting Hunger: Exploring FareShare. NatCen Social Research: London.



Selected Conference Presentations

Kunz, S. Tracing the Expatriate: Re-­reading Human Resource Management Literature. Paper presented at the RGS-IBG Annual Conference, London, UK, Sep 2016

Kunz, S. 'Making Space' - Expat’ migration, settlement and identity in Cairo. Paper presented at the European Social Science History Conference (ESSHC) in Valencia, Spain, Apr 2016

Kunz, S. Postcolonial approaches to the study of privileged migration. Paper presented at ‘Migrations of Knowledge’ International Conference, University of Oldenburg, Germany, Dec 2014

Kunz, S. Expatriates in migration scholarship. Paper presented at European Sociological Association Midterm Conference: Contested Migration Regimes, Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany, Nov 2014

Kunz, S., & Oomen, M.J. Social remittances and gender dynamics in transnational families. Paper presented at IS Academy Migration and Development: Final Conference, Maastricht University, NL, Jan 2014

Kunz, S., & Oomen, M.J. Gender roles in transnational Bolivian families. Paper presented at Migrant Integration and Transnationalism in Contemporary Europe, Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), Norway, Oct 2013