dr. (Laura) L Cleton


Dr. Laura Cleton is a postdoctoral researcher at Erasmus University Rotterdam, specializing in deportation governance in Europe. As part of the FAiR (Finding Agreement in Return) project, she investigates the perceived legitimacy of deportation trajectories among street-level bureaucrats who are involved in implementing return and readmission policy, with a specific focus on (re)documentation and identification procedures.

Prior to starting this project, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher (UNU-MERIT and Maastricht University) on a project that investigated the temporary return of highly qualified diaspora for purposes of capacity building. She defended her PhD ‘Deporting Children. Policy Framing, Legitimation and Intersectional Boundary Work’ in October 2022. The project relied on feminist intersectionality theory to unravel the ways the Dutch and Belgian authorities legitimize the deportation of undocumented migrant children by centering the intertwinement of discursive "boundary work" with "bordering practices". The dissertation was co-awarded with the 2022 American Political Science's Migration & Citizenship section Best Dissertation prize and awarded the 46th Van Poelje Best Dissertation Prize awarded by the Dutch Association for Public Administration. She also worked as a junior lecturer (University of Amsterdam) and a junior researcher (Utrecht University). She is Associate Editor for the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Steering Committee member of IMISCOE's SC on Gender and Sexuality in Migration Research (GenSeM) and acts as the secretary of the Dutch Association for Migration Research (DAMR).

Her research interests include migration governance, migration policies & politics, voluntary and forced return migration, feminist approaches to migration studies and family migration.

Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Researcher | Policy, Politics and Society
Burg. Oudlaan 50, Rotterdam

More information


  • Laura Cleton (2022) - Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (Journal)

4.1 Sociology of Migration and Diversity

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