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
- Burg. Oudlaan 50, Rotterdam
- Laura Cleton (2023) - ’We have nothing to hide’: Legitimacy narratives, researcher positionality and the ethics of accessing the Dutch deportation apparatus - International Migration, 61 (4), 3-16 - doi: 10.1111/imig.13065 - [link]
- Laura Cleton (2023) - Assessing adequate homes and proper parenthood: How gendered and racialized family norms legitimize the deportation of unaccompanied minors in Belgium and the Netherlands - Social Politics, 30 (2), 323-346 - doi: 10.1093/sp/jxac001 - [link]
- Laura Cleton & Petra Meier (2023) - Contesting policy categories using intersectionality: reflections for studying migration governance - Ethnic and Racial Studies, 46 (14), 3014-3036 - doi: 10.1080/01419870.2023.2171737 - [link]
- Laura Cleton (2022) - Tussen dwang en drang: Hoe terugkeercounselors de ‘vrijwillige terugkeer’ van ongedocumenteerde migranten realiseren - Justitiële Verkenningen, 48 (2), 53-69
- Laura Cleton (2022) - Deporting Children: Policy Framing, Legitimation and Intersectional Boundary Work
- Laura Cleton (2021) - The time politics of migrant deportability: An intersectional analysis of deportation policy for non-citizen children in Belgium and the Netherlands - Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 48 (13), 3022-3040 - doi: 10.1080/1369183X.2021.1926943
- Laura Cleton & Reinhard Schweitzer (2021) - ‘Our aim is to assist migrants in making a well-informed decision’: How return counsellors in Austria and the Netherlands manage the aspirations of unwanted non-citizens - Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 47 (17), 3846-3863 - doi: 10.1080/1369183X.2021.1935813
- Laura Cleton (2020) - Meelopen met de regievoerders. Over de grenzen van participeren en observeren in terugkeertrajecten van ongedocumenteerde migranten in Nederland - KWALON. Tijdschrift voor Kwalitatief Onderzoek in Nederland, 25 (1), 10-15 - doi: 10.5117/2020.025.001.004
- Laura Cleton & Sebastien Chauvin (2019) - Performing Freedom in the Dutch Deportation Regime: Bureaucratic Persuasion and the Enforcement of ‘Voluntary Return’ - Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 46 (1), 297-313 - doi: 10.1080/1369183X.2019.1593819