Thomas Swerts is an Assistant Professor in Urban Sociology at the Department of Public Administration and Sociology of the Faculty of Social Sciences of the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Before joining EUR in 2018, he was a post-doctoral researcher and visiting professor at the Universiteit Antwerpen, the Université de Liège and the KU Leuven. He holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of Chicago.
Thomas is the Co-coordinator of the Master Grootstedelijke Vraagstukken en Beleid (GVB) and coordinator of the Sociology Bachelor Thesis. In the academic year 2020-2021, he teaches the course ‘Stad, Economie en Samenleving’ for the GVB Master track, 'Migration in a Globalized World’ for the Master in Governance of Migration and Diversity and is involved in the BA course ‘International Migration’ .
He** supervises MA theses** on urban (e.g. Resilience BoTu 2028 together with the Veldacademie) and migration-related (e.g. undocumented migrants in the Pauluskerk Rotterdam) themes.
His research focuses on the nexus between irregular migration, political sociology and urban studies. His book manuscript, 'Citizen X: Undocumented migrants as activists' (under contract at the University of Chicago Press), is a comparative ethnographic study of undocumented immigrant struggles in Chicago and Brussels. As a researcher, he is primarily specialized in ethnographic methods, participatory action research and in-depth interviewing. His most current research focuses on the dynamic of civil society in deprived neighborhoods.
His research has been funded by the SSRC, NSF and the Mellon Foundation. He has published in academic journals like Global Networks, Mobilization, the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Antipode, Social Inclusion and the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. He has also contributed to edited volumes on citizenship studies, immigrant rights mobilization, research ethics and relational poverty politics.
Thomas Swerts (2014) - Ruimte voor de strijd om burgerschap. - Agora, 30 (3), 20-24
Thomas Swerts (2013) - The democratic deficit of transnational environmental activism: A case study of E-waste Governance in India. - Global networks : a journal of transnational affairs, 13 (4), 498-516 - doi: 10.1111/glob.12009
Thomas Swerts (2018) - Els de Graauw 2016: Making Immigrant Rights Real: Nonprofits and the Politics of Integration in San Francisco - International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 42, 741-742 - doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12669
Thomas Swerts (2018) - "On the run: Fugitive life in an American city by Alice Goffman" - Sociologos, 39, 342-344
Thomas Swerts (2015) - The DREAMers: How the Undocumented Youth Movement Transformed the Immigrant Rights Debate - American Journal of Sociology, 120, 1552-1555