Dr. Olga Onuch (UK PI)


Onuch is a Senior Lecturer [Associate Professor] in Politics. She joined the University of Manchester in 2014, after holding posts at the University of Toronto (2010-2011), University of Oxford (2011-2014) and Harvard University (2013-2014). She is an Associate of Nuffield College (Oxford) and The Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute. Onuch was also a Research Fellow at the Davis Center (Harvard) in 2017.

Onuch’s comparative study of protest (elections, migration & identity) in Eastern Europe and Latin America has made her a leading expert in Ukrainian and Argentine politics specifically, but also in inter-regional comparative analysis. Her book “Mapping Mass Mobilizations” (2014, reviewed in Europe-Asia Studies), explores the processes leading up to mass protest engagement in Ukraine (2004) and Argentina (2001). She is the author of several scholarly articles (in Journal of Democracy, Europe-Asia Studies, Problems of Post-Communism, Post-Soviet Affairs, GeoPolitics among other journals), book chapters, and policy briefs. Her research regularly appears in leading media outlets (The Washington Post, The Times, The Guardian, BBC, ITV, Al Jazeera, AFP, among others). Onuch’s research on protest politics in Ukraine has resulted in her consulting policymakers in Canada, Ukraine, the UK and US. See more at

Media availability: Yes (written and spoken: English, Ukrainian, Polish, Spanish, and French).

Prof. Gwendolyn Sasse (GERMANY PI)


Sasse is the Director of the newly founded Centre for East European Research and International Studies in Berlin (Zentrum für Osteuropa- und internationale Studien, ZOiS in German; She is Professor of Comparative Politics in the Department of Politics and International Relations and the Oxford School of Global and Area Studies at the University of Oxford, a Professorial Fellow at Nuffield College, and a non-resident Senior Fellow at Carnegie Europe. Her research interests include post-communist transitions (with a particular focus on Ukraine), the comparative study of democracy and authoritarianism, ethnic conflict, and migration.

She has just completed a project funded by the Leverhulme Trust on ‘Political Remittances: The Political Impacts of Migration’ ( The first results of this project have been published in Comparative Political Studies, the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Comparative Migration Studies, Migration Studies and Comparative Studies in Society and History. She is currently writing an OUP monograph provisionally titled Voice through Exit: The Political Remittances of Migrants.

 Her current research projects at ZOiS concentrate on original survey data related to the war in Eastern Ukraine and youth attitudes in Russia. Her monograph The Crimea Question: Identity, Transition, and Conflict (Harvard University Press 2007; paperback 2014) won the Alexander Nove Prize of the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies. She is a regular contributor to the blogs Strategic Europe andZOiS Spotlight, has written for the Monkey Cage and In Conversation, and frequently comments on East European affairs in the German and international media.

Dr. Sorana Toma (FRANCE PI)

UntitledToma is an Assistant Professor at the Grande Ecole d’Economie et de la Statistique in Paris. Until September 2014 she was a Research Officer at the IMI, working on the project Drivers and Dynamics of Highly Skilled Migration and a Research Fellow at Nuffield College. Sorana completed her DPhil in Sociology at the University of Oxford (2012). In her thesis, “Ties that Bind? Networks and Gender in International Migration. The case of Senegal,” she examines the roles played by migrant networks in the international mobility process and in the economic integration of migrants at destination. Sorana’s research interests include the drivers of international mobility, the labour market trajectories of immigrants at destination, the school-to-work transitions of the second generation, life-course perspectives on migration and the role of social capital in international mobility. She is also interested in the impacts of international migration on origin communities. See: Toma, S. and S. Vause (2013) ‘On their own? A study of independent versus partner-related migration from DR Congo and Senegal’, Journal of Intercultural Studies 34 (5): 533–552

jvs.pngProf. Jacqueline Van Stekelenburg (PI – Netherlands)

Jacquelien van Stekelenburg (1966) holds a Chair in Social Change and Conflict. She has been working at the department of Sociology since 2006 and acted as department chair from 2013 to 2016. From 2016 to 2018 she was portfolio holder of the Teaching Portfolio as well as vice-dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences. Currently she is Director of Research of the Department of Sociology and a member of the Departments Management Team. Since 2019 she is Program Leader of the SCC research team of Participation In Society, the research program of Sociology. In addition she co-chairs the Institute of Societal Research’s Polarization Lab. Jacquelien’s research interests are mainly in the area of protest participation and societal polarization. With a background in social psychology, she combines a social psychological point of view with a sociological approach. As part of international consortiums, she is  involved in two major comparative studies of protest demonstrations. One is the CCC-project (Contextualizing Contestation: Comparing Street Demonstrations), which compares demonstrations in nine different countries with attention for the participants, the organizers and the police. And the second is an ORA project MOBILISE which examines whether similar factors drive the choice to migrate and/or protest.


DDDr. David Doyle (CO-I UK)

Doyle is an Associate Professor of Politics in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford, and a Fellow of St Hugh’s College. He is a member of the Latin American Centre.

His general research and teaching interests include comparative politics and comparative political economy. He is currently working on a number of projects. These include a project on taxation and tax morale in Latin America and a project on the political effect of migrant remittances.

He is an Associate Editor of Oxford Development Studies and as of January 2019, he will be on the editorial board of the Journal of Latin American Studies. For the last five years, he was a regular contributor to the blog Presidential Power on news and issues related to Latin America and he was also the co-convener of the ECPR Standing Group on Latin American Politics. His research has appeared in journals such as the American Political Science Review, the Journal of Politics, the British Journal of Political Science and Comparative Political Studies, among others.

ee.jpegDr. Evelyn Ersanilli (CO-I Netherlands)

Ersanilli  is a Senior Researcher at the Department of Political Science at the University of Amsterdam. Her research focuses on migration policy development and immigrant integration, in particular citizenship, identity, migrant families. Most of her work takes an international comparative perspective. In 2017 she was awarded a Starting Grant by the European Research Council (ERC) for the RIGHTS project (2018-2023). This project takes a novel approach to the issue of low skilled migrants’ rights by examining the influence of the governments of origin countries.

Most of her teaching has been on research methods and statistics. She enjoys thinking about ways to encourage student learning and help students become critical consumers and producers of social scientific research. In 2014, she was awarded a Teaching Excellence Award by the Social Sciences Division of the University of Oxford. In 2014 and 2015 she was also short-listed for the Most Acclaimed Lecturer award of the Oxford University Student Union (OUSU). Both were in recognition of her teaching on research methods and statistics.

She obtained a PhD in Sociology from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and an MSc in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences from Utrecht University. Previously she was an Assistant Professor in Sociology at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, a Research Officer and Departmental Lecturer on the MSc in Migration Studies at the University of Oxford and an associate member of Nuffield College, University of Oxford and a Senior Researcher at the WZB Berlin Social Science Research Centre.


JpegDr. Sébastien Michiels (Postdoc France)

Sébastien holds a PhD in Development Economics from the University of Bordeaux, France (2016). After his PHD, he has completed a two-year Postdoctoral position at The French National Research Institute for Development (IRD, UMR DIAL), on long term mission at the French Institute of Pondicherry (India), where he was in the charge of the NEEMSIS survey’s implementation. In addition to his work under the MOBILISE project, Sébastien continues to explore the labour market dynamics in South India, focusing on social inequalities, discrimination and domination-subordination relationship.

Piotr Goldstein_(ZOiS)Dr. Piotr Goldstein (Postdoc Germany)

Piotr Goldstein (PhD, Manchester, 2014) is an interdisciplinary social scientist working at the Centre for East European and International Studies (ZOiS) in Berlin. Before joining ZOiS he held a research grant in Novi Sad, Serbia, a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship at University of Manchester and Thomas Brown Assistant Professorship at Trinity College Dublin. He is particularly interested in everyday activism, civil society in ethnically diverse spaces and activism of migrants and ethnic minorities outside minority/migrant organisations. On that last topic, he has recently completed an ethnographic documentary ‘Active (citizen)’.

Profile pic BN mobiliseDr. Felipe G. Santos (Postdoc UK)

Felipe G. Santos is Research Associate at the University of Manchester. He completed his PhD summa cum laude in 2020 and his thesis Movements that Care: Empathy, Solidarity and Empowerment in the Platform of Those Affected by Mortgages won the Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Doctoral School of the Central European University.

His research is centred in the area of social movements and protests. In addition to his work at MOBILISE, Felipe is currently focused on how care dynamics among activists empower heavily aggrieved collectives, and the role of non-beneficiary constituents in initiating mobilisations. His paper ‘Social Movements and the Politics of Care: Empathy, Solidarity and Eviction Blockades’ has been published at Social Movement Studies, and he has a forthcoming book in Spanish titled La Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca 2009-2019: Una década de lucha por la vivienda digna. You can find more about him at


KostiantynMr. Kostiantyn Fedorenko (PhD Student Germany)

Kostiantyn Fedorenko is a research assistant at ZOiS and a doctoral student at Humboldt University at Berlin, supervised by Prof. Silvia von Steinsdorff and Prof. Gwendolyn Sasse. He previously worked as a political analyst in the Kyiv-based Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation. Currently he explores individual motivations of former Euromaidan protests participants who subsequently emigrated from Ukraine. His recent publications include an article for Osteuropa on media policy by the volunteer units involved in the Donbas conflict and a chapter on Euroscepticism in post-2014 Ukraine.

AstridMs. Astrid Bodini (PhD Student Netherlands)

Astrid is a PhD candidate member of MOBILISE’s Dutch research team, working under the supervision of Prof. Jacquelien van Stekelenburg (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam) and Dr. Evelyn Ersanilli (Universiteit van Amsterdam). Her research project focuses on Morocco, and investigates reasons, opportunities and mobilization trajectories of young Moroccans living in Rabat, Tangier and Nador. Her project explores the impact that a combination of different local-context factors such as a city’s unemployment rates, or local protest and migration traditions can have on the decision to mobilize towards protest and/or migration, or none of them. Her research question is: How do local context characteristics interact with micro-level drivers and shape young Moroccan’s mobilization trajectories?

Research Assistants

CressidaMs. Cressida Arkwright (PhD Student UK)

Cressida is a PhD Student in Politics at the University of Manchester (ESRC CASE Studentship, British Council), and Research Assistant on the MOBILISE project (UoM/ZOiS). Her doctoral research, supervised by Dr. Olga Onuch and Dr. Marta Cantijoch Cunill, focuses on modes of youth engagement and mobilization in Ukraine, bridging the literatures on political participation, contentious politics, and displacement. She asks: what motivates and mobilises young Ukrainians to participate within and outside political institutions, and to cross frontlines and international borders? How do ideas, actors, rights, and identities connect, mutate, and disperse through space and time, and at moments of critical juncture? Cressida has held Research Associate posts at the Harvard University Davis Center, where she completed her M.A. in Eurasian Studies as a Kennedy Scholar, and Harvard Business School. She has conducted extensive research into the Rohingya refugee crisis for Médecins Sans Frontières, and received her B.A. from the University of Cambridge.

Processed with VSCO with b1 presetMs. Marieke van der Gaag (Research Assistant Netherlands)

Marieke van der Gaag is a Master student (MSc Political Science) at the University of Amsterdam. She works on the MOBILISE project as a research assistant, and she is supervised by Dr. Evelyn Ersanilli. She is responsible for coding, data cleaning, and survey distribution.

photo 2Ms. Eliza Ghiorghita (Research Assistant France)

Eliza is a 2nd-year student at Ensae (France), with a Master degree in Statistics (Ensai, France), and 4-years experience at Insee (French National Institut of Statistics). Her work at MOBILISE, under the supervision of Dr. Toma and Dr. Michiels, consists in using social media data to analyse migration and protests, and also contributing to the harmonization of the projects’ datasets.

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