Andrew Crosby

Dr. Andrew Crosby

Postdoctoral Researcher Migration, Diversity & Justice



  • 2013-2019: PhD in Social and Political Sciences at the Université libre de Bruxelles. Dissertation: "Autonomising Migration Policy. Emergence, organisation, and power of immigratoin detention in Belgium" (supervisor: Andrea Rea)
  • 2010-2011: LL.M in International and European Law at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Dissertation: "The legal status of interned aliens in Belgian expulsion and transit centres – a Human Rigths perspective" (supervisor: Serge Gutwirth)
  • 2006-2007: Aggregaat in de wijsbegeerte en de morele wetenschappen (teaching degree in Philosophy and Moral Sciences) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel
  • 2002-2006: MA in Philosophy and Moral Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Dissertation: "Vrijheid en (a)sociale contracten – een comparatieve studie van sociale contracttheorien en het anarchistische denken." (“Freedom and (a)social contract theories – a comparative study of social contract theories and anarchist thought”) (supervisor: Jef Van Bellingen)


Research activities

  • October 2013- August 2019: doctoral research on the policy of immigration detention in Belgium - GERME at the sociology department of the ULB:
  • July 2012-September 2013: Country Coordinator for Belgium for the European Website on Integration (EWSI: – GERME, ULB; part- time.
  • December 2011-July 2012: Research at the GERME, ULB on a project funded by the Fundamental Rights Agency of the EU on the treatment of third-country nationals at the external borders of the EU. This research was an international research conducted by an international consortium of universities and research groups coordinated by International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD); full-time.
  • September-November 2011: Research at the centre Migrations, Espaces, Travail, Institutions, Citoyenneté, Epistémologie, Santé (METICES) at the sociology department of the ULB on a project funded by the Brussels Territorial Employment Pact on the impact of the Brussels diversity policy in undertakings. Directed by Alexandre Tandé with prof. dr. Pierre Desmarez as promotor; part- time.
  • January-June 2010: Research at the Institute for European Studies on reasonable accomodations on the workplace, promotor: Ilke Adam.



Current work

Currently I am working on a research project funded by the Brussels Region scientific research fund (Innoviris) called "Empower Youth" and which is a cooperation between the Migration, Diversity and Justice cluster of the IES with the GERME (ULB) and the Girsef (UCL). This project is at the intersection of the sociology of youth, education and labour market integration. The scope of the project is to analyse why vulnerable youths in Brussels, who are neither in education, employment or training (NEET) do or do not take up their social rights.

Past work

My domain of expertise, however, is in the field of migration studies, particularly the implementation of migration policies in post-industrial, liberal democracies. Within this very specific branch of immigration studies I am particularly interested in questions of securitisation of migration policies. As such, my doctoral research looked at the emergence and evolution of immigration detention policies in Belgium and at their implementation. Next to desk and archival work, the research included a year of ethnographic fieldwork in three different immigration detention centres in Belgium.

In the same vein, I have previously worked on a European project coordinated by the ICMPD on behalf of the Fundamental Rights Agency of the EU (FRA) on border controls at the external borders of the Union. During this project I conducted participatory observations of border guards at the airports of Schiphol (Amsterdam) and Charles de Gaulle (Paris).

Interests and work in progress

Theoretically I engage with the work of Pierre Bourdieu and Michel Foucault, and to a lesser extent to works of organisational sociology, (neo-) institutionalism and implementation studies. As such, next to the Empower Youth project, I am currently also interested in analysing the production and circulation of migration policies from the perspective of Bourdieu's field theory. In particular I am interested in the different "spaces" in which discourses, norms and practices are produced and how they circulate and compete with other discourses, norms and practices to result in the actual migration policy in practice.

List of publications

In peer-reviewed journals

  • “Moralisation and criminalisation: a socio-political history of the expulsion of foreigners in Belgium (1830–1952)’, Int. J. Migration and Border Studies, 3(2-3), 2017, pp. 235-253.
  • “Governing immigration through crime at the street-level. The metamorphosis of an immigration detention centre in Belgium”, Cartografie sociali. Rivista di sociologia e scienze umane, 1(2), 2016, pp. 145-166.
  • “La fabrique des indésirables. Pratiques de contrôle aux frontières à l’aéroport”, Cultures et conflits, 103-104, 2016, pp. 63-90 (with Andrea Rea).
  • “The Political Potential of the Return Directive”, Laws, 3(1), 2014, pp. 117-140.

Book chapters

  • “Surveiller et expulser. La construction de l’immigration comme phénomène social dangereux et autonome", in Liridon Lika, Audrey Weerts, Sophie Wintgens et Justine Contor (eds.), Frontières: approche multidisciplinaire, Liège, Presses Universitaires de Liège, 2018, pp. 77- 92.
  • “Strengthening the Legal Postion of Aliens”, in Alain Francois, Stefaan Smis, Karen Van Laethem, Guido Van Limberghen, Juridische Meesterwerken VUB 2010-2011- Selectie van de beste masterproeven in de rechten, Brussels: Larcier, 2012, pp.321-367.
  • “Migratie van medisch personeel in België”, in Christiane Timmerman, Ina Lodewyckx, Els Vanderwaeren & Dirk Vanheule (eds.) MinteGRATIE – over nieuwe vormen van migratie en integratie, Antwerp: University Press, 2011, pp. 121-148 (with Sophie Withaeckx and Gily Coene).