Dr Gemma Bird

Senior Research Fellow

Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research
Schifferstraße 44
47059 Duisburg

Phone: +49 (0)203 379-5247
Fax: +49 (0)203 379-5276
E-Mail: bird@gcr21.org




Research Interests

  • Displacement and NGO/activist support
  • Gender and vulnerability in the field of displacement
  • Everyday understandings of IR
  • Visual and emotional representations of crisis
  • The ‘refugee crisis’ on the ‘Balkan Route’
  • Marginalised narratives and migration
  • Citizenship and cultural approaches to understanding personhood and the individual
  • The role of the arts and aesthetics in understanding marginalised narratives
  • Applying political theory to deepening our understanding of contemporary IR and politics


Dr Gemma Bird joined the research group 'Global Cooperation and Diverse Conceptions of World Order' in September 2022 and will be a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre until January 2024.

Research Project at the Centre

Community Building and Cooperation at the Border: Activism, Migration and a Changing World Order

The project questions how the experience of displacement challenges and destabilises an international system which organises populations and spaces into bordered nation-states. The research for the project combines interviews with displaced people, NGO staff, activists and officials in mainland Greece and on the Aegean island of Samos with detailed ethnographic reflections. The project builds on experience researching along the 'Balkan Route' since 2017 and repeated stays on the island of Samos prior to this. It will look to do two things: firstly, ask questions about the assumed role of the nation-state in supporting displaced people; secondly, work with NGOs and displaced people to assess what alternative models are possible.