Lea Müller-Funk

Department for Migration and Globalisation, Danube University Krems

Email lea.mueller-funk[at]donau-uni.ac.at
Website http://leamuellerfunk.com
Project Name SYREALITY
Field of research migration and refugees studies, political sociology
Keywords displacement | migration decision-making | forced migration governance | diaspora politics | Middle East | Europe
Twitter @LeaMullerFunk

Understanding agency, social class and (im)mobility in contexts of displacement


What is my research about?

War and displacement deeply alter refugees’ previous life plans and exhaust their resources. At the same time, refugees develop coping strategies to deal with changing life realities and experienced trauma, including focusing on hope and aspirations for the future. My research investigates more precisely how life aspirations influence migration decision-making in a context of displacement; which influence displacement has on refugees’ life aspirations and social class; and how their legal status and reception context impact life aspirations and well-being.  

What motivates me?

What has always motivated about academia is the ability to be an eternal learner – which is never boring! I am especially enthusiastic about collaborative and theory-driven migration research, which focuses on drivers of migration following migrants along their trajectories, including in the Global South. In my opinion, such a focus allows to understand migration in a more holistic way than classical integration-focused research. I also hope that my work contributes to contrasting societal misconceptions about migration through evidence-based knowledge.

What was my path up to here?
My path up to here has been marked by studying, researching and living in different countries, and by learning quite a lot of languages. After a PhD in Comparative Politics and Arabic Studies from Sciences Po Paris and Vienna University, I went to Oxford for a postdoctoral fellowship at the Department of Politics and International Relations, to Amsterdam for a Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant and to the German Institute for Global and Area Studies in Hamburg before returning to Austria.