Prof Tanja R. Müller

Professor of Political Sociology

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Tanja is Professor of Political Sociology, and a founding member and former director of research (2010-2014) of the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute. Tanja was also a founding member and convenor of the 2017 Manchester Migration Lab, and currently convenes the GDI Research Group on Migration, Refugees and Asylum.

Tanja has recently completed a research project on the potential role of the business sector in refugee integration and humanitarian response. She is currently the Principal Investigator of an ESRC-funded project on transnational lived citizenship and political belonging in the Horn of Africa. She is also developing a new cooperation with Prof Adriana Kemp from Tel Aviv University on inscribing mobile lives into urban peripheries.

Biographical background:

Tanja received an MA in Linguistics and Philosophy (1991) at the Free University Berlin, an MSc in Development Studies at University College Dublin (1994), and a Ph.D. in Development Studies (2003) at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK. Over the past decades she has worked as a university lecturer in Dublin (1991-1993) and Asmara (2000-2001), as an education consultant in Japan (1997-1999), and as a journalist on development-related issues (1994-2000). She was assistant professor at Wageningen University from 2003-2005 with the programme African Women Leaders in Agriculture and the Environment (AWLAE), where she worked on the implications of the HIV/AIDS pandemic for rural development in sub-Saharan Africa. Tanja joined the University of Manchester in January 2006. Major themes of her research are (1) revolutions, rebel governance and new elites, explored for example in relation to the case of Eritrea in the book The Making of Elite Women: Revolution and Nation Building in Eritrea (2005); (2) patterns of global solidarity, explored in a case study from Mozambique in the book Legacies of Socialist Solidarity (2014), and the dynamics of celebrity humanitarianism (see the edited volume Visual Global Politics); and (3) global rights, explored in relation to refugee and migrant trajectories and the concepts of insurgent and transnational citizenship as forms of resistance and belonging.


Further information

Leadership Positions


2021 -

Member of the Faculty of Humanities Professorial Promotions Committee

2020 - 2021

Cluster Convenor Social Development Cluster

Programme Director International Development MSc (all 7 pathways)

2017 -

Convenor GDI Research Group on Migration, Refugees and Asylum

2017 - 2018

Cluster Convenor Social Development Cluster

Programme Director International Development MSc (all 7 pathways)

2017 - 2018

Convenor Manchester Migration Lab (

2016 -

Core reviewer of SEED Peer Review of Teaching College

2016 - 2017

Deputy Programme Director International Development MSc (all 7 pathways)

2015 - 2018

SEED Associate Director Teaching & Learning: Teaching Assistant coordinator

2013 - 2018

Convenor of the cross-disciplinary research group Humanitarianism and Development

2010 - 2014

Director of Research, Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute

2010 - 2016

SEED Representative on University Ethics Committee 5, from 2014 Vice-chair of Committee 5

2010 - 2011

Cluster Convenor Social Development Cluster

Programme Director Masters Programmes in International Development (all pathways), Development Studies and Poverty and Development

2009 - 2012

IDPM Representative on the School Ethics Advisory Group

2009 - 2010

Chair IDPM Institute Forum

2007 - 2008

Deputy Programme Director Masters Programmes in International Development (all pathways) and Development Studies


Convenor International Development Seminar Series

External Consultancy


2017 and 2019              

Consultancy for the Norwegian Programme on International  Development NORGLOBAL 2

2016 -

Consultancy as Country Expert for Eritrea for the Varieties of Democracy Project, University of Goeteborg, Sweden (yearly)


Consultancy for the Institute for Security Studies, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


Consultant to the  Programme of Strategic Cooperation between Irish Aid and Higher-Education and Research Institutes

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