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Personal profile

Area of academic expertise - outline

Professor Colin Clark currently teaches Sociology and Social Policy at the University of the West of Scotland (UWS). Colin's PhD is from Edinburgh University, in Social Anthropology and Social Policy, and was awarded in 2001. Previously, he has held posts at Glasgow University (1994-96), Newcastle University (1996-2004) and Strathclyde University (2005-2013). His research is mainly located within the connected fields of Romani studies and Ethnic and Racial Studies, with a special interest in issues of migration, identity and citizenship. Colin has published widely in these areas and has supervised and examined a number of PhD students.

Outside of UWS, Colin sits on the Board of Directors of the Glasgow based anti-racist organisation the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights and he is also a Trustee of the Roma Rights group Friends of Romano Lav. Colin is also a member of the Research Advisory Group of the Scottish Human Rights Commission and he sits on a Steering Group that advises the Scottish Government on matters relating to Gypsy/Traveller accommodation and other matters. Current research projects include an Erasmus + grant with colleagues at UWS as well as colleagues working at Universities in Poland, Greece and Wales. Previous funders of Colin's work include the Fundamental Rights Agency, the British Academy, the Scottish Government, the British Council, East Renfrewshire Council, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Economic and Social Research Council.

Colin is very keen to engage with interdisciplinary research networks both within and outside UWS. In methodological terms, Colin's main strengths lie in long-term qualitative work, using ethnographic and intersectional approaches to data collection and its analysis. Colin tweets as @profcolinclark and his contact e-mail is colin.clark@uws.ac.uk.

Current research activities

Recent projects include an Erasmus + grant, involving several European partners and UWS colleagues, examining critical issues in how migration in Europe is perceived/experienced as well as a project for the Fundamental Rights Agency looking at Roma inclusion and integration in Glasgow. Further bids have recently been submitted to further develop such work, including to funders such as the Royal Society of Edinburgh and ESPON.

Desired research direction

The aim of my research is to critically evaluate and understand the impact of changes brought about by processes of migration, with a specialist interest in European Roma, Gypsy and Traveller populations. This focus has driven my research agenda for the last two decades and is more relevant today than ever before, given socio-political and economic changes across European territories. As this research develops I aim to contribute to the evidence base that allows for public policy to be informed and up-to-date on matters relating to identity, mobility, settlement and diversity. This evidence can be used, in partnership with relevant bodies and organisations, to ensure that migration is viewed in positive terms and as an asset and resource, not just in negative terms and as a liability or disbenefit.

Target collaborative companies

1. International Organization for Migration (IOM)

2. European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC)

3. Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA)

Target collaborative organisations

1. Scottish Refugee Council (SRC)

2. Local Authorities and Scottish Government

3. European Commission (EC) & Council of Europe (CoE)

Other areas of expertise available for knowledge exchange

Intersectionality, Ethnographic methods, Sociology of borders, Human rights.

External positions

External Examiner, Newcastle University


External Examiner, University of Leeds


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Research Output 1999 2018

"For work, we came here to find work.”: migrant Roma employment and the labour of language

Clark, C., 4 Jul 2018, Social Policy First Hand: An International Introduction to Participatory Social Welfare. Beresford, P. & Carr, S. (eds.). Bristol : Policy Press, p. 107-117 10 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Roma, Gypsy and Traveller experiences of racism in Scotland

Clark, C., 31 Mar 2018, “No Problem Here”: Racism and Scottish Society. Davidson, N., Liinpaa, M., McBridge, M. & Virdee, S. (eds.). Edinburgh : Luath Press, p. 145-161 16 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

45 Downloads (Pure)

Power, privilege and justice: intersectionality as human rights?

Clark, C., Matthew, D. & Burns, V., 31 Oct 2017, In : The International Journal of Human Rights . 0, 0, p. 1-19 19 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
human rights

The role of mediators in activating communities

Clark, C., 22 Nov 2017, Community Organising Against Racism: 'Race', Ethnicity and Community Development. Craig, G. (ed.). Bristol : Policy Press, p. 185-198 13 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Integration, exclusion and the moral ‘othering’ of Roma communities in Britain

Clark, C., 15 Jun 2016, Revisiting Moral Panics. Cree, V., Clapton, G. & Smith, M. (eds.). Bristol : Policy Press, p. 231-241 10 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


STARS - student nomination (outstanding teaching)

Colin Clark (Recipient), 13 Apr 2017

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)


Activities 2017 2019

Spring into Methods: Three day event as part of the Scottish Graduate School of Social Sciences and Scottish Graduate School for Arts & Humanities interdisciplinary doctoral student training programme.

Katarzyna Kosmala (Organiser), Alison McCandlish (Organiser), Graham Jeffery (Organiser), Elizabeth Gardiner (Organiser), David McGillivray (Invited speaker), Nicola Black (Speaker), Ian McGillivray (Speaker), Tara Beall (Speaker), Colin Clark (Speaker)
30 Apr 20192 May 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course


Michael Pugh (Organiser), Colin Clark (Keynote/plenary speaker), Vanesa Fuertes (Chair), Ewan Gibbs (Chair), Mark McNally (Chair)
20 Mar 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course


Spring into Methods: Participatory Action Research in the Field

David McGillivray (Organiser), Julie Clark (Speaker), Graham Jeffery (Speaker), Nicholas Jenkins (Speaker), Alison McCandlish (Speaker), Sarah Noone (Speaker), Colin Clark (Speaker), Elizabeth Gardiner (Speaker), Katarzyna Kosmala (Speaker), Lee Ivett (Speaker), Iain McGillivray (Speaker), Krisztina Lakoi (Invited speaker)
25 Apr 201827 Apr 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course


Refugee Politics: Dilemmas and Trade-Offs’; Symposium at the Scottish Parliament, 15 June 2018, Greek/German Politics Specialist Groups – Pushing the Boundaries Award

Colin Clark (Invited speaker), Emilia Pietka-Nykaza (Invited speaker), Hartwig Pautz (Organiser)
15 Jun 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

British Sociological Association Annual Conference

Colin Clark (Invited speaker)
11 Apr 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference


quality of life
social security
service provider
youth work
role model