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Professor Cathy McIlwaine

Professor of Geography

email: c.j.mcilwaine@qmul.ac.uk
Tel: 020 7882 8418
Location: Geography building, Room 115

Profile

Cathy McIlwaine

My research is rooted in development geography although I also work on transnational migration and on North-South linkages. My early work in the Global South focused on development processes in relation to gender, poverty and household livelihoods, together with subsequent work on urban violence and civil society. Although much of this research focused on Latin America, I have also worked in South East Asia and southern Africa. My more recent research on transnational migration has concentrated on Latin American migration to the UK (and to Spain) as well as the nature of migrant labour within London’s low-pay economy.

Key recent publications

  • McIlwaine, C. (2014) Legal Latins: Creating Webs and Practices of Immigration Status among Latin American Migrants in London, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2014.931803
  • McIlwaine, C. (2011) (ed) Cross-Border Migration among Latin Americans: European Perspectives and Beyond, Palgrave Macmillan, New York.
  • Wills, J; Datta, K; Evans, Y; Herbert, J; May, J; McIlwaine, C. (2010) Global Cities at Work: New Migrant Divisions of Labour, Pluto, London.
  • McIlwaine, C. (2012) Constructing transnational social spaces among Latin American migrants in Europe: perspectives from the UK, Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, 5: 2, 271–288.  
  • McIlwaine, C. and Bermudez, A. (2011) The gendering of political and civic participation among Colombian migrants in London, Environment and Planning A, 43, 1499–1513.
  • McIlwaine, C. (2010) Migrant machismos: exploring gender ideologies and practices among Latin American migrants in London from a multi-scalar perspective, Gender, Place and Culture, 17:3, 281–300).
  • Wills, J., Datta, K, Evans, Y, Herbert, J, May, J, McIlwaine, C. (2009) Religion at work: The role of faith-based organisations in the London living wage campaign, Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, 443–461.

Achievements / awards

  • Leverhulme Research Fellowship, 2006
  • Finalist, National Book Awards for Social Science, the Philippines, 1995 for Chant and McIlwaine (1995) Women of a Lesser Cost, Pluto Press: London.

I am a member of various advisory boards such as ‘Armed Violence in Urban Settings: New Challenges, New Humanitarianisms’, Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO) and Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), Norway (September 2013-present) and the Scientific Editorial Committee of ARTTIS (Area of Research of Technological Transfer, Innovation and Development), Interdepartmental Research Centre LUPT (Territorial Town Planning Laboratory), University of Naples Federici II, Naples, Italy (September 2012-present).

Teaching

I teach various aspects of development geography across all levels of the curriculum from first year to masters modules. My teaching is particularly focused on linking the theory and practice of international development and North-South linkages through analysing what happens at the grassroots, to the work of institutions and to more theoretical research. This is closely linked to my research which has involved working with the urban poor in many regions of the Global South and international migrants in cities of the Global North as well as my continual engagement with Non-Governmental Organisations and international donor agencies where I have worked in various guises over the years. I have also published a textbook (with Sylvia Chant) (2009)Geographies of Development in the 21st Century: an Introduction to the Global South.

Undergraduate teaching

Postgraduate teaching

My teaching has been rewarded by the student nominations for a Draper’s Award for Teaching in 2002, 2009 and 2010 and won in 2012.

I have also given many guest lectures in schools and universities throughout the UK as well as in Brazil as a Visiting Professor at the Universidade Estadual Paulista UNESP, Rio Claro, Sao Paulo.

Research

Research interests:

My recent research projects include the following:

Transnational voting practices among Colombian migrants: the Colombian 2010 Elections from the UK and Spain
This British Academy funded research examines the external voting patterns among Colombian migrants living in the UK (London) and Spain (Madrid) in relation to the Legislative and Presidential elections in 2010 in Colombia. It identifies the motivations behind migrants’ participation in home country elections, as well as the barriers to the exercise of the external vote. It was set within the wider context of how governments of the home countries of migrants have increasingly extended political rights to their country people residing abroad, especially in Latin America. 

http://www.geog.qmul.ac.uk/latinamericansinlondon/index.html

 

Mapping corporate philanthropy and community engagement in East London (with Alison Blunt, Alastair Owens, Jane Wills and Johanna Wadsley)
Funded by The Queen Mary Centre for Public Engagement, this project identifies the main ways that corporations and philanthropic individuals engage with the communities of the East End of London through various types of corporate social responsibility initiatives. The project maps the philanthropic activities of businesses and business people based in the East End (especially in Canary Wharf) with a focus on the ways in which they engage with local communities.

http://www.geog.qmul.ac.uk/research/themes/116854.html

 

Other recent projects:

No Longer Invisible: The Latin American community in London 
Funded by the Trust for London and the Latin American Women’s Rights Service this project to explored the nature, needs and problems of the Latin American community in London. It was the first large-scale research project based on a questionnaire survey (with over 1000 people) and a range of in-depth interviews and focus group discussions (over 50). It also generated an estimate of the size of the Latin American population in London. http://www.geog.qmul.ac.uk/latinamericansinlondon/index.html

Working papers on Latin Americans in London:
Challenging displacement: livelihood practices among Colombian migrants in London [PDF 480KB]
Negotiating gender-based violence: the paradoxes of migration for Latin American women in London [PDF 380KB]
Living in Latin London: How Latin American Migrants Survive in the City [PDF 1.2MB]
Vivir... Sorevivir...Latinoamercanos en Londres [PDF 1.1MB]
The postcolonial practices of international migration: Latin American migration to London [PDF 313KB]
Subversion or subjugation: transforming gender ideologies among Latin American migrants in London [PDF 288KB]
Webs of (ir)regularity among latin American migrants in London, Working Paper WP-09-0, ICMiC, School of Sociology & Social Policy: University of Nottingham.
Coping practices among Colombian migrants in London [PDF 1MB]

 

Global cities at work: migrant labour in low paid employment in London (with Kavita Datta, Jon May and Jane Wills)
This ESRC-funded project explored the importance of migrant labour in global cities focusing on the experiences, practices and politics of workers in the low-paid sectors of London’s labour market (mainly in cleaning, care, and construction). It examined a range of processes behind the formation of a distinct ‘migrant division of labour’, focusing particularly on the lives of migrants in the city as well as their transnational lives through their links with home.

http://www.geog.qmul.ac.uk/globalcities/

 

Connected Communities: research review on ‘Diaspora and Transnationality’
Together with Alison Blunt, Jayani Bonnerjee and Cliff Pereira (community engagement facilitator) and working in partnership with the Royal Geographical Society (with Institute of British Geographers) and The Geffrye Museum of the Home, this AHRC research review explored the idea of ‘connected communities’ in relation to diaspora and transnationality across the humanities and social sciences. It developed the idea of ‘connectivity’ within and across communities that are transnational and diasporic.

Connected Communities: Diaspora and Transnationality

Publications


Books

  • McIlwaine, C. (2011) (ed) Cross-Border Migration among Latin Americans: European Perspectives and Beyond, Palgrave Macmillan, New York.
  • Wills, J; Datta, K; Evans, Y; Herbert, J; May, J; McIlwaine, C. (2010) Global Cities at Work: New Migrant Divisions of Labour, Pluto, London.
  • Chant, S, and McIlwaine, C. (2009) Geographies of Development in the 21st Century: an Introduction to the Global South, Edward Elgar, London.
  • Moser, C, and McIlwaine, C. (2004) Encounters with Violence in Latin America: Urban Poor Perceptions from Colombia and Guatemala, Routledge: London.
  • McIlwaine, C. and Willis, K (eds) (2002) Challenges and Change in Middle America: Perspectives on Development in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, Prentice Hall: Harlow.

  • Moser, C, and McIlwaine, C. (2001) Violence in a Post-Conflict Context: Urban Poor Perceptions from Guatemala, Conflict Prevention and Post-Conflict Reconstruction Series, World Bank: Washington D.C.
  • Moser, C, and McIlwaine, C. (2000) Urban Poor Perceptions of Violence and Exclusion in Colombia, Conflict Prevention and Post-Conflict Reconstruction Series, World Bank: Washington D.C.
  • Chant, S, and McIlwaine, C. (1998) Three Generations, Two Genders, One World: Women and Men in a Changing Century, Zed Press: London.
  • Chant, S, and McIlwaine, C. (1995) Women of a Lesser Cost: Female Labour, Foreign Exchange and Philippine Development, Pluto Press: London (also published by Ateneo de Manila University Press: Manila). Finalist, National Book Awards for Social Science, Philippines, 1995.


Journal articles (since 2005)

  • McIlwaine, C. (2014) Legal Latins: Creating Webs and Practices of Immigration Status among Latin American Migrants in London, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2014.931803
  • McIlwaine, C. (forthcoming 2014) Everyday Urban Violence and Transnational Displacement of Colombian Urban Migrants to London, UK, Environment and Urbanization.
  • Chant, S, and McIlwaine, C. (2013) Gender, Urban Development and the Politics of Space, E-IR.
  • McIlwaine, C. (2013) Urbanisation and gender-based violence: exploring the paradoxes in the Global South, Environment and Urbanization, 25:1,
  • Chant, S. and McIlwaine, C. (2013) Gendered urban prosperity and women’s empowerment in 21st century cities, Camera Blu. Rivista di Studi di Genere, 7 (DOI: 10.6092/1827-9198/1367)
  • McIlwaine, C. (2012) Constructing transnational social spaces among Latin American migrants in Europe: perspectives from the UK, Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, 5: 2, 271–288.  
  • McIlwaine, C. and Bermudez, A. (2011) The gendering of political and civic participation among Colombian migrants in London, Environment and Planning A, 43, 1499–1513.
  • McIlwaine, C. (2010) Migrant machismos: exploring gender ideologies and practices among Latin American migrants in London from a multi-scalar perspective, Gender, Place and Culture, 17:3, 281–300).
  • May, J., Wills, J, Datta, K, Evans, Y, Herbert, J, and McIlwaine, C. (2010) Global cities at work: Migrant labour in low paid employment in London, The London Journal, 35:1, 85–99.
  • Datta, K., McIlwaine, C, Evans, Y, Herbert, J, May, J, and Wills, J (2010) A migrant ethic of care: Negotiating care and caring among migrant workers in London's low pay economy. Feminist Review, 94, 93–116.
  • May, J., Datta, K, Evans, Y, Herbert, J., McIlwaine, C. and Wills, J. (2010) Migrant workers and the global city, Sociology Review, 20:2, 13–16.
  • Wills, J., Datta, K, Evans, Y, Herbert, J, May, J, McIlwaine, C. (2009) Religion at work: The role of faith-based organisations in the London living wage campaign. Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, 443–461.
  • Datta, K., McIlwaine, C., Evans, Y., Herbert, J., May, J. and Wills, J. (2009) Men on the move: narratives of migration and work among low paid migrant men in London, Social and Cultural Geography, 10: 8, 853–873.
  • Wills, J., May, J, Datta, K, Evans, Y, Herbert, J, McIlwaine, C. (2009) London’s migrant division of labour. European Urban and Regional Studies, 16: 3, 257–271.
  • Herbert, J., May, J., Wills, J, Datta, K., Evans, Y. and McIlwaine, C. (2008) ‘Multicultural living?’ Experiences of everyday racism amongst Ghanaian migrants in London, European Urban and Regional Studies, 15: 2, 103–117.
  • McIlwaine, C. (2007) From Local to Global to Transnational Civil Society: Re-framing Development Perspectives on the Non-state Sector. Geography Compass, 1: 6, 1252–1281. See also Teaching and Learning Guide (2008) Geography Compass, 2, 1–7.
  • Evans, Y., Wills, J, Datta, K, Herbert, J, McIlwaine, C. and May, J (2007) Subcontracting by stealth in London’s Hotels: Impacts and implications for labour organising, Just Labour: A Canadian Journal of Work and Society, 10, 85–97.
  • May, J., Wills, J, Datta, K, Evans, Y, Herbert, J and McIlwaine, C (2007) Keeping London working: global cities, the British state, and London's new migrant division of labour, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers NS, 32, 151–167.
  • Datta, K., McIlwaine, C, Wills, J, Evans, Y, Herbert, J, and May, J (2007) The new development finance or exploiting migrant labour? Remittance sending among low-paid migrant workers in London, International Development Planning Review, 29:1, 43–67.
  • Datta, K., McIlwaine, C., Evans, Y., Herbert, J., May, J., and Wills, J. (2007) From coping strategies to tactics: London’s low-pay economy and migrant labour, British Journal of Industrial Relations, 45:2, 409–438.
  • Moser, C. and McIlwaine, C. (2006) Latin American urban violence as a development concern: towards a framework for violence reduction, World Development, 34:1, 89–112.

Chapters in edited collections (since 2005)

  • McIlwaine, C. and Datta, K. (forthcoming, 2014) Sustaining a global city at work: the resilient geographies of a migrant division of labour from boom to bust in London. In Imrie, R. and Lees, L. (eds) Sustainable London? The future of a global city, Policy Press: Bristol.
  • Datta, K. and McIlwaine, C. (forthcoming, 2014) Negotiating masculinised migrant rights and everyday
    citizenship in a global city: Brazilian men in London. In Gorman-Murray, A. and Hopkins, P. (eds) Masculinities and Place, Ashgate: Aldershot.
  • McIlwaine, C. (forthcoming, 2014) International Migration. In Cooper, C. and Michie, J. (eds) Understanding All Our Futures: Why Social Sciences Matter, Palgrave: Basingstoke.
  • McIlwaine, C. (2013) Gender- and age-based violence. In Desai, V. and Potter, R. (eds) The Companion to Development Studies, Arnold: London (third edition).
  • McIlwaine, C. (forthcoming 2013) Prácticas de subsistencia desplazadas entre los colombianos en Londres. In Esteban, F (ed) Espacios transnacionales de la migración latinoamericana en Europa. Editorial Antropofagia: Buenos Aires, 101-124.
  • McIlwaine, C. (2012) Causes and actors of urban violence. In EU Institute for Security Studies/International Committee of the Red Cross (eds) Urban Violence and Humanitarian Challenges, ISS, Brussels, 19–24.
  • Datta, K., McIlwaine, C., Herbert, J., Evans, Y. May, J. and Wills, J. (2012) Global workers for global cities: low-paid migrant labour in London. In Derudder, B., Hoyler, M., Taylor, P.J. and Witlox, F. (eds) International handbook of Globalization and World Cities, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, 390–397.
  • McIlwaine, C. (2011) Introduction: theoretical and empirical perspectives on Latin American migration across borders. In McIlwaine, C. (2011) (ed) Cross-Border Migration among Latin Americans: European Perspectives and Beyond, Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 1–17.
  • McIlwaine, C. (2011) Super-diversity, multiculturalism and integration: an overview of the Latin American population in London, UK. In McIlwaine, C. (2011) (ed) Cross-Border Migration among Latin Americans: European Perspectives and Beyond, Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 93–117.
  • McIlwaine, C. and Carlisle, F. (2011) Gender transformations and gender-based violence among Latin American migrants in London. In McIlwaine, C. (2011) (ed) Cross-Border Migration among Latin Americans: European Perspectives and Beyond, Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 157–174.
  • McIlwaine, C. (2011) Migración transitoria como recurso: Latinoamericanos en el Reino Unido vía España. In Ginieniewicz, J. (ed) La Migración Latinoamericana a España: una mirada desde el modelo de acumulación de activos, FLACO, Quito, 215–236.
  • McIlwaine, C. (2011) Postcolonial geographies of Latin American migration to London from a materialist perspective. In Pollard, J., McEwan, C. and Hughes, A. (eds) Postcolonial Economies: Rethinking Material Lives, Zed, London, 157–181.
  • Wills, J., Datta, K., McIlwaine, C. Evans, Y., Herbert, J., and May, J. (2011) Immigration, local regional and uneven development. In Pike, A., Rodriguez-Pose, A. and Tomaney, J. (eds) Routledge Handbook of Local and Regional Development. Routledge, London, 449–459.
  • McIlwaine, C. (2010) Costa Rica: Economy. In South America, Central America and the Caribbean 2011, 19th edition, Routledge, London.
  • McIlwaine, C. (2010) Costa Rica: History. In South America, Central America and the Caribbean 2011, 19th edition, Routledge, London.
  • Wills, J., McIlwaine, C., Datta, K., Evans, Y., Herbert, J., and May, J. (2010) New migrant divisions of labour. In Coe, N. and Jones, A. (eds) The Economic Geography of the UK. Sage, London, 225–238.
  • McIlwaine, C. (2010) The gendered exclusions of international migration: perspectives from Latin American migrants in London. In Chant, S. (ed) International Handbook on Gender and Poverty, Edward Elgar, London, 260–265.
  • Moser, C. and McIlwaine, C. (2009) La violencia urbana en Latinoamérica como problema de desarrollo. In Lunecke, A., Munizaga, A.M., and Ruiz, J.C (eds) Violencia y delincuencia en barrios: sistemización de experiencias, Fundación Paz Ciudadana, Universidad Alberto Hurtado, Santiago, Chile, 13–40.
  • McIlwaine, C. (2009) Development: Civil society. In Kitchin, R. and Thrift, N. (eds) International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, Volume 1, Elsevier, Oxford, 136–141.
  • May, J. Datta, K. Evans, E. Herbert, J. and McIlwaine, C. and Wills, J. (2009) Travelling neoliberalism: Polish and Ghanaian migrants workers in London. In Smith, A., Stenning, A. and Willis, K. (eds) Social Justice and Neoliberalism: Global Perspectives. London, Zed, 61–89.
  • McIlwaine, C (2008) Gender- and age-based violence. In Desai, V. and Potter, R. (eds) The Companion to Development Studies, Arnold: London (second edition), 445–449.
  • McIlwaine, C. and Moser, C (2007) Living in fear: How the urban poor perceive violence, fear and insecurity. In Koonings, K. and Kruijt. D. (eds) Fractured Cities: Social Exclusion, Urban Violence and Contested Spaces in Latin America, Zed: London, 117–137.
  • McIlwaine, C. (2006) Using indigenous local knowledge and literature.  In Desai, V. and Potter, R. (eds) Doing Development Research, Sage: London, 222–230.

 

PhD Supervision

I welcome potential PhD students working on issues of international migration in relation to Latin America as well as on the gendered nature of migration, migrant livelihoods and political practices and transnational linkages. I also encourage applications from those interested in gender-based violence in the Global South as well as gender and urban living.

Current and previous research students

  • Anastasia Bermudez Torres. 2003–2007 Gender and Political Organising among the Colombian Diaspora in London and Madrid (ESRC)
  • Supriti Bezbaruah. Gender, the state and employment in India: a study of public sector banks (self-funded)
  • Juan Camilo Cock. 2005–2009. Colombian Migrants in London and the emergence of ethnic publics (college studentship)
  • Cristen Dávalos. 2005–2011. Gender and carework among  Ecuadorian migration to Madrid, Spain (college studentship)
  • Carolyn Gaskell.  2002–2005. Youth, Violence and Citizenship in East London (ESRC)
  • Kate Hardy. 2006–2010. Organising among sex workers in Latin America (ESRC)
  • Megan Ryburn. Bolivian migration and political transnationalism in Chile (Principal’s scholarship)
  • Olivia Sheringham. 2008–2011. Religious transnationalism and everyday practices among Brazilians in London (ESRC)
  • Ailsa Winton. 1999–2002. Youth, Social Capital and Social Exclusion in Guatemala (ESRC)

Public engagement

I have a long history of engagement beyond the academy through my international development and migration research. I have worked on the following themes in this capacity:

International development: I have worked in various consultancy capacities for the many international development agencies including UN-HABITAT, International Institute for Environment and Development, The World Bank (where I was seconded for 1 year 1998–99), the Inter-American Development Bank and the Commonwealth Secretariat. See for example the recent UN-HABITAT (2013) State of Women in Cities Report 2012-13 which I co-authored with Sylvia Chant. I am also a trustee on the board of Children of the Andes who work with vulnerable children in Colombia.

Latin London: improving the visibility of Latin Americans in the UK  

My research with the Latin American community since 2004 has had a strong public engagement perspective especially following the publication of No Longer Invisible (NLI) which was funded by the Trust for London and the Latin American Women’s Rights Service.  The primary aim of this was to raise the profile of Latin Americans in London and address their neglected status in the city through providing the first representative account of the characteristics of this community across the socio-economic spectrum and the first official estimates of the size of the population. At 113,500 in London and 186,500 in the UK, the Latin American community is as large as the Polish and ethnic Chinese populations.

This NLI research has been used in the following ways:

  1. The NLI research has been used by the 3rd sector and lobbyists (a) to establish the Coalition of Latin Americans UK (www.clauk.org.uk) and (b) to provide evidence about the Latin American community in London in consultations and funding applications
  2. The recommendations of the NLI report have been implemented by local authorities to formally recognise Latin Americans as an ethnic group. The London Borough of Southwark was the first council to formally recognise Latin Americans (14/9/12; www.southwark.gov.uk/news/article/953). Haringey, Hackney and Newham now also use the category Latin/South American in their ethnic monitoring forms.
  3. The research has been used by Latin American consulates and embassies to provide evidence about the number and nature of their communities in London.
  4. The NLI report has been a key source and inspiration for the play Juana in a million by Vicky Araico Casas. This award-winning play highlights the experiences of Latin American migrants in the UK and has been performed to over 7,000 people in the UK and Mexico, and was directly inspired by the NLI research (see www.juanainamillion.com/about-1). Several collaborations have been developed such as a workshop at the Southwark Playhouse part-funded by the QMUL Centre for Public Engagement and the Arts Council and National Lottery in June 2013. See workshop report: Juana in a Million: Making Latin Americans Visible in London. Symposium summary report.
  5. The NLI work been taken forward through photographic collaboration between Roxana and Pablo Allison on ‘Uncovering the invisible: a portrait of Latin Americans in the UK’ which will be exhibited in Manchester and London in 2014.  

Media activity
Recently, my work with Latin Americans has appeared in various media outlets:

My other collaborative research on Mapping corporate philanthropy and community engagement in East London is funded by the Centre for Public Engagement and is oriented around mapping the philanthropic activities of businesses and business people based in the East End (especially in Canary Wharf) with a focus on the ways in which they engage with local communities.

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