Judith Hoppermann

PGR Hub, Level 4, Adam Smith Building


ORCID iDhttps://orcid.org/0009-0003-6366-4621

Research title: Theorising the International Politics of Refugee Returns – Actors, Diplomacy, and the State in Lebanon

Research Summary

Research Summary

My research focuses on the intersection of forced migration and migration diplomacy. Specifically, it examines refugee returns from Lebanon, a state of first refuge, to Syria, the refugee’s state of origin, seeking to understand how actors on several levels commodify refugees and use migration diplomacy to influence power relations domestically and in the wider region. As such, it analyses actors’ interaction and migration diplomacy on multiple different levels – the international (international organisations such as International Organization of Migration (IOM) and the United Nations’ High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR)), transnational (Syrian diaspora), the state and sub-state level. Thereby, it seeks to showcase the underlying reasons for the individual actors’ actions and subsequently for both refugee returns and the populations’ commodification, while also contributing to the theorisation of the international politics of refugee returns. At the same time, it seeks to complement the state centric mode of analysis – or methodical nationalism – which is predominant in the literature of the international migration politics by highlighting the role of non-state actors. It also analyses the return processes’ feedback into both the domestic and international sphere.

Research Interests:

  • Migration Diplomacy
  • Return migration and repatriation
  • Regional Cooperation
  • Non-state Actors
  • Durable Solutions
  • Foreign Affairs
  • Postcolonialism
  • South-to-South Migration

Disciplines include: International Politics, Refugee and Forced Migration Studies, Humanitarian and Development Studies


Book Review

Online Publications





  • 2023 – MESA Travel Grant
  • 2023 Middlebury Collaborative in Conflict Transformation Grant to attend Middlebury's Arabic Immersion Program 
  • 2023 – School of Social and Political Sciences Research Support Fund
  • 2022–25 – ERC MOBSANCT Studentship 



  • 2023 - CBRL's Best Master's Dissertation Award for Contemporary Levantine Studies



  • 2023 – Middle Eastern Studies Association (MESA) – Presentation, 
    "Control, Dispossession, Exploitation: Understanding the Political Economy of the Colonialism-Neoliberalism Nexus in West Bank Agriculture", 02/11/23-05/11/23 (Montréal, Canada)
  • 2023 – British International Studies Association (BISA) – Presentation, "The International Politics of Refugee Repatriation - Lebanon as a Case Study for State-Non-State Diplomacy", 21/06/23-23/06/23 (Glasgow, UK)


  • 2023 – ‘The Refugee System by Rawan Arar and David Scott Fitzgerald.’ Researching Forced Migration in the Middle East, Council for British Research in the Levant & UKRI Conference, University of Glasgow, 23-24 March 2023 (Glasgow, UK)


  • 2023 – ‘The Politics of Migration and Refugee Rentierism in the Middle East Workshop’. Project on Middle East Political Science, University of Glasgow 23­-24 September (Glasgow, UK)
  • 2023 – ‘Researching Forced Migration in the Middle East.’ Council for British Research in the Levant & UKRI Conference, University of Glasgow, 23-24 March 2023 (Glasgow, UK)

Additional Information

Judith Hoppermann is a PhD candidate at the University of Glasgow. Previously, she gained experience as a Carlo Schmid Fellow at the World Food Progammes’s office for the Syria crisis, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung’s Lebanon program and the German Permanent Mission to the UN, amongst others. She also covered topics around migration as a journalist at the German Press Agency (dpa) and elsewhere.

Judith graduated with an M.A. in Near and Middle Eastern Studies and Arabic (with distinction) from SOAS, University of London, and a B.A. in Middle Eastern Studies and Politics (first-class honours) from Albert-Ludwigs-University in Freiburg, Germany. During her studies, she held scholarships from Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (Journalism Track) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

In addition to German (native), Judith speaks English and French fluently and has an intermediate level of Arabic (Levantine and Fusha).