Dr. Lea Müller-Funk


  • Short CV

    • Since 01/2022: Associate at GIGA Institute of Middle East Studies

    • 09/2019 - 12/2021: Research Fellow at GIGA Institute of Middle East Studies

    • 2017 - 2019: Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Sociology, University of Amsterdam

    • 2016 - 2017: OxPo Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford

    • 2011 - 2017: Lecturer (2015-2017) and PhD Researcher (2011-2016) at the Department of Oriental Studies, University of Vienna

    • 2012 - 2016: PhD Researcher at the Centre de Recherches Internationales (CERI), Sciences Po Paris

    • Education: 2011-2016: Joint PhD in Political Science and Arabic Studies (Sciences Po Paris & University of Vienna) Dissertation “Transnational Politics Beyond the Arab Uprisings. Egyptian Activism in Vienna and Paris” (2016 Award of Excellence, Austrian Ministry of Science, Research & Economy); 2009-2010: M.A. in Comparative Politics (specialisation Middle East and Muslim World) at Sciences Po Paris; 2005-2010: Magister in Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of Vienna; 2007-2008: Erasmus exchange at the Institut National des Langues et Cultures Orientales (INALCO), Paris; 2006-2009: B.A. in Political Science, University of Vienna

    Current Research

    • (Im)mobility in the context of conflict and war

    • Drivers of (forced) migration

    • Migration governance

    • Diaspora politics and transnational political participation

    Countries and Regions

    • North Africa

    • Middle East

    • Europe

    Research Programmes


    • IMISCOE Rinus Penninx Best Paper Award 2019
    • Migration Politics Fellowship 2021
    • Award of Excellence

    Dr. Lea Müller-Funk



    GIGA Focus Nahost | 5/2021

    How EU Pressure Hampers Circular Migration between Niger and Libya

    Under pressure from its European partners, the Nigerien government has prohibited Nigeriens to transport international migrants north from Agadez towards Libya or Algeria. This law does not only affect international migrants, but also the local population, as this analysis shows.

    Mattea Weihe

    Mounkaila Abdou

    GIGA Focus Nahost | 5/2020

    Perceiving Migration Crises: A View from the European Neighbourhood

    The EU's dominant perception of migration as a "crisis" is extremely Eurocentric, as migration to the EU is minimal compared to other regions of the world. How do non-EU states such as Tunisia and Turkey, view not only migration movements perceived as “critical” within the EU but also the ensuing migration agreements?

    GIGA Focus Nahost | 3/2020

    Refugee Perspectives on Migration Policy: Lessons from the Middle East

    In a world with over 70 million people registered as forcibly displaced, governing migration has long been high on the European Union’s agenda. This Focus provides insights from the research project SYRMAGINE into refugees’ mobility and decision-making that can help shape migration policies.

    Weam Ghabash

    Mustafa Hatip

    Rand Shamaa

    Mouran Tourkmani

    Research Project | 01/09/2020 - 31/08/2022

    Teaching Immigration in European Schools

    Migration has always been an intrinsic part of human societies across the globe. People have been mobile to lead a nomadic life, to explore the planet, to flee persecution and violence, to find work, or to pursue education. Yet, migration is often dealt with as a side-topic in school curricula. This stands in stark contrast to its omnipresence in public debates. This project brings academic knowledge of migration to European classrooms to convey a more comprehensive understanding of migration and hereby foster students’ critical thinking.
    National Geographic, 2020-2022

    Research Project | 01/11/2018 - 01/10/2023

    Migration Governance and Asylum Crises, Work Package "Comparing Crises"

    This project explores how European migration policies are influenced by political crises triggered by (forced) migration. At a time when such policies are heavily contested across European member-states, and when asylum seems more threatened than ever, this project is critically important to improve our understanding of how migration policies are formulated and shaped by a context of crisis. The project gathers 13 partners from diverse European countries, as well as from Lebanon and Turkey, and GIGA leads the Work Package “Comparing Crises”.
    EC, Horizon 2020, 2018-2023

    Open Democracy | Expert Comment / Guest Contribution | 06/07/2020

    The refugees who dare to aspire

    Expert Comment / Guest Contribution | 01/09/2017

    Kein Ende in Sicht: Libanesische Flüchtlingspolitik im sechsten Jahr des syrischen Bürgerkriegs

    Speaker | 15/07/2021

    Migration policies in Libya, Morocco, Tunisia and Niger

    Other 15/07/2021

    Moderator | 09/07/2021

    18th IMISCOE Annual Conference

    Conference 09/07/2021

    Co-organisation of panel "Governing Migration" Session #227 workshop | SC Migration Politics and Governance

    Ayşen Üstübici, Koç University
    Anja van Heelsum, University of Amsterdam
    Christiane Fröhlich, German Institute for Global and Area Studies
    Katharina Natter, Leiden University
    Benjamin Etzold, Bonn International Center for Conversion

    Organiser | 08/07/2021

    18th IMISCOE Annual Conference

    Conference 08/07/2021

    Co-organiser of panel Changing Aspirations in Contexts of Forced Migration
    Session #125 workshop | SC Reflexive Migration Studies

    Ayşen Üstübici (Koç University)
    Lea Müller-Funk (GIGA)
    Milena Belloni (University of Antwerp)
    Anja van Heelsum (University of Amsterdam)
    Eda Kirişçioğlu (University of Amsterdam)
    Ilse van Liempt (Utrecht University)
    Jørgen Carling (PRIO)
    Kerilyn Schewel (Duke University)
    Lea Müller-Funk (German Institute of Global and Area Studies)
    Meriç Çağlar Cesley (Central European University)
    Natalie Welfens (University of Amsterdam)
    Sevda Tunaboylu (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

    Teaching | University of Amsterdam | 2019

    Dynamics of International Migration and Migrant Integration

    University of Amsterdam Amsterdam


    Sign up to receive email notifications about GIGA activities

    Social Media

    Follow us