Gurchathen S Sanghera, Senior Lecturer


Gurchathen S. Sanghera joined the School of International Relations, University of St Andrews, as a Lecturer in 2007 and was, eventually, promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2017.

Research areas

Gurchathen’s research explores the complexities of social justice and, in particular, the discursive and material reproduction of marginalisation and exclusion globally, nationally and locally.

More specifically, his research is concerned with examining the ways in which various forms of discrimination intersect (for example caste, class, gender, geographical, sexual, religious) to shape people’s everyday lives and how, in turn, people respond to such processes. This work draws on empirical research and is also informed by theoretical debates.

Gurchathen’s research falls within the following four themes:

1. Critical approaches to human rights:

  • Social constructionism
  • Postcolonialism
  • ‘Politics’ of human rights
  • Children’s rights.

2. Child labour in India:

  • Causes (caste, class, gender, religion) and implications
  • State-subaltern relations and structural violence
  • Political-economy of India and elite-led development
  • Human rights in India
  • Neoliberal globalisation and India
  • Resistance.

3. The politics of race and ethnicity in the UK:

  • Social capital and social mobility
  • Islamophobia and racism
  • Gender experiences and responses
  • Social and political identities
  • Resistance and resilience.

4. Qualitative research: 

  • Positionality and intersectionality
  • Gatekeepers
  • Researching marginalised groups.



  • (2016) G Sanghera; Child Labour in India: Globalisation, Power, and International Children’s Rights; Oxford University Press: New Delhi.

Edited Journals

  • (2013) R Mac Ginty, G Sanghera (eds.); Special Issue on Hybridity and Peacebuilding in Journal of Peacebuilding and Development; 7(2)

Peer-reviewed articles

  • (2018) K Botterill, P Hopkins and G Sanghera; 'Familial Geopolitics and Ontological Security: Intergenerational Relations, Migration and Minority Youth (In)securities in Scotland'; Geopolitics.
  • (2018) G Sanghera, K Botterill, P Hopkins and R Arshad; '"Living Rights", Rights Claims, Performative Citizenship and Young People - The Right to Vote in the Scottish Independence Referendum'; Citizenship Studies, 22:5; p. 540-555.
  • (2018) P Hopkins, K Botterill and G Sanghera; 'Towards Inclusive Geographies? Young People, Religion, Race and Migration'; Geography; 103, Part 2, 86-92.
  • (2017) R Arshad, K Botterill, P Hopkins and G Sanghera; 'Minority ethnic young people: Confident negotiators'; Race Equality Teaching; 34(2); 5-9.
  • (2017) G Sanghera and S Thapar-Bjorket; ‘Transnationalism, Social Capital and Gender: Young Pakistani Muslim Women in Bradford’; Migration Letters; 14(1): 88-100.
  • (2017) K Botterill, P Hopkins and G Sanghera; ‘Young People’s Everyday Securities; Pre-emptive and Pro-active Strategies toward Ontological Security in Scotland’; Social and Cultural Geography; 1-20.
  • (2017) P Hopkins, K Botterill, G Sanghera and R Arshad; ‘Encountering Misrecognition: Being Mistaken for being Muslim’; Annals of American Association of Geographers; 104(4): 934-948.
  • (2016) K Botterill, P Hopkins, G Sanghera and R Arshad; 'Securing Disunion: Young People's Nationalism, Identities and (In)securities in the Campaign for an Independent Scotland'; Political Geography: 55: 124-134.
  • (2016) S Thapar-Bjorkert, L Samelius, G Sanghera; 'Exploring Symbolic Violence in the Everyday: misrecognition, condescension, consent and complicity'; Feminist Review, 112: 144-162.
  • (2014) S Thapar-Bjorkert, G Sanghera; 'The Ascendency of Khap Panchayats in Contemporary India: gender, caste, globalisation and violence'; Intersections; 34: 20-34.
  • (2013) R Mac Ginty, G Sanghera (eds.); 'Hybridity in Peacebuilding and Development: An Introduction'; Special Issue on Hybridity and Peacebuilding in Journal of Peacebuilding and Development; 7(2): 3-8.
  • (2012) G Sanghera, S Thapar-Bjorkert; '"Let's talk": Young British Pakistani Muslim Women's Narratives about Co-Ethnic Men in Post-Colonial Bradford, UK'; Interventions - International Journal of Post-Colonial Studies; 14(4): 591-612.
  • (2012) G Sanghera, S Thapar-Bjorkert; 'The Imagination and Social Capital - Transnational Agency and Practices among Pakistani Muslims in the UK'; The Nordic Journal of Migration Research; 2(2): 141-149.
  • (2010) S Thapar-Bjorkert, G Sanghera; 'Social Capital, Educational Aspirations and Young Pakistani Muslim Men and Women in Bradford, West Yorkshire'; Sociological Review; 58(2): 244-64.
  • (2010) S Thapar-Bjorkert, G Sanghera; 'Building Social Capital and Education: The Experiences of Pakistani Muslims in the UK'; International Journal of Social Inquiry; 3(2): 3-24.
  • (2009) M Henry, P Higate, G Sanghera; 'Power and Positionality: The Politics of Peacekeeping Research'; International Peacekeeping; 16(4): 467-82.
  • (2009) G Sanghera; 'Travail et droits des enfants en Inde: lutte des ONG locales sur deux fronts'; Alternatives Sud; XVI(1): 81-102.
  • (2008) G Sanghera; 'The "Politics" of Children's Rights and Child Labour in India: A Social Constructionist Perspective'; International Journal of Human Rights; 12(2): 213-230. [To be reprinted in Children's Rights; U Kilkelly and L Lundy (eds); Aldershot, Ashgate: The Library of Essays on Family Rights Series, 2016].
  • (2008) C Dwyer, B Shah, G Sanghera; '"From Cricket Lover to Terrorist" - Challenging Representations of Young British Muslims'; Gender, Place and Culture; 15(2): 117-36.
  • (2008) G Sanghera, S Thapar-Bjorkert; 'Methodological Dilemmas: Gatekeepers and Positionality in Bradford'; Ethnic and Racial Studies; 31(3): 543-562.

Book Chapters

  • (2018); G Sanghera; 'Child Labour, International Law, and Multinational Enterprises';  International Human Rights. International Children's Rights; T Liefaard and U Kilkelly (eds); Springer.
  • (2017); K Botterill, G Sanghera, Peter Hopkins; 'Muslim Young in Scotland: Politics, Identity and Multicultural Citizenship'; Scotland's Muslims: Society, Politics and Identity; P Hopkins (ed); Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press.
  • (2017); R Finlay, P Hopkins, G Sanghera; Young Muslims' Political Interests and Political Participations in Scotland; Scotland's Muslims: Society, Politics and Identity; P Hopkins (ed); Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press.
  • (2007) G Sanghera, S Thapar-Bjorkert; '"Because I am Pakistani...and I am Muslim...I am Political" - Gendering Political Radicalism: Young Femininities in Bradford'; Islamic political radicalism: a European perspective; T Abbas (ed); Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press; 173-191.
  • (2011) C Dwyer, T Modood, G Sanghera, B Shah, S Thapar-Bjorkert; 'Educational Achievement and Career Aspiration for Young British Pakistanis'; Global Migration, Ethnicity and Britishness; T Modood and J Salt (eds); Basingstoke, Palgrave; 177-204.


  • (2017) N Beech, N Cornelius, L Gordon, G Healy, E Ogbonna, G Sanghera, C Umeh and P Woodman; 'Delivering Diversity - Race and Ethnicity in the Management Pipeline'; British Academy of Management and Chartered Management Institute: London.
  • (2017) R Finlay, P Hopkins, G Sanghera; Muslim Political Participation in Scotland; Newcastle upon Tyne: Newcastle University.
  • (2016) G Sanghera; 'Child labour in India: An uncertain future?’; OUPblog.
  • (2016) P Hopkins, G Sanghera, K Botterill; 'Eights ways that Islamophobia operates in the everyday'; The Conversation.
  • (2016) P Hopkins, G Sanghera, K Botterill; 'L'islamophobie, ce fleau insidieux'. The Conversation.
  • (2015) Hopkins P, Botterill K, Sanghera G, Arshad R; Faith, ethnicity, place: young people's everyday geopolitics in Scotland; Newcastle upon Tyne: Newcastle University.
  • (2007) G Sanghera, S Thapar-Bjorkert; 'Political Radicalism in Bradford, UK'; Chatham House and ESRC, ISP/NSC Briefing Paper 07/01.



  • Globalisation & Its Disjunctures (IR3032)
  • The Cultural Politics of Human Rights (IR4532)
  • Globalisation & the South (IR5725)
  • Human Rights, Politics & Power (IR5051).

Research students


  • Claire Birnie (joint with Professor Watson)
  • Kirsty Campbell (joint with Dr Wilson).

Previous students:

  • Babatunde Afolabi (joint with Professor Taylor)
  • Arthur Bernhoff (joint with Dr McCallum).

PhD supervision topics

Please feel free to contact Gurchathen if you are interested in pursuing PhD or postdoctoral research on topics related to the research areas noted above.

Grants and Conferences


  • AHRC Standard Grant (REF: AH/K/000594/1) (March 2013-November 2016), Young People’s Everyday Geopolitics in Scotland, (with Prof. Peter Hopkins (Principal Investigator, Newcastle University) and Dr Rowena Arshad (Co-Investigator, University of Edinburgh)): £452,062.
  • AHRC – sub project  (March 2016- March 2017), Muslim Youth and Political Participation in Scotland, Newcastle Institute for Social Renewal, (with Prof. P Hopkins (Principal Investigator, Newcastle University) and Dr R Finlay (lead researcher)(Newcastle University)): £9282.
  • Proctor’s Enhancement Themes (2013-14), Mapping the Geographies of Learning and Teaching in the Faculty of Arts and Divinity at Sub-Honours (with Dr Tom Jones, School of English): £500.


Conferences and workshops

  • Keynote Address: 'Asking the Right Questions: The Sector, The Institution, and Ourselves. Race and Ethnicity in HE: A Race to the Bottom?', Gender, Diversity and Inclusion Research Conference. University of St Andrews, 8 May 2018.
  • With Katherine Botterill and Peter Hopkins - presented key findings form the project about Islamophobia to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Islamophobia, Palace of Westminster, London, 7 June 2016.
  • With Katherine Botterill and Peter Hopkins - presented the study findings at a dissemination event at the Lighthouse, Glasgow, ­­25 April 2016.
  • With Katherine Botterill - presented the AHRC study findings at a dissemination event hosted by AMINA-MWRC, Dundee, 16 February 2016.
  • With Peter Hopkins and Katherine Botterill - presented a seminar about young people's perspectives on Islamophobia at a Scottish Government lunchtime seminar, St Andrews House, Edinburgh, 22 September 2015.
  • Presented paper ‘Living Rights and the Right to Vote for Young People in the Scottish Referendum’, Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers Annual Conference, University of Exeter, 1-4 September 2015.
  • Presented paper at FRAE Fife Equalities and Citizenship Conference, Kirkcaldy, Scotland, 11 September 2015.
  • Presented paper, ‘Can the Muslim Speak?’, Understanding Conflict: research, ideas and responses to security threats conference, University of Bath, 8-11 June, 2015.
  • Invited Chair, Postcolonial and Postsocialist Dialogues: Intersections, Opacities, Challenges in Feminist Theorizing and Practices, Linkoping University Sweden, 27-28 April 2015.
  • With R. Arshad - The Everyday Geopolitics of Young Muslims in Scotland: Challenges, Opportunities and Transformations, Association of Islamic Studies, University of Edinburgh, 11 April 2014.