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Queen Mary academics elected to the Academy of Social Sciences

Three members of Queen Mary’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) have been awarded prestigious Fellowships by the Academy of Social Sciences (ACSS) in recognition of their excellence and impact, including for wider contributions to social sciences for public benefit.

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Following an independent peer review process, Professor of Development Geography Kavita Datta, Professor of Law and Globalisation Penelope (Penny) Green and Professor Emeritus of Employment Relations Geraldine Healy were given the honour.

Professor Matthew Hilton, Vice-Principal for Humanities and Social Sciences at Queen Mary, commented: “We’re delighted to see the achievements of our brilliant colleagues recognised in this way. We are very proud of their work in areas including migration, researching hostile environments and inequalities in the workplace.”

Describing the newly elected Fellows as ‘inspirational’, the Academy said they’ve helped to “deepen understanding of, and address, some of the toughest challenges facing our society and the world.” In its citation, the Academy added: “We are particularly inspired by the diversity represented among our Spring 2022 cohort… Many are making exceptional contributions to tackling current and critical issues facing the UK economy, communities and places, and beyond.”

Professor Kavita Datta said: “I am excited to be elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, and very honoured to be nominated by my peers. The Academy’s activities in relation to championing the Social Sciences are very timely. My own discipline, Geography, is at forefront of addressing urgent global issues from post-pandemic recovery to environmental justice.”

Professor Datta is a leading social scientist in migration studies and development geography. Her work has made significant contributions to understandings of the intersections between migration, work and financial practice. She holds leadership roles in Queen Mary’s School of Geography, directs the Centre for the Study of Migration, and is currently PI on a major UKRI-ESRC funded project: ‘Migrant remittances and Covid-19: Practices of care during crisis’.

Professor Penny Green said: “It is a very great honour to receive this recognition from my peers and the Academy of Social Sciences. I’m especially grateful to all my collaborators and doctoral students at the International State Crime Initiative and my colleagues at Queen Mary, who have provided an extraordinarily vibrant intellectual environment for the challenging and difficult work that researching crimes of the state entails. This honour would not have been possible without the courage of those resisting the violence and corruption of governments around the world – they have been the inspiration for the work I do. It’s wonderful to see critical scholarship and praxis recognised by the Academy.”

Professor Green has published extensively on state crime theory, state violence, Turkish criminal justice and politics, ‘natural’ disasters, genocide, mass forced evictions, and resistance to state violence. She has a long track record of researching in hostile environments and has conducted fieldwork in the UK, Turkey, Egypt, Kurdistan, Palestine/Israel, Tunisia and Myanmar. Her seminal work on the Rohingya genocide has drawn widespread global attention. As well as being Head of Queen Mary's Law Department, she founded the university's International State Crime Initiative.

Professor Geraldine Healy said: “I am delighted to be conferred as a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. I'm honoured to be nominated by my peers for my contribution to social science, which in turn recognises the importance of research on inequalities and work, and implicitly recognises my research collaborators and the work of the Centre for Research in Equality and Diversity in the School of Business and Management at Queen Mary. I appreciate that the Academy values interdisciplinary and critical approaches drawn from the fields of gender and employment relations, and their social justice aims.”

Professor Healy specialises in employment relations, the experience of work and inequalities. She has a particular interest in themes including intersectionality, inequality regimes, individualism and collectivism, career and the gap between equality policies and practices. Her recent work has centred on the gender pay gap and the organisation of casualised women workers, and she is beginning a new study on the relevance of mid-20th Irish century Irish migration in understanding the contemporary context of migration. She served on European Union Horizon 2020 advisory groups and her work has been funded by the EU, ESRC, Equal Opportunities Commission, TUC and Government Departments.

The full list of Fellows can be found on the Academy’s website.

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