New academic research centre dedicated to statelessness

Professor Michelle Foster, Director of the Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness
/ 3 mins read

The Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness at Melbourne Law School was officially launched on 26 March 2018. Established by a generous philanthropic gift over 10 years from Peter and Ruth McMullin, the Centre will undertake research, teaching and training activities aimed at identifying the causes and consequences of statelessness, contributing to greater clarity around legal standards and states’ compliance with legal standards, undertaking empirical work to better identify the predicament and needs of particular stateless populations, and promote better protection standards for stateless persons. 

While focused on global issues, our location in the Asia Pacific region means that much of our research and training efforts will be focused on a region where the issue is particularly salient. 

Our staff comprises the Director (Professor Michelle Foster), two research fellows (Timnah Baker and Christoph Sperfeldt), a communications and administrative officer (part-time), PhD students, and casual research assistants.  We will also announce a visiting fellow program later in 2018 (you can keep in touch by subscribing to our mailinglist).

We are open to collaboration with a range of agencies including other scholars, non-governmental organizations and international agencies. Two early initiatives that we draw attention to are:

Inaugural Summer School in Statelessness that will run in early February 2019 in Melbourne and will focus particularly on the Asia Pacific region. Please keep an eye out on our website for forthcoming details.

New online journal, The Statelessness and Citizenship Review, which we’re launching in collaboration with the Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion (ISI). This is the first journal to be entirely dedicated to advancing the understanding of statelessness and related citizenship phenomena and challenges, helping to meet the growing demand for the exchange of ideas and knowledge among scholars in the blossoming field of statelessness studies.

The Statelessness and Citizenship Review is a peer-reviewed, open-access and interdisciplinary journal. Papers submitted to the journal will undergo independent and anonymous peer review, with an Editorial Board composed of renowned international scholars. There are no fees for authors or readers, Creative Commons Attribution and authors retain Copyright of published articles. The journal will be published on a bi-annual basis. The submission deadline for the inaugural issue is 1 September 2018.

In addition to original, scholarly articles that have passed successfully through the peer review process, each issue of the Review will also contain a section of “Case Notes” that offers summaries and comment on significant jurisprudence from around the globe (edited by Dr. Katia Bianchini) and a section entitled “Critique & Comment” that will feature reflections by scholars or practitioners on emerging research, policy trends or other new developments (edited by Dr. Kristy Belton).

Details of the submission process will be published in due course on the websites of the Peter McMullin Centre and ISI. Scholars interested in submitting an article for consideration in the inaugural edition are in the meantime encouraged to address any questions directly to the Editors-in-Chief, Prof. Michelle Foster ( or Dr. Laura van Waas (

Our vision is to undertake high quality multidisciplinary research that contributes to understanding the causes and consequences of statelessness and in particular to carry out research projects that have a policy focus.  We aim to facilitate a community for scholars, students and activists through workshops, conferences and other outreach activities.  We look forward to collaborating with the ENS and other relevant networks and organizations in achieving our shared objectives of drawing attention to this important issue and working towards legal and policy reform.

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