Corey Robinson is a doctoral candidate and researcher whose interdisciplinary work cuts across migration studies, political sociology and international relations. His research focuses on the politics and governance of migration. His research interests include migrant smuggling, irregular migration, asylum, refugees, the relationship between migration and development, migration and security, the politics of ‘migration management’, global migration governance and the significance of expertise and production of technical knowledge on migration.

Corey uses innovative methods in his research, including interviews with bureaucrats, experts and security professionals in the field of border and migration management in Canada, such as Canada Border Services Agency, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Global Affairs Canada and the Office of the Special Advisor on Illegal Migration and Human Smuggling, as well as actors on the international stage, such as the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Additionally, Corey uses access-to-information requests and a variety of ‘grey literature’ (memos, briefing notes, internal reports and intelligence assessments) from federal agencies in Canada to gain a better understanding of how governmental actors do the work of governing migration in practice.

Corey’s research has appeared in leading critical journals in international relations, political sociology and security studies, including International Political Sociology, Security Dialogue and Millennium: Journal of International Studies. He has presented his research at dozens of conferences in North America and the United Kingdom, including the International Studies Association, the Canadian Political Science Association, the Canadian Association for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies, Gregynog Ideas Lab and more.

Corey is completing his PhD in international relations and political theory in the Department of Politics at York University, Toronto, Canada. His dissertation, conducted under the supervision of Professor Leah F. Vosko, examines Canada’s approach to managing the ‘problem’ of migrant smuggling by sea in the aftermath of the Sun Sea, in which a Thai cargo ship carrying Sri Lankan asylum-seekers arrived to the coast of British Columbia in 2010. This study traces the emergence of migrant smuggling as a problem of governance in Canada and globally, with a focus on capacity-building programs and multilateral engagement between Canada, inter-governmental organizations and ‘transit’ states in Southeast Asia and West Africa to prevent migrant smuggling ventures destined for Canada.

His doctoral research has been funded through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships Program (CGS) Doctoral Scholarships and the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS). At York, he is also completing a Graduate Diploma in Refugee and Migration Studies at the Centre for Refugee Studies (CRS). During his time as the Co-Chair of the CRS Student Caucus, Corey organized the conference Bordering on Crisis: Citizenship, Borders and Forced Displacement, featuring keynote speaker Professor Nevzat Soguk, from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, with funding from the Trudeau Foundation.

Before coming to York, Corey completed his Master’s in Political Science at University of Victoria in the interdisciplinary Cultural, Social and Political Thought Program under the supervision of Professor Scott Watson and James Tully. His Master’s thesis, which received the Best Master’s Thesis Award from the British Columbia Political Studies Association, was funded by the SSHRC CGS Master’s Scholarship.

Aside from academia, in his spare time, Corey enjoys playing drums and guitar, cooking, cycling, traveling and gardening.

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Photograph by Jeremy Lewis.