The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Rebecca Hamlin

Professional Title: 

Associate Professor of Legal Studies and Political Science

Service Role: 

  • Graduate Admissions Chair


Thompson 502


Office Hours: 

Spring 2020: Mondays 12:30-1:30, Wednesdays 1:15-2:15 and by appointment.


PhD, Political Science & MA, Political Science, University of California, Berkeley; BA, University of Chicago


My research is focused on law and immigration politics, and I have a particular interest in migrant categorization and the concept of a refugee. My published work has examined how the United States and other liberal democracies use administrative agencies and courts to adjudicate migration and citizenship questions, and the political responses to judicial involvement in migration matters. I have published articles on the history of American asylum policy, comparative Refugee Status Determination systems, the politics of migration and the media in the UK, and the blending of international criminal law and immigration law to remove suspected war criminals and human rights violators. 

My first book, Let me be a Refugee was published by Oxford University Press in 2014:

My second book, Crossing: How the Migrant/Refugee Binary Shapes Reactions to People on the Move will be published with Stanford University Press in 2020. 

I would be very pleased to work with graduate students who have an interest in anything related to migration and borders, or comparative law and courts. I have co-authored with graduate students in the past, and am open to doing so again. Along with Prof. Blinder, I coordinate the campus Migration Working Group, which is open to all graduate students. Please feel free to contact me with questions about our graduate program! 

Area of Study: 

  • American politics
  • Comparative politics
  • Public law

Curriculum Vitae: 

Download docx (44.16 KB)


  • Legal Studies