Professor Colin Clark

Professor of Sociology and Social Policy, Director of the Public Policy, Governance and Social Justice Research Hub, Vice-Chair of the School Ethics Committee

L119, Elles Building East
Tel 0141 848 3538
Prof Colin Clark


Colin joined the University of the West of Scotland in September 2013 as Professor of Sociology and Social Policy. Prior to taking up this post, he worked at the University of Strathclyde (2005-2013), the University of Newcastle upon Tyne (1996-2004) and the University of Glasgow (1994-1996). Colin’s work is mainly located with the broad field of ethnic and racial studies, with specialist interests including Romani Studies and Migration/Refugee Studies. He is currently a Board member of the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights as well as a Trustee of Romano Lav (Roma Voice) in Glasgow. Colin’s main role is acting as the Director of the Public Policy, Governance and Social Justice Research Hub in the School of Media, Culture and Society.

  • Qualifications

     MA(Hons) Political Science and Social Policy, University of Dundee, 1992

    PhD Social Sciences (Social Policy and Anthropology), University of Edinburgh, 2001
  • Teaching Interests
    Over the years Colin has co-ordinated and taught on various undergraduate courses at different Universities, including: Ethnic and Racial Studies, Romani Studies, Nationalism, Identity and Culture, Gendering the Social World, Global Feminisms, Personal Troubles & Public Issues, Social Theory, Understanding the Social World, Introduction to Sociology and Introduction to Social Policy. At postgraduate level, he has co-ordinated and taught on MSc classes looking at methodology, theory, publication, dissemination and ethics.

  • Research Interests
    Colin’s primary research interests are located within the broad field of ethnic and racial studies. He has a specialist interest in Romani/Gypsy/Traveller Studies and most of his funded research and publications are in this particular area. Issues of mobility, identity, citizenship, diversity and language are central to Colin’s research and he also have interests in intersectional approaches to social theory and research methods, as well as the practice and writing of ethnography. Colin’s current work is mainly focused around European socio-economic and political ‘concerns’ regarding migration, refugees, integration, stigma and multiculturalism. Recent studies (2015) have been funded by East Renfrewshire Council and the Fundamental Rights Agency in Vienna.

  • Research activity output book
    Clark, C. and Hosie, A. and Wilson, D. 2012. Getting it Right? Human Rights in Scotland, Edinburgh: Scottish Human Rights Commission. (344 pages) Available online.

    Clark, C. and Greenfields, M. 2006. Here to Stay: the Gypsies and Travellers of Britain, Hatfield: University of Hertfordshire Press (382 pages). ISBN: 1902806336. (Second Edition forthcoming, 2016)

    Clark, C. and Kenrick D. 1999. Moving On: The Gypsies and Travellers of Britain, Hatfield: University of Hertfordshire Press (205 pages). ISBN: 0900458992.

  • Research activity output chapters
    Clark, C. (2015) ‘Integration, exclusion and the moral ‘othering’ of Roma migrant communities in Britain’, in Smith, M. (Ed.) Moral Regulation, Bristol: Policy Press.

    Clark, C. and Taylor, R. 2014. ‘Is Nomadism the problem? The social construction of Gypsies and Travellers as perpetrators of ‘anti-social’ behaviour in Britain’, in Pickard, S. (Ed.) Anti-Social Behaviour in Britain: Victorian and Contemporary Perspectives, Basingstoke: Palgrave.

    Clark, C. 2013. 'Intersectionality', J. H. Moore (Ed.) (second edition) Encyclopaedia of Race and Racism, New York: Macmillan USA.

    Clark, C. and Canton, N. 2013. ''Race', ethnicity and nationalism', in Marsh, I., Keating, M., Punch, S., and Harden, J. (Eds.) Sociology: Making Sense of Society, (fifth edition), Harlow: Pearson/Prentice Hall.

    Clark, C., Pietka, E., and Canton, N. 2013. ''I know that I have a University Diploma and I'm working as a driver': defining the EU post-enlargement movement of highly skilled Polish migrant workers to Glasgow, Scotland', in B. Glorius and I. Grabowska-Lusinska (eds.) Post-Accession Migrations: Flows and Patterns, Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam Press / IMISCOE.

    Clark, C. and Rice, G. 2012. ‘Spaces of hate, places of hope: the Romanian Roma in Belfast’, in M. Stewart (ed.) The Gypsy ‘Menace’: Populism and the New Anti-Gypsy Politics, London; Hurst and Company.

  • Research activity output journals
    Clark, C. 2014. ‘Glasgow’s Ellis Island? The integration and Stigmatisation of Govanhill’s Roma population’, People, Place and Policy, 8(1): 34-50.

    Clark, C. 2013. ‘Agency, Empowerment and Inclusion: the challenges facing Roma youth in Europe today’, Voice: A Global Youth Magazine, 1(1): 34-36.

    Clark, C. Bull, C. and McIntosh, A. 2008. 'Land, identity, school: exploring women's identity with land in Scotland through the experience of boarding school', Journal of Oral History, 36(2): 75-88.

    Clark, C. 2008, 'Measuring the impact of devolution: a discussion', Radical Statistics, Issue 97: 4-9. ISSN: 0268-6376.

    Clark, C. 2008. 'Themed Section Introduction: Care or Control? Gypsies, Travellers and the State', Social Policy and Society, 7(1): 1-7. (Guest Editor)

  • Research activity output conference presentations
    Royal Society of Edinburgh, Title of paper: ‘Forging policy in illiberal times? A ‘Scottish Approach’ to Race Equality’, November 18, 2015.

    University of Brighton, Romaphobia conference, Title of paper: ‘Local Engagement for Roma Inclusion (LERI): what are the lessons from Glasgow?’, November 3, 2015.

    University of Glasgow, Class & Nation in Contemporary Scotland, Title of paper: ‘El movimiento es vida: critical reflections on the current refugee crisis’, September 17-18, 2015.

    University of Cambridge, British Association of Slavonic and East European Studies annual conference, Title of paper: ‘Integration, Asociality & the Moral ‘Othering’ of Roma Communities in Britain’, March 28-30, 2015.

    Sheffield Hallam University, ‘People, Place and Policy’ – Seminar for launch of People Place & Policy Journal special issue, Title of paper: “Glasgow’s Ellis Island? The integration and stigmatisation of Govanhill’s Roma population”, April 30, 2014.

  • Membership of Research Groups / Centres / Institutes
    Director of the Public Policy, Governance and Social Justice (PPGSJ) Research Hub in the School of Media, Culture and Society at UWS.

  • Consultancy Interests
    Past and current consultancy interests have included topics such as migration, human rights, equalities legislation and anti-racism. Previous work has been conducted for organisations such as Glasgow City Council, Save the Children, the British Council and the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia. Colin has also acted as an ‘expert witness’ for several court cases involving Roma/Gypsy/Traveller clients, including immigration tribunals and employment tribunals.

  • Consultancy Project Details
    Colin’s most recent consultancy work is for the Scottish Human Rights Commission (SHRC), with regard to their Scottish National Action Plan (SNAP) for Human Rights.
  • Professional Membership(s)
    - The Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (CRER) (Board of Directors)

    - Romano Lav (Roma Voice) (Trustee)

    - Scottish Human Rights Commission (member of the Research Advisory Group)

  • Expertise areas
    - Romani/Gypsy/Traveller Studies, both in UK and across central and Eastern Europe

    - Issues relating to nationalism, identity and culture, especially in Scotland and central and Eastern Europe

    - Migration and immigration, as well as issues of integration, settlement and inter/multi-culturalism

    - Intersectionality and contemporary social divisions, class, gender, sexuality, ‘race’ etc.

    - Discrimination, prejudice, racism and ‘hate crime’

  • Useful information
    - External examiner (2013-2017) for Sociology and Social Policy programmes at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and the University of Leeds

    - On the Editorial Boards of the following journals: Sociology Compass, Journal of Sociological Research and International Journal of Romani Language and Culture

    - A selection of recent publications (as PDF files) can be found here:

    - Twitter: @profcolinclark