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Tom Vickers

Associate Professor

School of Social Sciences

Staff Group(s)
Social and Political Sciences Nottingham Civic Exchange


Dr Tom Vickers is employed at NTU as a Senior Lecturer, combining research with teaching and supervision at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Career overview

Prior to coming to NTU in 2015 Tom held posts at Northumbria University, most recently as Senior Lecturer alongside a faculty-wide role coordinating research impact. Before this he worked at Durham University, where he was lead Research Associate on a large ESRC-funded project. He completed his doctoral studies at Durham in 2010, funded by an ESRC 1+3 scholarship, and is a professionally qualified youth and community worker.

Research areas

The overall 'problem' that drives Tom's research is capitalism in its imperialist phase, and more specifically the way that capitalist exploitation is managed and resistance is foreclosed, diverted and contained. Over the last ten years Tom has used a focus on borders and racism to examine how exploitation, oppression and resistance operate across fields including employment, volunteering, social work and social care, and the media. This research is intimately connected to his participation in social movements, community organising and community education, as a form of critical public sociology.

Tom has received research funding from the ESRC, British Academy, Leverhulme Trust, and the NIHR School for Social Care Research. His work has been published in peer reviewed journals including Ethnic & Racial Studies, Critical Sociology, Social Policy & Administration, the European Journal of Cultural Studies, and the British Journal of Social Work, and in non-academic publications including The Conversation, Open Democracy, the Runnymede Bulletin, and the Lincolnshire Echo.

Tom welcomes applications for PhD supervision in any of the following areas:

  • asylum/refugee studies
  • migration and border studies
  • state welfare
  • social work
  • work and employment
  • precarity
  • capitalism
  • Marxism
  • imperialism
  • racism and anti-racism
  • volunteering
  • activism
  • public sociology

Opportunities arise to carry out postgraduate research towards an MPhil / PhD in the areas identified above. Further information may be obtained on the NTU Research Degrees website

Current and previous PhD topics Tom has supervised include:

  • Precarious Work, Social Care and the Crisis of Capital Accumulation
  • The Impacts of the 2014 and 2016 Immigration Acts on Health and Care
  • Human Rights and the [right to the] city: human rights challenges and claims in oil-extracting cities in the Global South
  • Policing in Partnership: Are organic police partnerships more effective than mandated police partnerships?
  • Cosmopolitanism and asylum seekers in the European Union - Implementation of the asylum acquis in Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom from 1999-2015. Are EU Member States fulfilling their international and EU obligations?
  • Children from refugee and asylum seeking families: can their relationships with children and families of host families enhance neighbourhood relations within dispersal areas?
  • Social capital networks and ties in a restrictive labour market: The experience of Romanian migrants in the North East of England

External activity

Tom Vickers is Co-Convenor of the BSA Activism in Sociology Forum and an active participant in movements for social and economic justice. He is also a member of the Associate Editorial Board of the journal Sociological Research Online, an Associate Consultant for the Learning and Work Institute and a Fellow of the NIHR School for Social Care Research.

Sponsors and collaborators

Recent sponsors and collaborators include:

  • United Private Hire Drivers union
  • Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Refugee Forum
  • Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union



Vickers, T. (2019) Borders, Migration and Class in an Age of Crisis: Producing Immigrants and Workers. Bristol University Press.

Vickers, T. (2012) Refugees, Capitalism and the British State: implications for social workers, volunteers and activists. Farnham: Ashgate.

Articles in peer-review journals

Vickers, T., J. Clayton, H. Davison, L. Hudson, M. A. Cañadas, P. Biddle and S. Lilley (2019) Dynamics of precarity among ‘new migrants’: exploring the worker–capital relation through mobilities and mobility power, Mobilities, DOI: 10.1080/17450101.2019.1611028.

Chan, C. K., T. Vickers, A. Barnard (2019) Meaning Through Caregiving: A Qualitative Study of the Experiences of Informal Carers, The British Journal of Social Work, DOI: 10.1093/bjsw/bcz039

Clayton, J. and T. Vickers (2018) Temporal tensions: EU citizen migrants, asylum seekers and refugees navigating dominant temporalities of work in England. Time & Society. DOI:10.1177/0961463X18778466.

Vickers, T. and Rutter, A. (2018) Disposable labour, passive victim, active threat: migrant/non-migrant othering in three British television documentaries. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 21(4): 486-501. DOI:

Clayton, J. and T. Vickers (2017) The contingencies of purposeful co-production: Researching new migrant employment experiences in the North East of England. Area. DOI:10.1111/area.12409.

Vickers, T. (2016) The potential and limitations of collective resistance arising from volunteering by asylum seekers and refugees in Northern England, Critical Sociology 42(3): 437-454.

Vickers, T. (2016). Geflüchtete, Kapitalismus und der Staat: Die Wurzeln der Unterdrückung von Flüchtlingen und Schlussfolgerungen für die politische Aktion, Marxistische-Blätter, (1-16): 58-66.

Vickers, T. and L. Dominelli (2015) Students’ Involvement in International Humanitarian Aid: Learning from student responses to the 2004 tsunami in Sri Lanka, British Journal of Social Work, 45(6): 1905-1922.

Vickers, T. (2014) Developing an Independent Anti-Racist Model for Asylum Rights Organising in England. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 37(8): 1427-1447.

Vickers, T., G. Craig and K. Atkin (2013) Addressing ethnicity in social care research, Social Policy & Administration, 47(3): 310-326.

Book chapters

Vickers T. (2019) Immigration and Imperialism. In: Ness I., Cope Z. (eds) The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Imperialism and Anti-Imperialism. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Vickers, T. (2019) Marxist Social Work: An international and historical perspective, in S. A. Webb (Ed.) The Routledge Handbook of Critical Social Work.

Vickers, T. (2015) The contribution of UK asylum policy to conditions for the exploitation of migrant labour, in L. Waite, H. Lewis, G. Craig, and K. Skrivanova (Eds.) Vulnerability, exploitation and migrants: Insecure work in a globalised economy. Palgrave MacMillan.

Vickers, T. (2015) Marxist Approaches to Social Work, in the International Encyclopedia of Social & Behavioral Sciences (2nd Edition) Elsevier.

Vickers, T. (2014) Migration, Political Engagement and the State: A case study of immigrants and communists in 1930s South Tyneside in the UK, in L. Dominelli and M. Moosa-Mitha (Eds.) Reconfiguring Citizenship: Social Exclusion and Diversity within Inclusive Citizenship Practices. Ashgate.

Journal Special Issue (Guest Editor)

Vickers, T. (2015) Humanitarian Interventions, special issue of International Social Work (58)5.


Vickers, T., J. Clayton, , H. Davison, L. Hudson, M.A. Cañadas, , P. Biddle, S. Lilley, G. Fletcher and M. Chantkowski] (2016) 'New migrants' in the North East workforce: final report. Nottingham Trent University.

Chan, C.K., A. Barnard, T. Vickers and D.A. Holland (2016) Research on Carers within Seldom-Heard Communities: Final Report. Nottingham Trent University.

Vickers, T., G. Craig and K. Atkin (2012) Research with black and minority ethnic people using social care services. NIHR School for Social Care Research Methods Review 11.

For a full list of Tom Vickers' publications see iRep.

See all of Tom Vickers's publications...

Press expertise

  • Work and employment
  • Precarity
  • Asylum and immigration
  • Activism and social movements
  • Public Sociology
  • Marxism