Małgorzata (Gosia) Jakimów

Małgorzata (Gosia) Jakimów (PhD Candidate)

Małgorzata (Gosia) Jakimów

Biography :

MA Contemporary China (University of Manchester),

BSc (Hons) International Relations (University of Plymouth)


Links to external websites:



Cluster Research Orientations:

Studies of Citizenship, Migration and (Human) Rights

Studies of Critical Methods and the Politics of Knowledge

Specific research interests

Citizenship Theory, Chinese Studies, Theories of space and scale, Urban Studies, Identity politics, Aesthetics in Politics, Global Civil Societies, NGOs, Migration studies, Labour studies, EU-China International Relations, International Political Economy, Social Anthropology, Human Geography, Development Studies.

Current Projects (including activities, responsibilities, awards, and funding secured):

Title of Project:

Imagining space for change? The internal migrant workers’ role in the negotiation of citizenship in China.

This research examines the role that Chinese internal migrants play in the construction of citizenship in China. The rural-to-urban migrant workers have long been portrayed as uncivilised and uncultured Other in contrast to the modern and urban Self in China. This binary discourse has been accompanied and strengthened by the citizenship regime based on the hukou system, whereby access to citizenship rights is only provided for those registered as urban-hukou-holders and denied to rural migrants to the cities. While in the recent years there has been growing recognition of migrant workers’ right to access citizenship rights, the current academic researches tend to equate citizenship with right-bearing membership in the nation state and migrant workers with rights-deprived second class citizens. This narrative, however, does not recognise that citizenship can be actively negotiated by those who are deemed non-citizens and that migrant workers’ self-assertion as political subjects transforms the contemporary construction of citizenship in China. In this thesis I argue that the meaning of citizenship constructed by migrant workers’ organisations is alternative to the rigid, state-defined idea of bifurcated (urban/rural) citizenship, but also to the understanding of migrants as hukou-limited and rights-deprived second class citizens (docile citizens) or as ‘deserving’ citizenship status because of their contribution to the economic development (neoliberal citizens). This thesis draws on the data collected throughout the 1-year-long ethnographic fieldwork in China among migrant workers’ organisations as well as international organisations and donors. This work employs critical theories of citizenship, poststructuralist theories of politics, and the theories of space and scale to investigate how the new citizenship is produced at the level of the city but with specific intersection between urban and rural, as well as local and global. I intend to illustrate how the understanding of citizenship in China does not have to be bound to the set of rights defined by the state, but rather that it can be understood as active participation in politics of those who are normally excluded as non-citizens.


Awards and funding:

  • September 2012 and April 2011 – awarded Universities’ China Committee in London (UCCL) Small Grant (awarded twice)
  • May 2012 – Research Institute for Cosmopolitan Cultures (RICC), University of Manchester research stipend
  • February – May 2012 – British Inter-university China Centre (BICC) grant
  • Sept 2011 – January 2012 awarded Chinese Scholarship Council, EU window studentship
  • April 2011 – awarded Sir John Zochonis Travel Grant, University of Manchester
  • May 2013 and April 2011 – awarded Norman Chester Fund, University of Manchester
  • Sept 2010 – Sept 2013 University of Manchester, Centre for Chinese Studies fees scholarship


Books (chapter)

Barabantseva, E. and Jakimów, M. (forthcoming 2014) ‘Negotiations of Citizenship in the post-Maoist China’ in Chaudhuri, Bidish and König, Lion (eds.) The Politics of the ‘Other’: Western Concepts in Non-Western Contexts, London: Routledge

Journal articles

Jakimów, M. (2012) ‘Chinese citizenship ‘after’ Orientalism. Academic narratives on internal migrants in China.’, Citizenship Studies 16 (5&6), special issues ‘Citizenship after Orientalism’, pp. 657-671

Keywords: Citizenship, China, Migrants, Labour, Critical IR, Space


Teaching (undergraduate and postgraduate modules):

  • January  – June 2014: University of Manchester, Politics Department, position: Teaching Assistant in Introduction to Comparative Politics
  • Sept 2013 –January 2014: University of Manchester, Politics Department, position: Teaching Assistant in Politics of Globalisation
  • January  – June 2013: University of Manchester, History Department, position: Teaching Assistant in Modern Chinese History
  • Sept 2012 –January 2012: University of Manchester, Politics Department, position: Teaching Assistant in Politics of Globalisation and Development

Conferences and presentations:

  • Jakimów, M. 2013. Labour NGOs as spatial links in the redefinition of citizenship in China, 5-6 June, University of Nottingham (graduate conference ‘Rising Powers in the New Global Economy’)
  • Jakimów, M. 2013. Glocal spaces of interactions and the redefinition of migrant workers’ citizenship, 10-11 May, University of Oxford (graduate conference ‘Rethinking State-Society Relations in Contemporary China’)
  • Jakimów, M. 2013. Beyond the Hukou System? Labour NGOs and the Redefinition of Migrant Workers’ Citizenship, 25-26 March, University of Nottingham (graduate conference ‘Citizenship and Belonging’)
  • Jakimów, M. 2013. Beyond the Hukou System? Labour NGOs and the Redefinition of Migrant Workers’ Citizenship, 9-12 January, Chinese University of Hong Kong (the 9th Graduate Conference in the Chinese University of Hong Kong)
  • Jakimów, M. 2012. Impressions and preliminary findings from fieldwork among labour NGOs in China,  14 May , National University of Singapore (a seminar)
  • Jakimów, M. 2012. Towards the post-oriental imaginary? The academic conceptualisation of internal migrants’ citizenship in China, 6-7 February, Open University, Milton Keynes, UK (international conference ‘Citizenship after Orientalism. Opening the Boundaries of Citizenship’)

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