Marianna Karakoulaki

Research, Journalism, Photography


I am a highly proficient qualitative researcher with a wealth of expertise in conducting interviews and employing ethnographic methodologies to gain deep insights into complex socio-political issues.

With a solid academic background, I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Mediterranean Studies from the University of the Aegean in Greece. I further honed my knowledge and skills with a Master’s degree in International Relations, specializing in Security, from the University of Birmingham. Currently, I am pursuing a part-time PhD in Political Science and International Studies, where my research centres on critical critical border studies.

Research Overview

My research focuses on border violence, death and forced migration on EUrope’s East Mediterranean migratory route. Using ethnographic methods which include documentary photography, observation, and unstructured interviews I employ a necropolitical theoretical framework to examine the experiences of people on the move in relation to the shifting nature of the violent border in EUrope; their connection to death and the liminal spaces of mortality; and EUrope’s border security practices.

My wider research interests, activities and experience include: Critical Border Studies, Forced Migration, Death Studies, Ethnography, European and Greek Politics, Gender and Feminism, Media Studies and journalism, Conspiracy Theories, Documentary Photography

Selected Publication


Karakoulaki, M., Southgate L. and Steiner J. (eds) (2018), Critical Perspectives on Migration in the 21st Century, E-IR Publishing.

Book Chapters

Karakoulaki, M. (2020), Abortion and the Law, in F. Bernat and K. Frailing (eds), Encyclopaedia of Women and Crime, Wiley.

Karakoulaki, M. (2018) Europe’s Barbwire Fences. Reflections on Reporting the Refugee Crisis in Greece. In M. Karakoulaki, L. Southgate, and J. Steiner, Critical Perspectives on Migration in the 21st Century, E-IR Publishing.


Karakoulaki, M. and Dessi, G. (2021), Antisemitism and Anti-Vax Discourse in Europe. A Report on Conspiracy Ideologies and anti-Jewish hatred on Facebook and Twitter. Media Diversity Institute.

Karakoulaki, M. (2019), Cyprus: Towards an Asylum Crisis, PRIO Cyprus Centre, Policy Brief 1. Nicosia: PRIO Cyprus Centre.

Selected Conference Papers

28-30 April 2022

Presentation Title: A Political Thanatos: Migratory Deaths in the Greek Borderlands, Thanatic Ethics, International Conference, ‘Bodies on the Edge: Life and Death in Migration in Maison Française of Oxford, Oxford, UK’.

May 2021

Presentation Title: Journalism and Vulnerable Communities: Lessons from Reporting Refugees’ Stories, Graduate Centre for Europe: 15th Annual Conference, University of Birmingham, ‘Communities in Europe: Between Continuity and Transition’.

May 2020

Presentation Title: Migrant Solidarities and Resistance in Greece’s Refugee Camps, Graduate Centre for Europe: 14th Annual Conference, University of Birmingham, ‘Voices of Change: Presents, Pasts and Futures of Activism and Protest in Europe’.

July 2018

Presentation Title: No Borders against Border Violence

International Association for the Study of Forced Migration (IASFM), Thessaloniki, Greece

5-6 March 2018

Presentation Title: Journalism and the Far Right: Covering the Refugee Crisis in Greece, European Federation of Journalists, Media against Hate Conference, Brussels, Belgium

24-25 October 2016

Keynote Speech Title: Movements, Borders, Rights? Feminist Perspectives on Global Issues in Europe WIDE+ & European Women’s Lobby International Conference, Brussels, Belgium