Dr Kelly Soderstrom

Dr Kelly Soderstrom

Research Fellow

PhD in Politics and International Relations, The University of Melbourne (Aus)

MSc (Distinction) in International and European Politics, The University of Edinburgh (UK)

BA (cum laude) in Political Science/International Relations, Carleton College (USA)

UNSW Canberra
School of Business

I am a Lecturer in Business Management, Research Fellow, and member of the Public Service Research Group in the School of Business at UNSW, Canberra. I often speak publicly on topics ranging from refugee and asylum policy to institutional ethics.

I research social, political, legal, and economic borders through analysing how organisations demarcate, traverse, reinforce, and challenge boundaries among people and states. Such bordering practices range from bureaucratic labels which govern access to resources, to international humanitarian protection regimes which govern access to asylum. My PhD thesis analysed how the German government navigated the boundaries of expected policy responses to the 2015 Asylum Crisis, whereas my current research investigates how public sector managers negotiate the boundaries of merit in human resource practices. I am especially interested in using philosophical explanations and applied, real world analysis to understand how people, organisations, and states construct boundaries and use borders to achieve policy aims. 

My interdisciplinary research interests include public policy design and implementation, corporate social responsibility and sustainability, refugee and forced displacement studies, and institutional ethics. I am particularly interested in the intersection of non-governmental organisations and asylum governance in Australia and the European Union. I have published in peer-reviewed academic journals such as Advances in Management Accounting and the Journal of Citizenship and Globalisation Studies as well as media outlets such as The Conversation, Pursuit, and Election Watch. I have also written policy commentary for NGOs such as the European Council on Refugees and Exiles and the Australian Institute of International Affairs.

+61-2-5114 5439
Building 27, Room 321, School of Business, UNSW Canberra
  • Book Chapters | 2017
    Soderstrom KM; Soderstrom NS; Stewart CR, 2017, 'Sustainability/CSR Research in Management Accounting: A Review of the Literature', in Advances in Management Accounting, Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 59 - 85, http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/s1474-787120170000028003
  • Journal articles | 2019
    Soderstrom K, 2019, 'Emerging Threats to Human Rights: Resources, Violence, and Deprivation of Citizenship, edited by Heather Smith-Cannoy. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2019. 288 pages. ISBN-10: 1439917191; ISBN-13: 978-1439917190. RRP: A$93.00, paperback.', Journal of Citizenship and Globalisation Studies, 3, pp. 14 - 16, http://dx.doi.org/10.2478/jcgs-2019-0005

Jean Monnet Erasmus+ Network Grant, European Commission (EU), Comparative Network on Refugee Externalisation Policies, Named Researcher (2018-2022)

AEUIFAI Postgraduate Research Fellow, European University Institute, Italy (2019)

I am currently contributing to the research project "Merit 2.0: Factors in Merit Based Recruitment, Promotion and Retention in the Public Sector" funded by the Australia New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) and the ACT government. The project investigates the social construction of merit in public sector human resource management practices in Australia and New Zealand.

My PhD thesis entitled "Refugees, Responsibility, and Crisis: An Analysis of the German Government's Response to the 2015-2016 Asylum Governance Crisis" was completed in 2022. Since then, I have worked on projects related to my thesis such as developing a typology of state responsibilities in asylum governance, analysing the development of Germany's safe country of origin list, and interrogating German and EU use of the legal fiction of non-entry to facilitate refugee externalisation practices.

I am also the Principle Investigator on the project "Humanitarian Protection and Organisational Responsibility: Sports-based NGOs as Brokers of Asylum", which investigates the pragmatic and ethical engagement of sports organisations and sports governing bodies in asylum governance.

Between 2018 and 2022, I was a Research Partner on the Jean Monnet Erasmus+ funded project "Comparative Network on Refugee Externalisation Policies" (CONREP). I have published multiple short articles and media reports on refugee externalisation policies and practices in Australia, Germany, and the European Union as part of CONREP and after the completion of the grant.