Maya Goodfellow is a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow at SPERI. Maya’s research looks at the forms of racism that are produced by the politics of ‘the centre’, thinking in particular about the relationship between capitalism, racism and immigration. 

Over a three-year period, Maya’s research project will examine the relationship between ‘the centre’ and racism, primarily in but not limited to the UK, in order to develop a qualitative study of centrist politics. This research will draw on a number of case studies – among them policy and discourse on ‘economic migration’ and the climate crisis. 

As well as exploring some of the discursive nature of processes of racialisation, her research is specifically concerned with the material elements of racism, including the relationship between capitalism and bordering. Drawing on abolitionist literatures, it will consider resistance and alternatives to this.

Maya joined SPERI in September 2020 from SOAS, University of London where she received her PhD in 2019. Her doctoral thesis explored race and processes of racialisation in British international development discourse about India between 1997-2017. At SOAS she also taught in the departments of Politics and International Studies and Development Studies at SOAS. She is the author of Hostile Environment: How Immigrants Became Scapegoats, published by Verso in 2019. Maya has written for The Guardian, New Statesman and the New York Times, among others.

Research Interests

Maya’s research interests include: race, racism and gender; racial capitalism; immigration; theories of abolition.

Key Publications


Book Chapters

  • Goodfellow, M. and Natarajan N. (2020) ‘Workers and environmentalists of the World unite? Exploring red-green politicians in union support for Heathrow expansion’, in Labour in a Changing Climate: Explorations of Climate Change through Workers and Work, ed. by Nithya Natarajan and Laurie Benson. London: Routledge.