Alina Penkala started as a PhD Fellow at UNU-CRIS in October 2019. Alina holds a master’s degree in Political Science from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow.
Alina focuses on the force and choice dichotomy in migration decision processes in return migration from Europe to Ukraine. She is interested in psychological, economic, political and social aspects of the phenomenon.
She has worked for several years for the Ministry of Defense in Poland as a security policy expert. Later, she worked in conflict-affected areas; in Georgia for the EU Monitoring Mission, and in Ukraine for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). In Georgia she was based close to the breakaway region of Abkhazia, where she reported on the stabilisation and normalisation after the conflict in 2008. In Ukraine, as a member of the mission she was mandated to contribute to reducing tensions and to help foster peace, stability and security. She gathered information and reported on human rights and gender, peace and security.
Alina will split her time between Ghent University and UNU-CRIS, and will work closely together with Assistant Professor Ine Lietaert until 2023.