Andrea Peña-Vasquez is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Political Science, with a focus on comparative politics and a doctoral affiliate with the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Her research interests include transnational migration from Sub-Saharan Africa to Western Europe and the experiences of racialized irregular immigrants with the bureaucratic state. In her dissertation research, she studies how housing policy and the municipal registry system affect the legalization prospects of irregular African immigrants across Spain.

She graduated from the University of Florida in 2015, where she double-majored in Political Science and Sociology and earned her M.A. from the University of Notre Dame in 2017. Her research has been funded by the J. William Fulbright Foundation, the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, and the Nanovic Institute for European Studies. Her work has been published in Politics, Groups, and Identities (PGI) and The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage.

PhD Year
Thematic Interests

I am interested in the politics of migration, citizenship, and identity. Furthermore, I am interested in how dynamics of migration intersect with gender, race and ethnicity, and religion. My dissertation will consider how religious institutions and social networks either facilitate the integration immigrants or lead to their social isolation and exclusion to ethnic enclaves.