Debbie Samaniego, Faculty, Department of Political Science, UH Mānoa

Debbie Samaniego

Assistant Professor
Office: Saunders 614
Telephone: 1 (808) 956-7180

Browse My Publications:


I am a first-generation Latina who grew up in California and Utah. I completed my BA in Political Science at Westminster College in Salt Lake City. After receiving a Marshall Scholarship, I went on to pursue my graduate studies in the United Kingdom. I received a MA in International Relations from Queen Mary University of London in 2018 and my PhD in International Relations from the University of Sussex in 2022. My family’s background as working-class migrants in the US has significantly shaped my research and political commitments to social justice and education. I continuously strive to be a critical and compassionate educator.


  • PhD, International Relations, University of Sussex, 2022
  • MA, International Relations, Queen Mary University of London, 2018
  • BA, Political Science, Westminster College, 2017


  • POLS 150: Introduction to Global Politics
  • POLS 600: Scopes and Methods of Political Science


My research draws on a range of critical approaches, most prominently decolonial and settler colonial studies to examine migration politics within the modern international order. I am currently working on a book manuscript titled Rethinking Migration through the Colonial Question which argues that the US is not experiencing a migration crisis at its southern border, but rather a colonial crisis.

Broadly, I am working on three strands of research. First, I examine the coloniality of global migration governance, including the externalization and militarization of borders. Second, I analyse the historical continuity of racialized migrant labor regimes in the US, UK, and EU. Third, I study colonial/imperial projects in Latin America and their relationship to displacement and forced migration.