Dr Sam Mejias

Dr Sam Mejias

Research Fellow

Department of Media and Communications

English, French
Key Expertise
Human rights, digital media, education, race/ethnicity, creativity

About me

Dr Sam Mejias is Research Fellow in the Department of Media and Communications. He conducts multidisciplinary research on the cultural politics of human rights and equity across several connected strands of work in different countries (currently the UK, USA and Kuwait). Before joining the department in 2015, he was an international development research consultant for BBC Media Action, USAID, UNICEF and the Economist, and a consultant on citizenship and human rights projects for the European Commission, University College London and Amnesty International. Dr Mejias holds a PhD in Education from University College London and a Master’s degree in International Educational Development from Columbia University Teachers College.

Expertise Details

Citizenship; education; digital media; human rights; social justice; neoliberalism; race and ethnicity; youth participation; creative arts; critical media literacy; media representation; international development; discourse analysis and ethnography


Through projects in the fields of media, education, citizenship, and design, Dr Mejias investigates how human rights and social justice discourses, knowledge and practices are mediated across different cultures, shaping possibilities for structural change. In particular Dr Mejias examines the influence of equity-based policies and practices in the lives of marginalised and historically underrepresented groups, through ethnographic investigations of schools, grassroots political movements, and digital media platforms.

Dr Mejias is Co-Investigator for the National Science Foundation and Wellcome Trust funded project Science Learning+ STEM Inside – Broadening Participation through Transdisciplinary Youth Development Programs Leveraging Technology, Arts, Design, and the Sciences. Dr Mejias’ studies on the project include leading the London-based “Learning from Creative Software Production” exploring the relationship between youth creative media learning practices, STEM, and equity; and co-investigating the US and UK based “Carnival, Spectacle and Hybridity,” a case study of arts-based science communication practices at cultural festivals. He also works on the project’s wider longitudinal study in the US, UK and Ireland.

In addition to his current project, Dr Mejias is also Principal Investigator for the LSE Middle East Centre funded project Empowering Democratic Citizenship through Education: Exploring Rights-Based Approaches to Educational Policymaking in Kuwait (2019-2021) in collaboration with the Gulf University for Science and Technology. Previously, from 2015-2018, he was a researcher in the department on CATCH-EyoU - Constructing Active Citizenship with European youth: policies, practices, challenges and solutions, a multi-country European Commission Horizon 2020 Young 5a funded project. Both projects explore the tensions between discourses and struggles for social and political justice, and the structural and cultural affordances and barriers circumscribing active citizenship practices.


Edited Book

Banaji, S. & Mejias, S. (2020). Youth Active Citizenship in Europe – Ethnographies of Participation. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.


Mejias, S.,Thompson, N., Sedas, R. M., Rosin, M., Soep, E., Peppler, K., Roche, J., Wong, J., Hurley, M., Bell, P., & Bevan, B. (2021). The trouble with STEAM and why we use it anyway. Science Education, 105(2), 209-231. 

Bevan, B., Mejias, S., Rosin, R. & Wong, J. (2020). The Main Course Was Mealworms: The epistemics of art and science in public engagement. Leonardo.

Enchikova, E., Neves, T., Mejias, S., Kalmus, V., Cicognani, E., & Ferreira, P. (2019). Civic and Political Participation of European Youth: Fair measurement in different cultural and social contexts. Frontiers in Education, 4(10), 1-14.

Mejias, S. & Banaji, S. (2018). Backed into a corner: Challenging media and policy representations of young people in the UK. Information, Communication, and Society. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2018.1450436.

Banaji, S., & Mejias, S. (2018). The significance of ethnography in youth participation research: Active citizenship in the UK after the Brexit vote. Social Studies, 2, 97-115.

Banaji, S., Mejias, S., Kouts, R., Piedade, F., Pavlopoulos, V., Tzankova, I., Mackova, A., & Amnå, E. (2017). Citizenship’s tangled web: Associations, gaps and tensions in formulations of European youth active citizenship across disciplines. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 15(3), 250-269.

Landberg, M., Eckstein, K., Mikolajczyk, C., Mejias, S., Macek, P., Motti-Stefanidi, F., Enchinkova, E., Guarino A., & Noack, P. (2017). Being both–A European and a national citizen? Comparing young people’s identification with Europe and their home country across eight European countries. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 15(3), 1-14.

Book chapters

Mejias, S. (2017). Politics, power and protest: Rights-based education policy and the limits of human rights education. In M. Bajaj (Ed.), Human Rights Education: Theory, Research, Praxis (pp. 170-194). Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Mejias, S. and Starkey, H. (2012). Critical citizens or neoliberal consumers? Utopian visions and pragmatic uses of human rights education in a secondary school in England. In Mitchell, Richard C. and Moore, Shannon A. (Eds.), Politics, Participation & Power Relations: Transdisciplinary Approaches to Critical Citizenship in the Classroom and Community, (pp. 119-136). Toronto: Sense Publishers.

Research and Policy Reports

Mejias S., & Banaji, S. (2017). UK youth perspectives and priorities for Brexit negotiations. Research study and report for the All Party Parliamentary Group on a Better Brexit for Young People.

Mejias, S. (2010). Education for Sustainable Development in the UK in 2010. Report forUK National Commission for UNESCO.

Blog Posts

Keeping freedom of movement is the top Brexit priority for young people.

Young people are highly critical of Brexit and fear the insularity it could bring.

UK youth perspectives and priorities for the Brexit negotiations.

Story of a vote unforetold: Young people, youth activism and the 2017 UK general election.

Teaching and Supervision

Postgraduate Teaching

Dr Mejias does not currently teach in the department, but previously convened the postgraduate course Humanitarian Communication (MC429) and lectured on the team-taught summer school short course Global Communications, Citizens and Cultural Politics (IR140)

Dr Mejias has also contributed lectures and seminars on team-taught postgraduate Media and Communications courses relating to research methodologies (MC4M1/MC4M2).

Postgraduate Supervision

Dr Mejias acted as dissertation supervisor for departmental MSc students between 2017-2020, and is currently not advising incoming students.

Dr Mejias has been supervising between 6-8 MSc students per year in the department since 2017.