Research team

Centre for Research on Environmental and Social Change


I am a sociologist of migration with a particular expertise in ethnography, refugee studies and the Horn of Africa. I am currently working on a project about refugee families' reunification procedures in Belgium and Italy. Over the past 10 years, my primary concerns of investigation have been the drivers and the dynamics of forced and high risk-migrants; migrant smuggling; gender and migration; secondary movements of asylum seekers and refugees within Europe; Dublin Regulations and its implications; home and housing studies. Most of my empirical work has been based on qualitative methods such as life-stories collection, qualitative interviews and, most notably, multi-sited ethnography. I have done fieldwork in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands from 2012 onwards. My research settings included refugee camps, asylum centers, and urban diverse neighbourhoods.

Exiled and separated: a multi-sited ethnography of Eritrean refugees and their families attempting to reunite. 01/02/2020 - 31/01/2023


Most European states allow refugees to access a facilitated procedure to reunify with their family members. Many studies, however, high-light how issues of timing, documentation and economic resources often make family reunions extremely difficult, if not impossible. If much has been written on the obstacles faced migrants in this regard, little is known about the specific case of refugees. Through a multi-sited ethnographic study with refugees and their families, this project aims to reconstruct the complexity of power-relations, social expectations and structural impediments that impact on refugees' right to family life.


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