The research team

Gaja Maestri is Post-Doctoral Research Associate in the project “The Frames of Altruistic Action”. She holds a PhD in Geography at Durham University (UK), where she was also teaching assistant for the courses of political geography, social research and urban geography. Her PhD research (“Persistently Temporary. Ambiguity and Political Mobilisations in Italy’s Roma camps: a Comparative Perspective”) was funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council and focused on the persistence of the housing segregation of the Roma people and Algerian migrants in in Rome and Paris. The thesis analysed the reasons for the persistence of racial segregation and the strategies adopted by solidarity associations and movements to advocate the housing rights of ethnic minorities. Her research interests include political sociology, urban geography and citizenship studies. She especially focuses on the governance of urban marginality (including housing informality and segregation), on non-state actors (mainly civil society organisations, solidarity and advocacy groups and social movements and how they influence the policymaking process) and on the comparative method.


Pierre Monforte is Principal Investigator in the project “The Frames of Altruistic Action”. His research is broadly situated within the field of political sociology. He focuses primarily on civil society and social movements, with a particular emphasis on movements of migrants. He has carried out empirical research on the mobilizations of asylum-seekers and refugees in France, Germany, and at the European Union level, from a comparative perspective. Recently, he has also analysed the mobilizations of undocumented migrants in Canada. He was also Co-Investigator in the ESRC project “The UK Citizenship Project“. In his research, Pierre examines theoretical and empirical questions on immigration, citizenship, European politics, and the representation of interests at various levels of governance in a context of europeanization.