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.

Elsa Rambaud is Post-Doctoral Research Associate in the project “The Frames of Altruistic Action”. She is an associate researcher at CESSP (Paris 1/CNRS) and a Teaching Assistant at Sciences-Po Strasbourg. She holds a PhD in Political Science at Panthéon- Sorbonne University awarded with the Dalloz Prize & the Prize of the Chancellery of the Universities of Paris in 2014. Her thesis (Médecins Sans Frontières, Sociologie d’une institution critique, Dalloz, 2015) examines the institutionalization of various critical practices in the NGO Doctors Without Borders. In contrast with the conventional approach to criticism, this thesis shows that if criticism can emerge against the institution, it can also emerge for the institution and before all takes place inside the institution. Recently, she has published different reflections about some trends in the French sociology of moral practices : « Réflexions sur les usages de la notion de « grammaire », Working Papers du CESSP, 7/2016 and « The little critic, the big one and the revolution. For a non-normative understanding of social criticism », Revue Française de Science Politique, 67/3, 2017. Opened to the contributions of philosophy, her research combines different sociological models (P. Bourdieu/L. Boltanski) as well as the sociology of activist commitment (especially in the humanitarian field) to understand the social moulding of dissent.