Senior Research Fellow & BRIDGES Scientific Coordinator
Blanca Garcés-Mascareñas is a Senior Research Fellow in the area of Migrations and Research Coordinator at CIDOB, as well as BRIDGES Scientific Coordinator. PhD cum laude in Social Sciences from the University of Amsterdam and BA in History and Anthropology from the University of Barcelona. Her PhD thesis was awarded the Dutch Sociological Association (NSV) prize for the best sociological dissertation defended in the Netherlands in 2009 and 2010. For more than 15 years she has studied immigration and asylum policies from a comparative perspective. She has published several books, such as Markets, citizenship and rights (2012) and Integration, processes and policies in Europe (2014), co-authored with Rinus Penninx. In the last five years she has studied policies and political discourses on asylum in Europe, with a special attention to border policies and state reception systems. She is member of the European network IMISCOE and of the editorial college of the recently created Migration Politics Journal.
Researcher & BRIDGES Assistant Coordinator
Berta Güell is a Researcher in the area of Migrations at CIDOB and Assistant Coordinator within the BRIDGES project. She has a PhD in Sociology with an extraordinary award from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), and she wrote her thesis on ethnic entrepreneurship and the Pakistani community in Barcelona. Her main lines of research are migrations and the labour market, and migrations from a gender perspective. At CIDOB, she has worked specifically on LGTBI refugees, agricultural seasonal workers and circular migration, and currently with narratives and migration. Previously, she worked at the European Social Research Unit of the University of Barcelona (UB) and at CER-Migracions, where she is currently research collaborator and coordinates the Labour Market and Immigration Module of the Interuniversity Master in Contemporary Migration. She has also received the Josep Irla Postdoctoral Scholarship and has collaborated with the Barcelona City Council on a study on the economic empowerment of Pakistani women.
Moussa Bourekba is a Research Fellow at CIDOB and an adjunct professor at Ramon Llull-Blanquerna University and the University of Barcelona, where he teaches international relations in the MENA region, terrorism, and violent radicalisation. Prior to joining CIDOB, he was Junior Research Fellow at the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed, Barcelona). He also worked as a consultant for the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI, Paris). At CIDOB, he focuses on international relations in the MENA region, democratisation processes in North Africa, Arab youth, and violent extremism in Europe and North Africa. His research also covers Islamophobia in Europe. He has participated in several EU-funded projects such as the FP-7 SAHWA project, and several Horizon 2020 projects such as EU-LISTCO and CASCADES. He is completing his PhD on Spanish strategies to prevent violent extremism at the University of Barcelona. He speaks French, English, Spanish, and Arabic.
Francesco Pasetti is a Research Fellow at CIDOB in the area of Migrations and adjunct professor at the Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals (IBEI) and Pompeu Fabra University (UPF). He developed a two-year project on diasporic media at the ASK Research Center (Bocconi University). As PhD candidate at GRITIM-UPF, he delved into the study of migrant integration and its politics. In his thesis, he addressed the issue of integration policies in Europe through a mixed-method investigation, with focus on the political imaginaries that lie beyond citizenship regimes in Italy and Spain. He was also research collaborator for the Migration Policy Center (European University Institute) between 2013 and 2015. Since 2017, he has specialised in policy evaluation based on indicators. Currently, he is working on policies and political discourses on refugees, paying special attention to the Spanish context.
Senior Research Fellow
Emmanuel Comte is a Senior Research Fellow in the area of Migrations at CIDOB. A graduate of the École normale supérieure in Paris, he earned a European PhD in the History of Europe and of International Relations summa cum laude from Sorbonne University, with a prize-winning thesis on “The Formation of the European Migration Regime”. He has worked at the European University Institute, the University of California, Berkeley, and the Vienna School of International Studies. His research focuses on the history of European Integration and the contemporary history of migration in Europe, aiming to find out when immigration generates disputes and when liberal migration arrangements may occur. He is the author of The History of the European Migration Regime (Routledge, 2018) and has also published in Cold Ward History, Labor History, Le Mouvement social, Relations internationales, and the Journal of European Integration History.
BRIDGES Project Manager
Laia Tarragona works as Research Project Manager at CIDOB, where she manages the BRIDGES project. She has a versatile profile, with broad experience in project management in different research areas. She worked at CIDOB from 2011 to 2015, and then joined again in 2023. From 2016 to 2022, she worked at the University of Deusto as Research Assistant and Project Manager in different EU H2020 projects. She has also worked as an independent consultant in the field of online hate speech and counter-speech strategies, being one of the founders of Observatorio PROXI. In 2013, she was invited to the United States under the auspices of the Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). She holds a Law Degree from Universitat Pompeu Fabra and a Master’s in International Relations from Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals (IBEI). Prior to her master’s, she worked as an associate lawyer at an international law firm. Her interests include inequalities, migration and gender.
Director & BRIDGES Scientific Co-coordinator
Ferrucio Pastore is the Director of FIERI since 2009 and BRIDGES Scientific Co-coordinator. After obtaining a PhD in Law by the European University Institute (EUI) in 1996, he was post-doctoral fellow at the University of Firenze and Deputy Director of the Rome-based Centro Studi di Politica Internazionale (CeSPI). In 2019, he obtained a qualification as full professor in Legal and Political Sociology from the Ministry of Education and Universities of Italy. Besides his research activities, he has also worked as an adviser on migration policy issues for Italian institutions – such as the National Council of Economy and Labour and the Schengen Parliamentary Committee – and international organisations like the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the International Labor Organization (ILO). He has published extensively on migration policies and politics in Europe and at the international level, and he is actively engaged in public debates.
Irene Ponzo is the Deputy Director of FIERI. She obtained her PhD in Comparative Sociological Research by the University of Turin in 2006. Her main research interests are migrant and refugee integration processes and their governance at the national and local levels. More recently, she has started to work on narrative-making processes related to migration with a specific focus on the interaction between local media and policy communities. She has a been project manager and FIERI’s main researcher in several EU-funded projects on local integration policies and inclusion dynamics like EU-MIA and Concordia Discors. She has also been involved in several H2020 projects on migration such as CEASEVAL, TRAFIG, Welcoming Spaces and Whole-COMM.
Andrea Pogliano is Lecturer in Sociology of Media and Communication at the University of Piemonte Orientale. He is also Research Affiliate at FIERI and member of the Editorial Board of Sociologica. International Journal for Sociological Debate. He obtained his PhD in Sociology by the University of Milan in 2008 and his main research interests include media representations and production, migration and communication. He has been involved in several EU-funded projects on migration, such as Concordia Discors and AMICALL, and he has also worked on the politicisation on refugees for the H2020 CEASAVAL project. He has experience as curator of photo exhibitions and screenwriter of two short documentary films on migration in Italy.
Marcello Maneri is a Research Affiliate at FIERI and Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Milano Bicocca, where he teaches Media and Cultural Sociology. After obtaining a PhD in Sociology at the University of Trento in 1995, he was involved in several national and EU-funded projects on migration, security, and racism. He is and has been a member of the Editorial/Scientific Board of several journals such as Contemporary Sociology, Etnografia e Ricerca Qualitativa, Asylon(s), Cartografie Sociali, Conflitti Globali and Progetto CittàSicure. His research focuses on news and migration, racism, public discourse on crime and security, and moral panics. He is currently finalising a book with Ann Morning on the notions of genealogical groups’ essentialised difference in Italy and the United States, which will be published by Russell-Sage in 2022.
Emanuela Roman is a Researcher at FIERI. She obtained her PhD in Human Rights by the University of Palermo in 2017. She holds an MA in Human Rights from the University of Padova and a LLM from the International University College of Turin. Her interests include: migration governance in the Mediterranean; the externalisation and informalisation of EU migration, asylum and border management policies and their impact on migrants’ rights; the EU return and readmission policies; immigration detention; and the reception and integration of asylum-seekers and refugees in Italy. She has been involved in H2020 projects like MEDRESET, CEASAVAL and TRAFIG. She is students’ supervisor at the Human Rights and Migration Law Clinic of Turin.
Flavio Piccoli is a Research Affiliate at FIERI and a PhD candidate at the Programme in Sustainable Development and Climate Change (SDC) at IUSS Pavia – University of Insubria. Previously, he worked as a Data Scientist at dataBreeders, a company dealing with the development of solutions for audience measurement. He obtained his Master’s in Analysis of Social Processes at the University of Milano Bicocca in 2020, with a particular focus on cultural and media research. He has been involved in a Research Project of National relevance (PRIN) on media and terrorism studies, which has led to the publication of a book chapter. His research interests include the production and framing of news in media events; intermediality and media ecosystems; populism, collective identity and political communication; as well as the representation and communication on natural disasters and climate change.
Annalisa Frisina is a Research Affiliate at FIERI and Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Padova, where she teaches Sociology of Racism and Migration and Qualitative and Visual Methods. She obtained her PhD in Sociology of Communicative and Intercultural Processes at the University of Padova (Unipd) in 2005 and she has extensive research experiences in migration studies and youth studies, with a special expertise on visual and collaborative research methods. She is co-founder of the Research Group SLAN.G (on Social control, Labour, Racism and Migration) at the University of Padova. Among her latest publications are “Art and counter-racialization processes. A qualitative research journey with Italy’s illegitimate children”, in Studi Culturali, (August 2021, no. 2, pp. 243-262), co-authored together with Sandra Agyei Kyeremeh; and the book Razzismi contemporanei. Le prospettive della sociologia (Carocci, 2020).
Professor of Politics
Christina Boswell is Chair in Politics and Dean of Research at the University of Edinburgh. She is also Fellow of the British Academy and Chair of the Scottish Government’s Expert Advisory Group on Migration and Population. Her most significant contributions include work on the role of narratives in migration policy, the symbolic and instrumental uses of expert knowledge in policy, the use of performance indicators and targets in immigration and asylum, and the role of ideas in political discourse on migration. Her work is comparative, with a focus on the UK, Germany and the EU. She has extensive experience in policy advice for EU institutions and international organisations, including the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and the UN Global Commission on Migration.
Saskia Smellie is a Research Fellow in Politics and International Relations at the University of Edinburgh. She specialises in the politics of migration, comparative immigration policy, and foreign policy. She holds a PhD in Politics from the University of Edinburgh, where she also studied European and International Politics, as well as German Studies at the University of Birmingham and the Humboldt University of Berlin. Her research interests include migration policy and politics, migration crises and diplomacy, ‘responsibility-sharing’ in Europe, and decision-making processes from a foreign policy analysis perspective. She teaches and lectures at honours level on Europe and international migration. She has previously worked as Public Relations and Policy Officer at the German Consulate General in Edinburgh and has experience consulting the Scottish Government on migration policy after Brexit. At BRIDGES, she leads research on migration narratives in the political debate and policymaking, focusing on the UK.
ICREA Researcher Professor
Verònica Benet-Martínez is an ICREA (Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies) Research Professor at UPF, where she is also Head of the Research Group on Behavioral and Experimental Social Sciences. Before her current position, she was a tenured professor at the University of California Riverside and an assistant professor at the University of Michigan. She obtained a PhD in Social/Personality Psychology from the University of California at Davis and was a funded Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. She is an appointed Fellow of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology and is also an editorial board member for several psychology journals. Her research has been funded by government and private grants from the EU, the United States, and other national and local governments. She has received awards from SPSP and the American Psychological Association.
José Pizarro Carrasco
José (Jota) Pizarro Carrasco is a Postdoctoral Researcher at UPF. He is a social psychologist (Universidad de Talca, Chile) and holds a PhD in Psychology by the Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea, (UPV/EHU), where he is also currently a member of the research group on Culture, Cognition & Emotion. During his PhD, he worked on the different mechanisms occurring in collective instances of social life, with specific attention to social emotions. He has mainly focused on the psychosocial effects of collective participation (e.g., rituals and collective gatherings) both at the intra- and inter-group levels. These include collective emotions, the creation of new social identities, and dynamics related to inter-group conflicts. In addition, he has participated in several research projects assessing the impact of immigration, acculturation, collective memory and the different manifestations of stereotypes and prejudices.
Luca Barana is a Research Fellow at IAI. His current research focuses on the drivers of EU-bound migration, EU’s and Italy’s migration policies, and their role within broader foreign policy. In 2021, he coordinated the T20 Italy Task Force on Migration. Before joining IAI, he was Junior Visiting Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), contributing to research on the EU Emergency for Africa Trust Fund, as well as Program Manager at the Centre for African Studies in Turin. He holds a Master’s Degree on European Studies from the University of Turin, where he graduated with a thesis on the EU’s support to regional integration in Africa.
Head of the Mediterranean, Middle East and Africa Programme
Andrea Dessì is Head of IAI’s Mediterranean, Middle East and Africa Programme and Adjunct Professor at the American University of Rome (AUR). He is also a Non-Resident Scholar at the Strategic Studies Implementation and Research Centre of Başkent University, Ankara. He has worked extensively on US and European foreign policy towards the Middle East with a particular focus on the diplomatic and military history of the Arab-Israeli conflict, US policy towards Israel, and Washington’s alliance frameworks in the Middle East. His research interests include security studies, the geopolitics of the Middle East, and the intersection between global and regional trends and developments. He holds a PhD in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and has worked with IAI since 2011, contributing to several EU-funded projects and research tasks under FP7 and H2020 programmes.
Francesco Vigneri is a Researcher at IAI, where he studies the link between media narratives and migration policies. He is also an adjunct professor at LUMSA University and a Research Rellow at Sapienza University of Rome. His research interests focus on the role of traditional and digital media in the development of social representations, particularly of migrant communities, and their interference in intercultural dialogue and policymaking. He has co-authored papers presented at international conferences such as UACES (University Association for Contemporary European Studies) and ICA (International Communication Association). He holds a binational PhD (Italy-France) in Sociology. He has previously worked in European institutions (EEAS, European Commission), agencies of the European Union (EUAA) and the United Nations (IOM).
Akram Ezzamouri is a Junior Researcher at IAI’s Mediterranean, Middle East and Africa, and Italian Foreign Policy research programmes. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, International Relations and Human Rights and a Master’s degree in European and Global Studies from the University of Padova. His research interests include the study of transitional justice policies in authoritarian and conflict contexts with a particular focus on the Maghreb region. Furthermore, he collaborates with the Antonio Papisca Human Rights Centre on research and editorial activities for the periodic publication of the Italian Yearbook of Human Rights.
Giulia Daga is a Junior Researcher at IAI’s Mediterranean, Middle East and Africa research programme. She is concluding her PhD on Oman’s foreign policy discourse at the School of International Studies of the University of Trento. During her PhD programme, she spent visiting periods at the London School of Economics’ Middle East Centre and at Sultan Qaboos University, Oman. She was also assistant coordinator at the NAMEPES project (North Africa Middle East Politics and EU Security), co-financed by the European Commission and the University of Trento. Her research interests include the history and politics of Oman, diplomatic and colonial history, maritime strategy, identity and discourse studies, and theories of nonalignment.
Professor of Political Science
Florian Trauner holds a Jean Monnet Chair at the Brussels School of Governance of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). He also co-directs the Brussels Interdisciplinary Research Centre on Migration and Minorities (BIRMM), a VUB Centre of Expertise gathering 110 researchers from 11 disciplines. His research concerns the European integration process with a focus on EU asylum, migration, border control, return and internal security policies including the EU’s relations with third countries on these issues. He regularly teaches at the College of Europe and held permanent or visiting positions at the University of Vienna, the University of Renmin in China, Science Po Paris, and the EU Institute for Security Studies.
Professor of Political Science
IIlke Adam is a Professor of Political Science at VUB’s Brussels School of Governance. She is also co-coordinator of the Brussels Interdisciplinary Research Centre for Migration and Minorities (BIRMM) at VUB. Her research focuses on the multi-level governance of immigration, immigrant integration and anti-discrimination policies, as well as on anti-racist activism, multiculturalism and (sub-state) nationalism. She (co-)authored three monographs and around 40 academic articles and book chapters, and (co-)edited three books, among which there are Intergovernmental Relations on Immigrant Integration in Multi-Level States (Routledge, 2021) and Migration, Equality and Racism. 40 Opinions (ASP Publishing/VUB Press, 2021). She teaches Diversity Policies in the EU and EU Immigration Policies in the Advanced Master on European Integration at VUB, and she is regularly consulted by European and national policymakers and journalists.
Omar N. Cham
Omar N. Cham, originally from The Gambia, is a PhD candidate at the Brussels School of Governance and the Department of Political Science of Vrije University Brussels (VUB). His PhD research focuses on the politics of return migration in The Gambia. He seeks to explore how migration cooperation between The Gambia and the EU evolved with transition to democracy in 2016. His research interests include EU-Africa cooperation in migration issues and externalisation policies. Omar holds a Master’s Degree in Social Policy and Social Services from Istanbul University, a Master’s Degree in Management from VUB, and a Bachelor’s Degree (with Honours) in Development Studies from the University of The Gambia.
Professor of Social Sciences
Bastian Vollmer is a Professor of Social Sciences and Co-director of the Institute of Applied Research and International Relations at CUAS Mainz. He is also Research Affiliate at the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society of the University of Oxford, where he previously held several Research Fellowships (2008-2016). He was a Visiting Professor and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Tübingen (2016-2017). He is author and co-editor of several books and special issues, and he has published in in journals such as Political Geography, Mobilities, Geopolitics, Migration Studies, Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies, The American Historical Review, and Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. His monographs have been published by Palgrave Macmillan and his forthcoming book Border Revisited: Discourses on the UK Border will be released in 2021. He is co-editor of Migration Studies at Oxford University Press and an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Markus Rheindorf is a Research Fellow at CUAS Mainz and Lecturer at the University of Vienna and the Central European University, specialising in critical discourse studies and academic writing. He studied Linguistics and English at the University of Vienna and the University of Amsterdam, and he holds a PhD in Applied Linguistics by the University of Vienna. His research interests include the mediatisation of political discourse, the interplay between politics and policy, political advertising and campaigning, and populist discourse. He has a continuing interest in methodological innovation within critical discourse studies, especially regarding triangulation and mixed methods. He has received fellowships from the International Research Centre for Cultural Studies (IFK) and the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM) of Vienna. His latest book, Revisiting the toolbox of discourse studies: New Trajectories in Methodology, Open Data and Visualization, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2019.
CEO & Co-founder
Lucila Rodríguez-Alarcón is the CEO and co-founder of por Causa, and BRIDGES Impact Manager. An agronomical engineer and specialist in crisis management by education, she started her career directing a lobby consultancy in Brussels. She was then Director of Public Affairs at Weber Shandwick and Communications Director at Oxfam Spain and the Madrid City Council. She is a regular columnist in the section Con M de Migraciones poweredby Público.es newspaper,and in the blog 3500 millones, within El País.com. She has also published in international media like The Guardian. She is part of the jury of the European Press Prize and Reporters in the Field, as well as adviser to various local, regional and national public administrations, mainly in Europe and Latin America. She is also Lecturer at the Comillas Pontifical University in Madrid.
Chantal Gª de la Riva Touzet
Headmaster of Management
Chantal García de la Riva Touzet is Headmaster of Management at por Causa. She graduated in Social Work with specialisation in education, orientation and training by the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, and she also holds a degree in Administration and Human Resources. She has more than 15 years of experience in project administration and financial control, being an expert in the development and implementation of management and marketing plans. She counts with a long trajectory in the management of social projects, mainly based on topics like childhood and youth.
Senior Research Journalist
José Bautista is a Senior Research Journalist specialised on migrations and economy at por Causa. His experience includes media coverage and reporting on the Balkans route, the settlements of Calais and Paris, corruption involving the migration control industry in Europe’s southern border and the impact of migrations in large areas of Spain currently undergoing depopulation. He currently collaborates with The New York Times, and has previously worked for Agencia EFE, Folha de São Paulo, La Marea and the Economic Commission for Latina American and the Caribbean. He has also published in El Confidencial, Eldiario.es, Le Figaro, El País and Público. He holds a Degree in Journalism by the University of Málaga and a double Master’s Degree in Economics and Latin-American International Affairs by the Sorbonne University (Paris 3).
Vanesa Martín is Communications Coordinator at por Causa. She is an anthropologist specialising in international cooperation and human rights. She holds a Master’s Degree in International Cooperation from the Carlos III University of Madrid. She worked in International Cooperation at the Ministry of Public Health of Ecuador managing the European Cooperation. She is a regular columnist in the section Con M de Migraciones powered by Público.es newspaper. She has developed her career in the field of communication and the development of strategies, contents and actions to raise awareness and boost social mobilisation in third sector organisations such as Movimiento por la Paz, focusing her work on the analysis of migratory processes and new narratives.
Julia Delfini is Communications Officer at por Causa. She studied Social Communication at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) and holds a Master’s Degree in Political Analysis and Institutional Consulting from the University of Barcelona (UB). She has specialised in the development of communication strategies with social impact and community building in several third sector organisations in Argentina, Brazil, and Spain. She has also produced independent projects such as Las voces del socavón, a documentary film on the miners’ radios in Bolivia and their role in the worker unions’ struggle in the second half of the 20th century.
CNRS Research Director
Virginie Guiraudon (PhD Harvard, 1997) is Research Director of the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) at the Sciences Po Centre for European Studies and Comparative Politics (CEE). Her research interests lie in the comparative politics of immigration, antidiscrimination and citizenship. Her current work focuses on the drivers and effects of the Europeanization of immigration, asylum and border policies. She was the 2013 recipient of the ECPR Mattei Dogan prize in European Political Sociology. She has been Marie Curie Chair Professor at the European University Institute and a visiting professor at Princeton University, UCLA, Doshisha University (Kyoto), UNISA (Pretoria), and the Madrid Centre for Political and Constitutional Studies. She currently chairs the ECPR Standing Group on the EU and sits on several editorial boards, including Comparative European Politics and Gouvernment et action publique. She has (co-)edited a number of volumes, including The Sociology of the European Union (Palgrave, 2011), with Adrian Favell.
CNRS Permanent Researcher
Hélène Thiollet (PhD Sciences Po, 2007) is a permanent Researcher of the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) at the Sciences Po Centre for International Studies (CERI). Her research deals with the politics of migration and asylum in the Global South, and she focuses on the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa. She teaches International Relations, Comparative Politics and Migration Studies at Sciences Po and the École des hautes études en sciences sociales. She was also a Visiting Student at Harvard University (2002-2003) and a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Oxford University (2009-2010). She is a board member of Migration Politics and Revue Européenne des Migrations Internationale and has co-edited several volumes, including Migration, Urbanity and Cosmopolitanism in a Globalized World (Springer IMISCOE series, 2021). She has headed several national and European projects on migration-related topics such as MobGlob, PACE and MAGYC.
Marie Moncada is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Sciences Po’s Centre for European Studies and Comparative Politics (CEE). She obtained her PhD on Political Science by the University of Paris-Saclay in 2019. Her thesis deals with undocumented migrants’ access to healthcare in France and the United States. The core of her research activities lies in public policy and the concerns about how to identify and test the parameters that influence its establishment and implementation. She is also interested in exploring the advantages and disadvantages of grounded theory and the use of computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software. At BRIDGES, she carries out media and social media analysis, and also participates in the study of the impact of migration narratives on French and EU policymaking.
Endre Sik is a Research Professor at the Institute of Sociology – Centre for Social Sciences (TK) of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences Centre of Excellence (MTA), and professor emeritus at Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest. He is PhD (1985) and Doctor of Sciences (2006) in Sociology by the MTA. He was also Deputy Chair of the Committee of Sociology at MTA and President of the Hungarian Sociological Association. He has lectured at the University of Toronto, Notre Dame University, the Central European University in Prague, and the Global Camps of Human Rights in Venice. He is the member of IMISCOE’s Maria Baganha Committee. He is the head of research of several projects funded by TK and the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund and has participated in EU-funded projects such as CEASEVAL, STYLE, Concordia Discourse, Euborderegions, and Workcare Synergy. His interests include migration, xenophobia, border studies, network and content analysis, and economic sociology.
Márton Gerő is a Research Fellow at the at the Institute of Sociology – Centre for Social Sciences (TK) of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences Centre of Excellence (MTA). He is also an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the Faculty of Social Sciences of Eötvös Loránd University. His main research interest includes civil society, social movements, and the processes of political integration. He has published in the Journal of Civil Society, Central and East European Politics and Society and the Czech Political Science Review. Currently, he is developing a postdoctoral project on ´Civil society, enemy images and redistribution: The interplay between structural factors and political action in the process of de-democratization´ (NKFIH -134768) and serves as a principal investigator of the project titled as ´(De-)democratization and the trajectories of civil society´ at TK.
Éva Bognár is an Associate Researcher at the Institute of Sociology – Centre for Social Sciences (TK) of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences Centre of Excellence (MTA), and Senior Program Officer and Researcher at the Centre for Media, Data and Society of the Central European University ‘s (CEU) Democracy Institute. She has participated in EU-funded projects on violent online political extremism, media pluralism, press and media freedom; as well as on projects funded by the Open Society Foundations on Hungarian media laws in Europe, misinformation, and Hungarian media ownership. She is the Hungarian contributor to the Digital News Report, a major comparative project led by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University. She has recently focused her research on disinformation on minorities and migrants, and on the representation of migration in Hungarian media. Her background is in Sociology.
Zsolt Szabolcsi is an Associate Researcher at the Institute of Sociology – Centre for Social Sciences (TK) of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences Centre of Excellence (MTA). He holds an MA in Nationalism Studies from the Central European University in Budapest and is currently a PhD candidate in the Interdisciplinary Social Research Program at the Faculty of Social Sciences of Eötvös Loránd University. His area of expertise is political psychology, with a special focus on priming, and his research focuses on the impact of media-driven associations triggering opinion formation. His wider scope of interest also includes research on news management on different media platforms, such as television, social media or online news portals in Central European countries.
Péter Kerényi is a Research Assistant at the Institute of Sociology – Centre for Social Sciences (TK) of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences Centre of Excellence (MTA). He is an undergraduate student at University College London, where he studies Politics, Sociology and East European Studies: an interdisciplinary course focused on the study of the societies and political systems of Central and Eastern Europe. His research interests mainly revolve around political and social theory, specifically theories of justice and theories of alienation, as well as qualitative (discourse and thematic) social research. His undergraduate thesis is centred around the discursive nationalism of the Hungarian Prime Minister, revealing the discursive-ideological tools used by the PM to construct his conception of the Hungarian ‘nation’ in his Covid-related political communication. As a part of BRIDGES, he contributed to two case studies analysing processes of narrative formation in Hungarian media articles surrounding two migration-related events.
Rachel Surányi is an Associate Researcher at the Institute of Sociology – Centre for Social Sciences (TK) of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences Centre of Excellence (MTA). She holds a PhD in Sociology, in which she studied the identification and integration of Hungarians who live(d) in Israel. She has participated in several EU-funded projects on identity, minorities (ENRI-EAST, EUBORDERREGION), and the refugee crisis (CEASAVAL). She is interested in migration and Jewish studies and is specialised in qualitative research methods. She has also volunteered in several organisations on both fields: she dealt with Jews and Anti-Semitism at Haver and the Muslim Jewish Conference and later co-founded the Salaam-Shalom Initiative in Budapest; and also helped migrants and refugees in Hungary at the Menedék Foundation, Artemisszió and during the refugee crisis in 2015. Now she works part-time as a communication expert at Mobilissimus Ltd.
Jan-Paul Brekke serves as Research Director at ISF. He holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of Oslo. He has done extensive research on a wide range of topics, including migration policy, migration flows, media campaigns, temporary protection of refugees, integration, and diversity. He has served as an expert for the EU Commission evaluating H2020 applications and is a frequent media commentator. He has been invited by the EU Commission, the Intergovernmental Consultations on Migration, Asylum and Refugees (IGC) and the General Directors of Immigration Services Conference (GDISC) as speaker on the topic of media campaigns directed at migrants. He has recently conducted research on social media information campaigns launched by the EU, the IOM and UNHCR and targeted at potential migrants, including fieldwork in Khartoum, Sudan. He is head of the bi-annual Integration Barometer.
Kjersti Thorbjørnsrud is a Research Professor at ISF, in the areas of Politics, Democracy and Civil Society, and Migration and Integration Studies. She is a political scientist and holds a PhD in Media and Communication from the University of Oslo. She has headed several international, multi-method and comparative research projects, including the Mediation of Migration project, funded by the Norwegian Research Council. Her research focuses on the global spread of stories on migration between different media and personal networks, including fieldwork among migrants and media analysis in the Iraqi Kurdistan. She is expert in mixed method studies, combining surveys, quantitative media analysis and in-depth fieldwork. She frequently serves as a media commentator and publishes in international media, migration and political science journals. Her current research focuses on the right wing and anti-immigration debate in a new media landscape, heading a research project on the monitoring of free speech in Norway.
Founder & Executive Director
Giulia Tornari is ZONA’s Founder and Executive Director, and Director of the photo agency Contrasto since 2018. She studied Fine Arts and acquired experience in the field of photography at the Rome-based Istituto Superiore di Fotografia e Comunicazione Integrata (ISFCI), immediately followed by a position at Contrasto in 1991. She held various positions in this photo agency, including Curator and Director of the photographic archive, and later Director and PR Coordinator of publications. Since 2005, she has coordinated staff photographers and curated numerous award-winning photography projects at the international level. She also supervises contacts with national and international publications. She has offered courses and workshops in leading photographic institutions in Italy and currently teaches at the Rome University of Fine Arts (RUFA).