Dr Giulia Sinatti

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+31 20 59 84392
faculteit der sociale wetensch ( afd. sociale en culturele antropologie )


Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday


  •  Migration and mobility
  • Citizenship
  • Human development and human security
  • Transnationalism and diaspora
  • Ethnicity and nationalism
  • Africa<>Europe
  • Senegal



Field Research Design

Identity, Ethnicity and Nationalism



Giulia Sinatti is an ethnographer with a background in sociology, human geography and anthropology. Her latest research focuses on grassroots initiatives of migrant welcoming as expressions of active citizenship.

Migration and mobility have always been at the core of her research interests. Her PhD (University of Milan-Bicocca, Italy, 2006) drew on theories of transnationalism as a form of globalisation ‘from below’ and highlighted the importance of local impacts of migration. Based on multi-sited ethnography in Senegal and Italy, her work investigated tangible and immaterial effects of migrant transnationalism, including identification and belonging; the transformation of urban spaces in countries of origin and of immigration; the rise of safety concerns in ethnically diverse cities.

In her post-doctoral research (London School of Economics and Goldsmiths College, UK; Université Cheikh Anta Diop, Senegal), she focused more strongly on the implications of migrant mobility for sending societies. She researched return migration; diaspora engagement towards countries of origin; migrant distant involvement in peace and conflict; policies and programmes directed towards migrants by states, international agencies and third sector actors.

After joining the International Institute of Social Studies (Erasmus University, Netherlands) in 2011, the policy-oriented focus of her research became more prominent. She became concerned with migration management and border controls. Specifically, she strived to research the perspectives of ordinary people (migrants and non-migrants) besides those of institutional and civil society actors involved in migration governance. Her latest research strongly reflects this aim by investigating how institutional, civil society and grassroots actors respond to the ongoing migration crisis in Europe.

Her geographic interest focuses on migration between Africa and Europe and she has many years of ethnographic fieldwork experience among Senegalese migrants. Keen to find practical outlets for her research, she has regularly served as an expert on migration issues to various UN and inter-governmental agencies, NGOs and migrant organisations. She is also active in experimenting research collaboration with partners outside academia, including from the business sector.

She is a member of: IMI African Migrations Researcher Directory; IMISCOE Demi migration experts database; African Studies Centre community (Leiden University).



Publications in METIS


Selected publications:


Sinatti, G. and C. Horst. (2015). “Migrants as agents of development: Diaspora engagement discourse and practice in Europe.” Ethnicities, 15(1): 134-152.

Sinatti, G. (2015). “Return migration as a win-win-win scenario? Visions of return among Senegalese migrants, the state of origin and receiving countries.” Ethnic and Racial Studies, 38(2): 275-291.

Sinatti, G. (2011). “‘Mobile transmigrants’ or ‘unsettled returnees’? Myth of return and permanent resettlement among Senegalese migrants.” Population Space and Place, 17(2): 153-166.

Sinatti, G. (2009). “Home is where the heart abides. Migration, return and housing in Dakar, Senegal.” Open House International, 34(3): 49-56.

Sinatti, G. (2007). “Emigrazione clandestina: Dakar, nuovo porto di partenza.” Nigrizia, 1: 46-47.

Sinatti, G. (2007). “Sull’altra riva: immigrazione senegalese a Zingonia.”  Nigrizia, 1: 47.

Sinatti, G. (2006). “Diasporic cosmopolitanism and conservative translocalism: Narratives of nation among Senegalese migrants in Italy.” Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism, 6(3): 30-50.

Sinatti, G. (2005). “Città senegalesi: il caso di Zingonia.” Afriche e Orienti, 7(3): 27-40.



ancillary activities

Independent Consultant for:

European Commission EUROMED Migration III (inter-governmental dialogue and training for ENPI South countries); ICMPD AMEDIP (inter-governmental dialogue with North and West African countries); Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD); EC-UN Joint Migration and Development Initiative (JMDI); ILO; Caritas International; migrant associations

Reviewer for the funding bodies:

Economic and Social Research Council - ESRC (UK), Austrian Science Fund – FWF, Fund for Scientific Research - FNRS (Belgium)

Reviewer for the academic journals:

Afriche e Orienti, Asian and Pacific Migration Journal, Comparative Migration Studies, Development and Change, Diversities, Global Networks, International Journal of Comparative Sociology, International Migration, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Journal of Intercultural Studies, Journal of Modern African Studies, Journal of Refugee Studies, Migration Letters, Sociology Compass, Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies.

Ancillary activities

No ancillary activities
Last changes Ancillary activities: Amsterdam 27 januari 2017