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Teresa Cappiali


I am currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Gender Studies at Lund University. I defended my PhD dissertation at the Department of Political Science at the Université de Montréal, Canada, in 2015. Between 2016 and 2018, I was a Postdoctoral researcher at Collegio Carlo Alberto in Turin, Italy. During my academic career, I have held several visiting positions in distinct research centers at Concordia University (2018), Cornell University (2015 and 2016), University of Toronto (2013-2014) and the European University Institute (2013 and 2014).

Research Areas

  • Sociology of migration
  • Critical ethnic and race relations
  • Racism
  • Social Movements
  • Mediterranean Region

Current research

My research examines why and how receiving societies (especially the state and civil society organizations) exclude and racialize immigrants and ethnic minorities and how these groups respond through grassroots mobilizations.

My forthcoming book, entitled Immigrant Activism and Allies: Coalitions, Conflicts and Racialization in Hostile Environments, is under contract with Routledge in their ‘Research in Migration and Ethnic Relations’ series. Based on extensive ethnographic research that I conducted in four Italian cities between 2013 and 2014, the study analyzes the efforts immigrants and their allies of the civil society make to resist state actors’ production of exclusion and precariousness in immigrant communities after the financial crisis of 2008 in Italy. One of the main contributions of my work is to show that, in addition to state actors, immigrants’ allies often play a crucial role in excluding and racializing immigrant activists in the struggles that concern them, thereby reducing the scope of immigrants’ greater inclusion in receiving societies. Additionally, considering migrant activists as relevant political players, my research shows their role in transforming narratives about integration from below. 

Currently, I am working on a project titled INTERSEC_RACE/Challenging the Security/Migration Nexus after 9/11: Race Politics, Racism and Gender in the Mediterranean Region. It is about a comparative study on the nexus of contemporary racism and the securitization of migration in two Mediterranean countries—Spain and Morocco. Focusing on the evolution of selected public debates since 9/11, the study will examine how racist discourses and interlinked practices of political elites (i.e. policy makers, political parties and key intellectuals) have contributing to othering the two largest immigrant groups in each country—Moroccan ‘Arabs’ in Spain and ‘Black’ sub-Saharan Africans in Morocco—through processes of racialization and gender-based stigmatization. It will also examine how these groups have exposed and challenged these processes through grassroots mobilizations with the help of civil society organizations. This project received the Seal of Excellence in March 2019 from the European Commission  for the quality of the proposal under the Programme Individual Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions.

My research on political claims by immigrants and ethnic minorities contributes to a growing literature that applies social movement and critical race theories to ethnic and racial studies. The focus on crucial receiving countries of migration in the Mediterranean region allows me to add important cases to the literature in field of migration and racism. My work has appeared in key international journals in my field, such as International Migration Review, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Ethnic and Racial Studies, and Southern European Society and Politics as well as in several chapters of co-authored books.

Teaching interests

My main teaching interests are in Critical social theory, Citizenship, gender, and migration, Critical ethnic and race relations, Social movements, Feminist theories, and Qualitative methods, with focus on field research, and interviews. At Lund University, I teach two graduate courses, Feminist Methodologies and Migration and Development, and one undergraduate course, Gender, Citizenship and Migration.


Retrieved from Lund University's publications database



Retrieved from Lund University's publications database


Retrieved from Lund University's publications database

E-mail: teresa [dot] cappiali [at] genus [dot] lu [dot] se

Postdoctoral fellow

Department of Gender Studies

+46 46 222 44 02



Department of Gender Studies
Visiting address: Allhelgona Kyrkogata 14, House M, Lund
Postal address: Box 117, 221 00 Lund, Sweden
Phone +46 46-222 00 00 (operator)
Fax: 046-222 40 04

Faculty of Social Sciences