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Personal profile


I am a Political Sociologist and my research addresses questions of migration and civil society organisations, with a specific attention to the urban dimension. I joined Aston University as a Lecturer in Sociology and Policy in July 2019. Prior to joining Aston, I worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Leicester as part of the ESRC-funded project The Frames of Altruistic Action.
In 2016 I completed a PhD in Human Geography at Durham University, where I focused on the residential segregation of asylum seekers and migrants in Rome (Italy) and Paris (France), with specific attention to strategies of citizenship claim-making and civil society, Third Sector actors, and urban social movements. I recently published a monograph based on my thesis and titled Temporary Camps, Enduring Segregation. The Contentious Politics of Roma and Migrant Housing (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019).
I am a also member of the French research project MARG-IN (“Marginalization/Inclusion: Regulatory Policies Effects in the Long Run. The Case of Romanian Roma Migrants”) that explore the exclusion and inclusion dynamics of Romania Roma migrants France, Italy and Spain. I spent research visiting periods in Paris at the Housing Research Centre (ENSA Paris-Val de Seine) and at the École des hautes études en science sociales (from April to July 2013). From May to July 2015 I was invited visiting fellow at the Centre d'études éuropéennes at Sciences Po, Paris.

Research Interests

Ethnicity and Migration: Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Ethnic Minorities (Roma); Migration Governance; Racism, Stigma and Discrimination; Social Inclusion.

Political Participation: Civil Society Organisations and NGOs; Social Movements; Volunteering; Solidarity and Altruism.

Urban Citizenship and Housing: Urban Marginality; Housing Exclusion; Racial Segregation; Camps and Informal Settlements; Squats; Forced Evictions; Housing Careers.


PhD in Human Geography, Durham University (UK), 2016

MA in Sociology and Social Research, University of Trento (Italy), 2012

MSc in Political Sociology, London School of Economics (UK), 2011

BA in Sociology, University of Trento (Italy), 2009

Teaching Activity

  • Introduction to Social Theory (LK1015)
  • Social Problems and Public Policies A (LK1012) 
  • Migration, Borders and Belonging (LK3030)
  • Contemporary Social Movements (LK3024)
  • Sociology Dissertation (LK3036)
  • Social Policy Dissertation (LK3037)


My office hours are:

  • Tuesday 11am-1.00pm
  • Thursday 3.30-5.30pm

You can book an appointment through WASS at the following link: https://wass.aston.ac.uk/pages/viewcalendar.page.php?cal_id=2610&view=month&st_dt=2019-10-01&makeapp=1

Education/Academic qualification


30 Sep 201216 Oct 2016


1 Oct 201030 Sep 2011

External positions

Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Leicester

1 Apr 201730 Jun 2019

Research Assistant

31 Jan 201731 Mar 2017


  • H Social Sciences (General)
  • migration
  • social movements
  • minorities
  • segregation
  • volunteering
  • housing

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Gaja Maestri is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2014 2019

Bringing the Third Sector Back into Ghetto Studies: Roma Segregation and Civil Society Associations in Italy

Maestri, G., 15 Aug 2019, Class, Ethnicity and State in the Polarized Metropolis: Putting Wacquant to Work. Flint, J. & Powell, R. (eds.). Springer International Publishing AG, p. 255-280 Chapter 11

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The Politics of Compassion: Immigration and Asylum Policy (Global Migration and Social Change). By Ala Sirriyeh

Maestri, G., 17 Jun 2019

Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

Camps, civil society organisations, and the reproduction of marginalisation: Italian and French ‘solidarity/inclusion’ villages for Romani people

Armillei, R. & Maestri, G., Nov 2018, Camps Revisited: Multifaceted Spatialities of a Modern Political Technology. Katz, I., Martin, D. & Minca, C. (eds.). London, p. 259-280 21 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)