Giacomo Orsini

Dr. Giacomo Orsini

Senior Associate Researcher


With a focus on the most empirical outcomes of European integration, Dr Giacomo Orsini has conducted much fieldwork research along the European external border in Melilla, Malta, Lampedusa and Fuerteventura, and is now working as Senior Research Officer of the Department of Sociology of the University of Essex for the ESRC funded project ‘Bordering on Britishness: an Oral History Study of 20th century Gibraltar’. Since 2015 he also works as Maître de Conference of the Institut d'Etudes Européennes of the Université Libre de Bruxelles, where he teaches the postgraduate course 'International Migrations in Europe'. In 2017 he became Associate Researcher of the Institute for European Studies of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. His major research areas are concerned with borders – being them real or symbolic, migration and asylum, contemporary governance systems and governmentality, maritime sociology and the sociology of everyday life. During his academic career, he has collaborated with several European as well as non-European universities, and became member of various international research networks. In 2011 he was awarded the prestigious GUF-100 Prize as the Student of the Year of the Faculty of Arts of the University of Groningen. Later that year, he also received the University of Essex's studentship to conduct his doctoral research there. 




Conference Papers and Presentations:

  • 6 December 2016: Seminar ‘The EU external border: a macro and micro view. Europe’s border and migration policies in Brussels and the Strait of Sicily’ at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, Ispra (Italy)
  • 3 December 2016: Seminar ‘Europe’s permanent migrant crisis and Europe as a promised land: contemporary Eurocentrism in action(?)’ at the Promised Land symposium organized by Culture+Conflict and Goethe-Institut London, Central Saint Martins, London (United Kingdom)
  • 14 July 2016: Presentation of the working paper ‘Fixed Lines, Permanent Transitions. International borders, cross-border communities and the transforming experience of otherness’ at the International Conference Rural-Urban Migration and Inclusionary Urbanisation in China funded by the British Council (BC) and National Science Foundation of China (NSFC) and hosted by the College of Economics of the Jinan University in Guangzhou (China)
  • 21 June 2016: Presentation ‘Freedom of speech – Practices from the field(s)’ at Film Night of the Intensive Programme Week of the Erasmus Mundus MA in Euroculture organized by the University Udine and the University of Olomouc (Czech Republic)
  • 12 June 2016: Presentation ‘The EU border regime and the myth of invasion, the illusion of control and Europe as the promised land’ at the Architecture on Stage: Papers event organized at the BARBICAN Centre in London (United Kingdom)
  • 2 June 2016: Presentation of the working paper ‘Fixed Lines, Permanent Transitions. International borders, cross-border communities and the transforming experience of otherness’ at the Ethnic Relations, Minorities and Belonging in Europe and China workshop organized by the UNESCO Gülen Chair for Intercultural Studies, at the University of Leuven (Belgium)
  • 28 November 2015: Presentation ‘From a Fishing Island in the Middle of the Mediterranean to a Tourist Destination at the Core of Europe’s External Border’ part of the Lampedusa: Caught Between Shipwreck and Tourism workshop, School of Oriental Studies, London (United Kingdom)
  • 10 June 2015: Presentation ‘Focusing on Lampedusa risks distorting the debate over undocumented migration into the EU’ for the panel ‘Lampedusa: the barbican of fortress Europe’ part of the Postgraduate Fair of the Queen Mary University, London (United Kingdom)
  • 18 November 2014: Presentation ‘Marking and Providing Feedback Workshop’ as part of the UACES Student Forum Seminars: Teaching European Studies, Europe House, London, (United Kingdom)
  • 22 November 2013: Presentation ‘Applying for Grants & Funding’ as part of the UACES Student Forum Seminars, Swedenborg House, London (United Kingdom)
  • 1-3 September 2014: Presentation “The Common Fishery Policy vs fishermen’s good practices. Bottom-up strategies for a sustainable fishery: the case of the Fishermen Association of Gran Tarajal” at the 44th UACES Annual Conference, University of Cork, Cork (Ireland)
  • 27-29 September 2013: Presentation “European fisheries at the edge. The cases of the two small-scale artisanal fishing communities of the islands of Lampedusa and Fuerteventura” at the Sociology at Sea. Culture, Economy and Society in a Maritime Perspective at the Department of Sociology University of Zadar, Zadar (Croatia)
  • 31 August 2013: Presentation of the research paper “European fisheries at the edge: the cases of the two fishing communities of Lampedusa and Fuerteventura” at the 11th European Sociological Association - ESA - Annual Conference, University of Turin, Turin (Italy)
  • 18 February 2013: Seminar “Lampedusa: notes for a study of small-fisheries along the European external border” at the IAMC - Institute for Costal Marine Environment  - of the CNR - Italian National Research Council - of Mazara del Vallo, Mazara del Vallo (Italy)
  • 11-13 January 2013: Presentation of the paper “Becoming border. Dynamics and effects of the building of the European external border in a recently accessed EU member state: the Malta case study”, at the EastBordNet conference Relocating Borders: a Comparative Approach, Humboldt University Berlin, Berlin (Germany)
  • 9 April 2011: Presentation of the paper ‘On the local effects of Europeanization. The consequences of Lithuania’s and Poland’s accession to the EU in the Russian enclave/exclave of Kaliningrad Oblast’, at the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate Student Conference on the European Union, Pittsburgh University, Pittsburgh (United States)


Film Making:

October 2013 – June 2013: Co-director of the documentary 'Once the Sea was Covered with Water. European Fisheries at the Edge'



Organization of Events:


International Migration, Sociology of Migration, European Border Management, Border Studies, Governance and Governmentality, Postcolonial Theories

Profile and Publications