Personal profile

Contact Details

Room: MB732A 
Phone: 0121 204 3043  



I am a sociologist with an expertise on migrant integration and migrant solidarity, and I specialise in qualitative methodologies. Since 2019 I am a Lecturer in Sociology and Policy in the School of Social Sciences and Humanities at Aston University (Birmingham, UK). I am also Visiting Professor at the UIC – Barcelona as part of the Master of International Cooperation Sustainable Emergency Architecture, for which I run a class on ‘Camps, politics and space’, exploring the ambiguities and theories on residential segregation in camps.

My comparative research focuses on racial segregation and pro-migrant collective action, with a specific attention to social inequalities in urban contexts through qualitative methods. In the last ten years, I have conducted extensive research in France, Italy and the UK.

Prior to joining Aston University, I worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Leicester as part of the ESRC-funded project The Frames of Altruistic Action. I was also member of the French project MARG-IN (“Marginalization/Inclusion: Regulatory Policies Effects in the Long Run. The Case of Romanian Roma Migrants”) that explored the exclusion and inclusion dynamics of Romania Roma migrants France, Italy and Spain and that was conducted by Université de Tours, Université de Poitiers and Centre d’Études Européennes, Sciences Po Paris.

My PhD research was funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council and focused on the persistence of the housing segregation of the Roma people and Algerian migrants in in Rome and Paris. It has been published as a book with Palgrave Macmillan: Temporary Camps, Enduring Segregation. The Contentious Politics of Roma and Migrant Housing .

During my PhD I spent research visiting periods in Paris at the Centre de recherche sur l’habitat (ENSA Paris-Val de Seine) (from January to April 2013) 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 européennes at Sciences Po, Paris.

Research Interests

  • Ethnicity and Migration: Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Ethnic Minorities (Roma); Migration Governance; Racism, Stigma and Discrimination; Social Inclusion.
  • Collective Action: Civil Society Organisations and NGOs; Social Movements; Volunteering; Migrant Solidarity.
  • Urban and Housing Segregation: 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)


You can book an appointment through WASS at the following link:


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, PhD in Human Geography, Department of Geography, Durham University, Durham, UK

30 Sept 201216 Oct 2016

Award Date: 12 Jan 2017

MSc, MSc in Political Sociology, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, United Kingdom.

1 Oct 201030 Sept 2011

Award Date: 1 Nov 2011

External positions

Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Leicester

1 Apr 201730 Jun 2019

Research Assistant, Department of Geography, Durham University, Durham, UK

31 Jan 201731 Mar 2017


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


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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