Dr Pierre Monforte

Associate Professor of Sociology

School/Department: Media Communication and Sociology, School of

Telephone: +44 (0)116 252 2780



I am a political sociologist with research interests in the fields of social movements and activism, migration and citizenship, and European studies. Before joining the University of Leicester, I completed my PhD at the European University Institute in Florence and I was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Montreal. In my research I focus primarily on civil society and social movements with a particular emphasis on migrants' rights movements. I examine theoretical and empirical questions on migrants' inclusion and on the contentious (and ambivalent) politics of compassion and solidarity in contemporary societies. I have carried out empirical research in Britain, France, Germany, Canada, and at the European Union level from a comparative perspective. Recently, I have worked in research projects on migrants' experience of the citizenship test in Britain (ESRC ES/K0101174/1) and on the solidarity movements within the 'refugee crisis' in the UK and in France (ESRC ES/N015274/1). I am also working on a FWO-funded comparative research project on the representation of minorities within the blood donation system in Belgium and Britain.


Funded research projects:

• 2024: Principal Investigator, “Exploring the Impact of the NHS Charges on Oversea Nationals and Residents”, Leicester Institute for Advanced Studies, £2,800. Jointly with Bernard Ryan (University of Leicester).

• 2020-2024: Co-Investigator, “The Transformative Capacity of Blood Donation Among Ethnic Minorities”, Flanders Research Foundation (FWO), £330,000. Principal Investigator: Professor Lesley Hustinx (Ghent University).

• 2017-2020: Principal Investigator, “Exploring the Frames of Altruistic Action. A Comparative Analysis of Volunteers’ Engagement in British and French Pro-Asylum Charities”, Economic and Social Research Council Large Grant (ES/N015274/1), £403,594. Co-Investigator: Estelle d’Halluin (Université de Nantes). See the project website.

• 2013-2017: Co-Investigator, “The UK Citizenship Process. Understanding Immigrants’ Experience”, Economic and Social Research Council Large Grant (ES/K010174/1), £441,684. Principal Investigator: Leah Bassel (University of Leicester).

• 2012: Co-Investigator, “The Effects of the ‘Life in the UK Test’: Exploring Immigrants’ Experiences of the UK Citizenship Process”, College of Social Science Research Development Fund, University of Leicester, £1,000. Jointly with Leah Bassel (University of Leicester).


  • Books

Monforte, Pierre (2014), Europeanizing Contention. The Protest against “Fortress Europe” in France and Germany, Oxford: Berghahn Books. Book reviewed in Social Movement Studies, Contemporary Sociology and H-France Review.

Bartram, David, Maritsa Poros and Pierre Monforte (2014), Key Concepts in Migration Studies, London: Sage. Book translated in Korean and Turkish.


  • Special Issues

Humpris, Rachel, Pierre Monforte and Reinhard Schweitzer (2022), “The Role of voluntariness in the governance of migration”, Migration and Society 5(1).

Bassel, Leah, Pierre Monforte, David Bartram and Kamran Khan (2021), “Naturalisation policies, citizenship regimes, and the regulation of belonging in anxious societies”, Ethnicities 21(2).


  • Articles in academic peer-reviewed journals

Monforte, Pierre and Elias Steinhilper (2023, online first), “Fragile solidarities: Contestation and ambiguity at the borderzones of Europe”, Journal of Refugee Studies.

Monforte, Pierre and Teun Van Dijk (2023, online first), “’Ordinary people like myself’: Character work and modesty in the Refugees Welcome movement”, Journal of Civil Society.

Monforte, Pierre and Gaja Maestri (2023), “Between charity and protest: The politicisation of refugee support volunteers”, International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society 36(1): 119-137.

Humphris, Rachel, Pierre Monforte and Reinhard Schweitzer (2022), “The role of voluntariness in the governance of migration”, Migration and Society 5(1): 1-12.

Monforte, Pierre and Gaja Maestri (2022), “From vulnerability to trust: Personal encounters and bordering processes in the British Refugees Welcome movement”, Migration and Society 5(1): 59-74.

Boursinou, Nerina and Pierre Monforte (2022), “A Conversation with Disinfaux”, Migration and Society 5(1): 90-98.

Wittock, Nathan, Pierre Monforte and Lesley Hustinx (2021), “Missing minorities in blood donation: Revisiting European blood procurement as a citizenship regime”, Health 25(5): 535-554.

Monforte, Pierre, Gaja Maestri and Estelle D’Halluin (2021), “‘Like having one more family member’: Private hospitality, affective responsibility and intimate boundaries within refugee hosting networks”, Journal of Sociology 57(3): 674-689.

Bassel, Leah, Pierre Monforte and Kamran Khan (2021), “Becoming an ‘active citizen’? Migrants and their relation to politics in the UK citizenship test process”, Ethnicities 21(2): 311-332.

Bassel, Leah, Pierre Monforte, David Bartram and Kamran Khan (2021), “Naturalization policies, citizenship regimes, and the regulation of belonging”, Ethnicities 21(2): 259-270.

Monforte, Pierre (2021), “Protesters’ emotional work in contexts of marginalisation: The emancipation of ‘forced migrants’ in Germany”, Antipode 53(2): 445-464.

Maestri, Gaja and Pierre Monforte (2020), “Who deserves compassion? The moral dilemmas of migrant support volunteers in the ‘refugee crisis’”, Sociology 64(5): 520-535.

Monforte, Pierre (2020), “From compassion to critical resilience: Volunteering in the context of austerity”, Sociological Review 68(1): 110-126.

Monforte, Pierre, Leah Bassel and Kamran Khan (2019), “Deserving citizenship? Exploring migrants’ experiences of the ‘citizenship test’ process in the United Kingdom”, British Journal of Sociology 70(1): 24-43.

Bassel, Leah, Pierre Monforte and Kamran Khan (2018), “Making political citizens? Migrants’ narratives of naturalisation in the United Kingdom”, Citizenship Studies 22(3): 225-242.

Monforte, Pierre (2017), “Le Royaume Uni: La tentation d'une île”, Plein Droit 111(4): 11-15.

Monforte, Pierre (2016), “The border as a space of contention. The spatial strategies of protest against border controls in Europe”, Citizenship Studies 20(3-4): 411-426.

Monforte, Pierre (2014), “The cognitive dimension of social movements’ europeanization processes: The case of the protest against ‘Fortress Europe’', Perspectives on European Politics and Society 15(1): 120-137.

Monforte, Pierre and Pascale Dufour (2013), “Comparing the protests of undocumented migrants beyond contexts: Collective actions as acts of emancipation”, European Political Science Review 5(1): 83-104.

Monforte, Pierre and Pascale Dufour (2011), “Mobilizing in borderline citizenship regimes: A comparative analysis of undocumented migrants’ collective actions”, Politics and Society 39(2): 202-232.

Monforte, Pierre (2010), “Le secteur associatif face aux politiques européennes d’immigration et d’asile: Quels acteurs pour quels modes d’européanisation?”, Politique Européenne 31(2): 119-145.

Monforte, Pierre (2009), “Social movements and europeanization processes: The case of the French associations mobilizing around the asylum issue”, Social Movement Studies 8(4): 409-425.

Delouvin, Patrick, Pierre Monforte and Catherine Teule (2005), “lourdes menaces sur le droit d’asile en Europe”, Hommes et Migrations 1253(1): 98-104.

Monforte, Pierre (2004), “L’harmonisation communautaire: objectif ou alibi?”, Plein Droit 59- 60(1): 46-50.


  • Book chapters

Maestri, Gaja and Pierre Monforte (2022), “Victims and agents: The representation of refugees in the British migrant support sector”, in Katie Higgins and Samuel Burgum (Eds.), How the Other Half Lives, Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Monforte, Pierre (2021), “Apuntando al impacto fuera del ámbito politico: Acción compasiva en el movimiento Refugees Welcome”, in Pedro Ibarra Güell, Salvador Martí i Puig and Ariel Sribman Mittelman (Eds.), ¿Impactos: Qué Consiguen los Movimientos Sociales? Manresa: Edicions Bellaterra.

Monforte, Pierre and Gaja Maestri (2021), “Keeping it private or making it political? ‘Soft repression’ and the depoliticization of everyday conversations among pro-refugee volunteers”, in Donatella Della Porta and Elias Steinhilper (Eds.), Shrinking Spaces for Migrant Solidarity: Repertoires of Criminalisation and Resistance, London: Routledge.

D’Halluin, Estelle, Gaja Maestri, Pierre Monforte and Elsa Rambaud (2020), “Comment (ne pas) juger des réfugiés? Déstabilisation et réévaluations des cadres du mérite chez leurs soutiens”, in Laura Ruiz de Elvira and Sahar Aurore Saeidnia (Eds.), Les Mondes de la Bienfaisance: Une Approche Comparative des Pratiques du Bien, Paris: Editions de l’EHESS.

Monforte, Pierre (2019), “From ‘Fortress Europe’ to ‘Refugees Welcome’: Social movements and the political imaginary on European borders”, in Cristina Flesher Fominaya and Ramon Feenstra (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Contemporary European Social Movements, Abingdon: Routledge.

Monforte, Pierre (2019), “La crise de l’accueil au Royaume Uni: Redéfinition des frontières et maintien à distance des éxilés”, in Annalisa Lendaro, Claire Rodier and Youri Lou Vertongen (Eds.), La Crise de l’Accueil: Frontières, Droit, Résistances, Paris: La Découverte.

Monforte, Pierre and Laura Morales (2018), “The participation, mobilisation and political representation of migrants in Europe”, in Agniezka Weinar, Saskia Bonjour and Lyubov Zhyznomirska (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook on the Politics of Migration in Europe, Abingdon: Routledge.

Monforte, Pierre (2013), “Amnesty International”, in David Snow, Donatella Della Porta, Bert Klandermans and Doug MacAdam (Eds.) The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Social and Political Movements, Oxford: Blackwell.

Monforte, Pierre (2013), “Asylum right protest campaigns”, in David Snow, Donatella Della Porta, Bert Klandermans and Doug MacAdam (Eds.) The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Social and Political Movements, Oxford: Blackwell.

Monforte, Pierre (2010), “Transnational protest against migrants’ exclusion: The emergence of new strategies of mobilization at the European level”, in Didier Chabanet and Frédéric Royall (Eds.) Mobilizing Against Marginalization in Europe, Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Guiraudon, Virginie, Ieva Kalnina, Megan Metters and Pierre Monforte (2006), “Integrazione dei lavoratori non comunitari nell’Unione Europea: un’analisi comparata delle politiche e del loro impatto”, in Istituto europeo di cultura (ed.), Lo straniero dimezzato: La risposta italiana ai soggetti deboli dell'immigrazione, Roma: EDUP.


  • Other publications

Monforte, Pierre (2020), “The public debates on migrant Channel crossing: Whose voice is legitimate?”, Discover Society.

Monforte, Pierre, Estelle d’Halluin, Gaja Maestri and Elsa Rambaud (2019), “Exploring the frames of altruistic action: A comparative analysis of volunteers’ engagement in British and French pro-asylum charities”, Final Report of the ES/N015274/1 ESRC Project, University of Leicester.

Bassel, Leah, Pierre Monforte, David Bartram, Kamran Khan and Barbara Misztal (2017), “The UK citizenship test process: Exploring migrants’ experience”, Final Report of the ES/K010174/1 ESRC Project, University of Leicester.

Monforte, Pierre (2012), “Book review: Immigration and conflict in Europe By Rafaela M. Dancygier, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press”, Social Forces, 93(1): 10.



I am happy to supervise PhD students interested in political sociology with particular interests in social movements, activism, migration, citizenship, or European studies. I am particularly interested in supervising students using qualitative methods and comparative approaches.



SY2093: Doing Qualitative Research (Module convenor)

SY3092: Social Movements and Collective action (Module convenor)

SY3102: Final Year Research Project (Module convenor)

Supervision of Final Year research projects



SY7046: Qualitative Data Collection and Analysis (Module convenor)

Supervision of Masters and PhD dissertations


I am the Deputy Director of Research (Sociology lead). I am a member of the steering committee of the Migration, Mobilities and Citizenship Network (University of Leicester). I am a member of the Board of the CES Research Network on Social Movements and a member of the Consortium on Social Movement Studies (COSMOS). I serve on the Peer Review College for the ESRC.


BA (University Strasbourg 2); MA (University Paris 1-Panthéon Sorbonne); PhD (European University Institute, Florence); FHEA.
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