Dr Pierre Monforte

pm260.jpgAssociate Professor

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

Room: 1.13 Astley Clarke Building, University of Leicester, Leicester, LE1 7RH
Tel: +44 (0)11-6252-2780 (direct line)
Email: pm260@le.ac.uk




Personal details

I am a Political Sociologist with research interests in the fields of social movements studies, migration and citizenship, and European studies. Before joining the University of Leicester in 2011, I completed my PhD at the European University Institute (2008) and I was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Montreal (2009-2011). In my research, I focus primarily on civil society and social movements, with a particular emphasis on movements of migrants and for migrants' rights. I have carried out empirical research on the mobilizations of asylum-seekers, refugees and migrants in France, Germany, Canada and at the European Union level, from a comparative perspective. I examine theoretical and empirical questions on immigration, citizenship, European politics, and the representation of interests at various levels of governance in a context of europeanization. Recently, I have worked on migrants' experience of the citizenship test in Britain (ESRC ES/K010174/1), and on questions related to volunteering, humanitarian action, compassion and hospitality in the contexts of austerity policies and the 'refugee crisis' (ESRC ES/N015274/1). In 2020, I started a new research project on race, ethnicity and blood donation in Britain and Belgium (FWO).

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.


Research projects

  • The transformative capacity of blood donation among ethnic minorities in redefining citizenship and solidarity in ethnically diverse societies
    • Research team: Lesley Hustinx (University of Ghent, PI), Pierre Monforte (Co-I)
    • Duration: January 2020 - December 2024
    • Funder: Flanders Research Foundation (FWO), £330K

    This project aims to explore why ethnic minorities are under-represented within the current blood donation system in Europe. Through the comparison between Belgium and the UK, we aim to explore how ethnic minorities challenge the organization of blood collection, both from an organizational point of view and from the minorities’ perspective. More generally, we seek to analyse the relation between the experience of blood donation by ethnic minorities and their position in society, in particular in terms of how they perceive themselves as citizens.

  • Exploring the frames of altruistic action: A comparative analysis of volunteers’ engagement in British and French pro-asylum charities
    • Research team: Pierre Monforte (PI), Estelle D'Halluin (Université de Nantes, Co-I), Gaja Maestri (University of Leicester, PDRA), Elsa Rambaud (Université de Nantes, PDRA)
    • Duration: January 2017 - December 2019
    • Funder: Economic and Social Research Council (ES/N015274/1), £410K
    • Website: https://altruism.hypotheses.org

This project aims to question current debates on the 'migration crisis' and how ideas of hospitality, altruism, solidarity, care, or compassion are constructed and enacted. Through the focus on volunteers involved in charities and networks active in the pro-asylum sector, we aim to analyse how individuals reflect upon their engagement processes and define the practices, values and ethos that relate to their collective action. The project is based on a comparative approach and on qualitative research methods: we will analyse volunteers’ reflections about their engagement in two contrasted settings (France and the United Kingdom).

This project analyses the ‘assimilationist turn’ in British immigration and integration policies, through a focus on immigrants’ lived experience of one of its principal instruments, the ‘citizenship process’. This project adopts a comprehensive approach to these issues, examining the lived experiences of the citizenship process as a whole via interviews with people about their experiences with preparation courses and their participation in the citizenship tests and ceremonies in Leicester and London. To analyse the effects of the process on the longer term, statistical analysis of survey data are also being undertaken. The overall goal is to learn about immigrants' perceptions and experiences of this process, to understand how it affects their sense of belonging, political participation and subjective well-being (happiness).

  • The effects of the Life in the UK test
    • Research team: Leah Bassel, Pierre Monforte
    • Duration: January 2012 - September 2012
    • Funder: College of Social Science Research Development Fund, University of Leicester, £1,000.

This pilot study explored how the Citizenship Test introduced by the British government in 2005 affects the life of migrants living in the UK. The study led to the ESRC project 'The UK Citizenship Process' (2013-2017).




  • SY1015: Ethnicity and Society (Module convenor)
  • SY3092: Social Movements and Collective action (Module convenor)
  • SY3042: Undergraduate Research Project


  • SY7038: New Communication Technologies and Digital Politics (Module convenor)
  • SY7005: Masters dissertations (Module convenor)
  • Supervision of Masters and PhD Theses


Administrative duties

  • Programme Director: MSc in Social Research
  • Masters' dissertation convenor
  • Convenor of the MCS research seminars



Reviews in: Social Movement Studies; Contemporary Sociology; H-France Review

Special issues

Journal articles

Featured in the Special Issue 'Hospitality and hostility: The intimate life of borders and migration', edited by Yasmin Gunaratnam and Fataneh Farahani (forthcoming, June 2021).

Featured in the Special Issue 'Undocumented immigrant activism and the political: Disrupting the order or reproducing the status quo?', edited by Thomas Swerts and Walter Nicholls.

Featured in the Special Issue 'Naturalisation policies, citizenship regimes, and the regulation of belonging', edited by Leah Bassel, Pierre Monforte, David Bartram and Kamran Khan.

Introduction to the Special Issue 'Naturalisation policies, citizenship regimes, and the regulation of belonging', edited by Leah Bassel, Pierre Monforte, David Bartram and Kamran Khan.

Featured in the Special Issue 'Les effets de l'européanisation des politiques d'immigration', edited by Virginie Guiraudon.

Book chapters

  • Monforte, Pierre and Maestri, Gaja (forthcoming, 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, Maestri, Gaja, Monforte, Pierre and Rambaud, Elsa (forthcoming, 2021), “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.
  • Maestri, Gaja and Monforte, Pierre (forthcoming, 2021), “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 (2019), "From 'Fortress Europe' to 'Refugees Welcome': Social movements and the political imaginary on European borders", in Cristina Flesher Fominaya and Ramón Feenstra (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Contemporary European Social Movements, London: Routledge.
  • Monforte, Pierre (2019), “La Crise de l’accueil au Royaume Uni: Redéfinition des frontières et maintien à distance des exilés”, in Annalisa Lendaro, Claire Rodier and Youri Lou Vertongen (eds.), La Crise de l’Accueil: Frontières, Droit, Résistances, Paris: La Découverte.
  • Monforte, Pierre and Morales, Laura (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 Snow, David, della Porta, Donatella, Klandermans, Bert and MacAdam, Doug (eds.) The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Social and Political Movements, Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Monforte, Pierre (2013) 'Asylum rights' protest campaigns', in Snow, David, della Porta, Donatella, Klandermans, Bert and MacAdam, Doug (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 Chabanet, Didier and Royall, Frédéric (eds.) Mobilizing Against Marginalization in Europe, Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
  • Guiraudon, Virginie, Kalnina, Ieva, Metters, Megan, Monforte, Pierre (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, d’Halluin, Estelle, Maestri, Gaja and Rambaud, Elsa (2019), 'Exploring the Frames of Altruistic Action: A Comparative Analysis of Volunteers’ Engagement in British and French Pro-Asylum Charities', Final ESRC Report (ES/N015274/1), University of Leicester.
  • Bassel, Leah, Monforte, Pierre, Bartram, David and Khan, Kamran (2017), 'The UK Citizenship Process: Exploring Migrants' Experiences', Final ESRC Report (ES/K010174/1), University of Leicester. This report was published as evidence by the House of Lords Select Committee on Citizenship and Civic Engagement (refs. CCE0145; CCE0262).
  • Monforte, Pierre (2012), 'Review of Immigration and Conflict in Europe by Rafaela M. Dancygier', Social Forces.


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

Current supervisions include:

    • Fenan Nkusi (2020-present), “Lived experiences with mental health: A case study of Rwandan youth”.
    • Stephanie Hermant (2020-present), “The transformative capacity of blood donation among ethnic minorities”.
    • Magdalena Brzeska (2018-present), “The experience of homelessness within the Polish migrant community in Britain”.
    • Julien Long (2018-present, University of Nantes), “Mobilisations sociales et accueil informel des mineurs non accompagnés en Europe”.
    • Lidia Salvatori (2017-present), “Digitally Mediated Activism: A Case Study of Italian Speaking Feminists”.
    • Pamela Wilson (2016-present), “Polarization and Shared Space. Being Turkish in a Divided Society”.
    • Keith Lin (2016-present), “Social Movements and Democratization. Internet, Framing and Identity in Contemporary China”.

Past completions include:

    • Sylvia King-Sau (2015-2020), “The Umbrella Movement: An Exploration of its Significance”.
    • Alison Forbes (2013-2017), “Sport, London 2012 and Young British Asians”.
    • Chioma Nwokoro (2011-2015), “From Vulnerability to Empowerment: Faith-Based Aid Organisation, Secular Aid Organisations, and the Wellbeing of Rural Widows in Abia State Nigeria”.

Share this page:

Search our site
Contact Details

School of Media, Communication and Sociology

Campus based courses
E: mcs-enquiries@le.ac.uk
T: +44(0)116 252 3863

Distance Learning Courses
E: css-dl@le.ac.uk
T: 0116 252 3755

Research degrees (campus-based and distance learning courses)
T: +44(0)116 252 2785
E: MCS-Research@le.ac.uk

University of Leicester
Bankfield House
132 New Walk
United Kingdom

University of Leicester
107-111 Princess Road East
United Kingdom

Staff contact details

Student complaints procedure


AccessAble logo

The University of Leicester is committed to equal access to our facilities. DisabledGo has a detailed accessibility guide for Bankfield House.