Margherita Grazioli

Graduate Teaching Assistant, School of Management
University of Leicester
University Road


Undergraduate degree in Political Sciences, University of Milano (Italy) (2010)
Master degree in International Relationships (Political Sciences), University of Bologna (Italy) (2012),completed with distinction

PhD Title
Reclaiming the city, organising migrants' commons. Everyday urban life and political action in Rome.

Preliminary brief of PhD
My research project is a field enquiry about the ways in which migrants claim and practice right to the city in their everyday life in the light of the persisting economic crisis that has stroke Europe and that is affecting cities' management and the institution itself of citizenship as well, for instance through the implementation of austerity measures and restrictive bordering policies.

Indeed, migrants' role in demanding change and social justice inside metropolises has always been quite controversial in relation to their status of non-native, then subordinate partakers of the citizenry's benefits. Nonetheless, the progressive dismantlement of social citizenship has enlightened its loss of centrality as an equalizer of the unbearable inequalities produced by the capitalist system. This has determined a shift from the supposedly expansive drive of welfare provisions to a rhetoric of scarcity and sacrifice that is determining deep changes also in urban governmental devices.

So, in the prolonged aftermath of the economic crisis, right to the city is becoming nuanced with a multifarious array of quotidian grassroots organisational forms, enacted by both native and alien dwellers, that are experimenting unprecedented proximities in marginality and precarisation, along with a deep disentanglement by the forcible inclusion in existing polities and political representativeness. The reason for adopting migrants' perspective is the accumulation of lines of exclusion (e.g. race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, religion, class etc) that they experience daily, and upon which ones they create alliances with native marginal populations and grassroots social movements.

I am then aiming at exploring three main issues: what are the ways in which migrants foster mobility and settlement in their everyday life in the urban environment, and in what stages they happen to create alliances with marginalised urban subjectivities; the need of rethinking the concept of class in the light of these daily forms of organizing and creating more or less transient commons; the current consistency of citizenship as the paramount organisational principle of our social, political, cultural experience.

These issues will be approached through an half-year ethnographic fieldwork in Tor Bella Monaca, an highly gentrified neighbourhood of Rome (Italy), presenting features that characterise it as marginal both for native and migrant population (e.g. percentage of population resorting to welfare devices as their only income source, percentage of migrants, school dropout, projects aiming at restoring its residential profile and so on).

Dr. Dimitris Papadopoulos and Dr. Keir Milburn

Conference papers and presentations
Panel-presentation in the “Culture and Society” session for the “Original Perspective” Postgraduate East Midlands University Conference at the University of Leicester (18th September 2014)

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