Inclusion, Exclusion, Inequalities, Integration, Citizenship, Discrimination, Racialization, Representation, Diversity management, Precariousness, Intersectionality, Immigration, Roma 



Research projects



1. REACT: Research-Action against Antigypsyism and Anti-Muslim Discrimination: An Intersectional Approach to Deconstruct Institutional Racism in Schools.

Co-funded by the European Union's CERV programme (Citizens, Equality, Rights, Values) under Grant Agreement number PREUR02922 EC - CERV - REACT - 101084345. December 2022-December 2024.

Role: Principal investigator

Project description:

The REACT project addresses the links between institutional racism/discrimination in schools and educational inequalities. While the expansion of hate speech and overtly racist discourses indeed call for serious concern and action, based on many years of extensive research and practical work addressing racism/discrimination and inequalities, we consider it essential to focus also on subtler forms of exclusion, unconscious biases and “preference for natives'' that lead to serious consequences for the self-image and opportunities of ethnic minority youth, and damage social cohesion at a general level. There is extensive research confirming that both racism/discrimination and educational inequalities between native and migrant/minority origin students are deeply rooted problems in European societies, but lacking knowledge on the link between them. In this context we focus on Catalonia, where recent data show increasing racism/discrimination on the one hand, and vast inequalities between native and migrant origin pupils in terms of educational failure and lack of trust in schools on the other hand. The tendency is further multiplied for Roma students. REACT is designed to empirically study the existence of institutional racism and discrimination in schools and its links to educational inequalities. It specifically addresses two of the groups that are most affected both by educational inequalities and by racism: Roma and Muslim youth. The project is designed to combine research and action tasks in order to examine whether/how institutional racism affects the educational attainment of Roma and Muslim students, and implement a series of actions in order to prevent discrimination, empower Roma and Muslim students, and promote mainstreaming of ethnic diversity in the Catalan education system. In addition, it focuses on how gender intersects with Roma/Muslim identity in defining both teachers’ stereotypes and educational challenges for migrant/minority origin students depending on their gender identity. The overall aim is to promote the construction of schools that empower and support rather than discourage minority students from pursuing their educational goals, in an environment free from negative stereotyping related to their origin. REACT builds on learnings from earlier EU projects by the project team members and collaborations with European networks. By creating a collaborative consortium that consists of a leading Spanish university (GRITIM-UPF/Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona), two locally engaged civil society organizations that work against racism/discrimination and for inclusion with emphasis on the educational sphere (Rromane Siklovne for Roma students, and SAFI for Muslim students), the Barcelona City Council and the Catalan Government’s Department of Equality and Feminism, we have designed a comprehensive research-action program addressing institutional racism in education, to be implemented in the metropolitan area of Barcelona with the intention to be internationally transferable. 


2. The Other Exclusion – a research overview about Sweden’s “shadow society”.

Funded by the Migration Studies Delegation (DELMI), an independent research committee of the Swedish Government.  

Role: Principal investigator. 

Project description:

The term “shadow society” has gained momentum in Sweden in recent years. It is often used to describe the growing group of foreign nationals who live outside of the Swedish system, without residence permits, and are often exploited on the labour market. The “shadow society” is a highly charged topic that is widely discussed in politics and in the media, but, at the same time, is underdeveloped as an area of research. Based on existing research, what can we really say about Sweden’s “shadow society”? In order to answer this question, this research overview will map out how existing research describes the extent and composition of Sweden’s “shadow society”, but also analyse the different discourses about the “shadow society” and what implications these discourses have for policy proposals.


3. GITMIX (Dynamics of Mixedness among Roma Populations in Catalonia, Spain: Interethnic Relations, Acculturation and Processes of Social Inclusion and Exclusion).

Funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, National Program for Research Aimed at the Challenges of Society (Retos). 2021-2025.

Project description:

One of the current challenges faced by European societies is understanding and managing increased cultural diversity and complex intercultural dynamics. Within this area of research, intermarriage and mixed families constitute one of the most important indicators for revealing societal structure and intergroup relations. In Spain, quite a lot of information is now available on mixed couples and mixed descendants for unions occurring between the majority native population and the immigrant population. However, there is currently no research on interethnic unions specifically involving national ethnic minorities, particularly in the case of the Roma, or Romani, population, the most numerous ethnic minority in Spain and Europe. The Roma population has been completely overlooked in all the studies on interculturalism, which contributes to this group’s invisibility within discussions on diversity. This project seeks to fill this serious information gap—through groundbreaking research that will be carried out by an experienced, interdisciplinary research team. 

Role in the project: Senior researcher

Principal investigator: Dan Rodríguez-García


4. INTERACT - Improving Integration and Active Citizenship for Low-Literate Adult Refugees.

Funded by the Research Council of Norway. Coordinated by NTNU/Norway.

Project description: The overall aim of InterAct project is to strengthen and promote the work of public services while fostering intersectoral collaboration to support low-literate adult refugees, thereby improving integration outcomes, in the interest of an inclusive and democratic society.

Role in the project: Senior researcher

Principal investigator: Turid Fånes Sætermo



AGREP (Action program for effective reporting of anti-gypsyism and discrimination). Co-funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship (REC) Programme of the European Union under Grant Agreement number 881875. 2020-2022. Principal investigator.

Project description:

The AGREP project, which partly builds on findings from the Vakeripen project, aims to strengthen the fight against antigypsyism and the multiple forms of discrimination against Roma people in the metropolitan area of Barcelona, which collide with the explicit intercultural policy focus of the local and regional political administrations. Discrimination of the Roma communities is widespread in Barcelona as elsewhere in Spain, though seriously underreported, and current policies and measures are clearly insufficient to effectively combat discriminatory practices that hamper the opportunities of Roma people to, for instance, access employment or housing, fulfil educational projects, or even avoid being harassed and insulted in public spaces.

The project team consists of a collaborative network composed by GRITIM-UPF, the Catalan Federation of Roma Associations FAGIC, and the Barcelona City Council’s Office for Non-discrimination (OND). The project aims to on the one hand map and document the extent and character of discrimination against the Roma people in a wide range of situations, and on the other hand establish structures to efficiently prevent, report and combat discrimination through training and tools.

The AGREP project will be implemented in 10 neighbourhoods of Barcelona with high proportions of Roma population, through developing a structure where local Roma activists will be trained in anti-discrimination and provided with a software tool (an easy-to-use app) to effectively report discrimination to the Office for Non-discrimination. In addition, training will also be provided to key actors within Catalan institutions such as the education system, the social services and the police force, who should function as “anti-discrimination agents” in order to create awareness and prevent discrimination within these institutions.

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PLURISPACE - Negotiating Diversity in Expanded European Public Spaces. Funded by the EU's HERA programme. 2019-2022.

Project description:

PLURISPACE aims to provide new insights into the relationship between citizens’ engagement and multilevel European public spaces. In Europe, an important issue pertains to the settlement of post-immigrant ethno-religious groups, along with the expression and organization of collective identities; claims for participation/representation and recognition; the role of religion in public space; and the increasing influence of diaspora and transnational politics.

PLURISPACE’s point of departure is that these questions cannot be properly addressed without at the same time taking into account the multilevel character of the European public space they unfold within, the multiple characters of the groups (some identified by national origins, others by religion etc.) and the multiple modes of integration. Within such a complex European space, we identify four policy and theoretical approaches to diversity management and understanding of public space: multiculturalism, interculturalism, transnationalism and cosmopolitanism.

The project uses the four theoretical perspectives to understand how the multilevel European public space manages diversity. PLURISPACE’s main aim is to contribute to the theory and practice of integration and diversity management in Europe. Empirically evaluating post-immigrant ethno-religious minorities’ perceptions and adoptions of these different normative approaches will allow us to clarify the nature and relations among multiple conceptions of integration in the European public space that both overlap and diverge. PLURISPACE’s focus on European public space encompasses the EU, affiliated non-members (Norway), a new category of ex-EU-member (UK), and the transnational dimension.

Role: Senior researcher

Principal investigators: Riva Kastoryano, John Erik Fossum, Tariq Modood, Ricard Zapata-Barrero


REPCAT (The Role of the Ethnic Majority in Integration Processes: Attitudes and Practices towards Immigrants in Catalan Institutions). Funded by a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship under Grant Agreement: 747075 — REPCAT — H2020-MSCA-IF-2016/H2020-MSCA-IF-2016. 2018-2020. Principal investigator.

Project objectives and methodology

The research project REPCAT (September 2018-September 2020) examined diversity management in Catalan public institutions, suggesting that an increased representation of immigrants and members of ethnic minority groups is necessary in order to fulfil intercultural policy aims, and, at a broader level, that the representation of ethnic diversity in public institutions is a democratic necessity in the superdiverse European societies of today. The project was designed as a multiple case study combining several methods in order to enquire into if/how diversity is represented and what barriers there are for the participation of immigrants and minorities in three Catalan public institutions: the education system, the police force (Mossos d'Esquadra), and the political administration of the Barcelona City Council. It was based upon the assumption that underrepresentation of ethnic diversity hampers integration processes and cements inequalities, as minority groups lack both voice and visibility in society. The project outcomes include a series of policy recommendations intended to increase the actual participation and representation of immigrants and minorities in public institutions.  

More project information:

  • The project was selected by the Catalan Association of Public Universities (ACUP) as an example of Catalan research that supports a sustainable development by promoting the equality of opportunities. Click here

ROMA INCLUSION IN EDUCATION: FOSTERING CONSTRUCTIVE ATTITUDES AND GOOD PRACTICES IN THE BARCELONA AREA (Co-funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship (REC) Programme of the European Union under Grant Agreement JUST/2015/RDIS/AG/DISC/9372). Principal investigator, 2017-2018.

DIASPORA LINK: Transnational Diaspora Entrepreneurship as a Development Link between Home and Residence Countries (Financed by the European Commission, H2020 Marie Curie Actions RISE). Postdoctoral researcher, 2016-2017.

IMMIGRANTS’ PERCEPTIONS ON INTEGRATION IN TWO INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORKS, SWEDEN AND SPAIN (Funded by a postdoctoral grant from the research foundation University). Principal investigator, 2014-2015.

FAMILIES AND SOCIETIES (Financed by the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme). Researcher and responsible for the fieldwork of WP9.8: Migration and Care (on the labor conditions and life situations of migrant domestic workers) in Barcelona, 2013-2015. Postdoctoral researcher.

DO WELFARE REGIMES MATTER? Migration and Care/Domestic Work in two Institutional Contexts, Sweden and Spain: A Multi-Tier Design (Funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond/The Swedish National Bank). Postdoctoral researcher and consultant, 2013-2016.

CIVGOV: Organised Civil Society and European Governance (Financed by the European Union's Fifth Framework Programme). Predoctoral researcher within WP3 on anti-discrimination organizations in Sweden, 2005.