My research interests focus on foreign policy in a comparative perspective including the role of state and non-state actors, the impact of regional consultative processes, modes of norm diffusion and internalization or local re-appropriation in so-called norm-recipient countries, especially with reference to the Middle East, North and West Africa. My research has specifically addressed the ways in which multilateral and bilateral patterns of cooperation on migration governance have consolidated while creating links of interdependence among state and non-state actors with contrasting interests.

Currently, I am exploring the material normative and ideational factors that, in the last decade or so, have motivated a growing number of countries in the Middle East and in Africa to cooperate on the reinforced control of migration and borders, especially when considering the asymmetric costs and benefits that characterize this kind of cooperation. Combining empirics with policy analysis and theory has constantly structured my method of enquiry.

Moreover, I have created two databases. The first one provides ground-breaking data and information about the factors shaping return migrants’ manifold patterns of reintegration back in Algeria, Armenia, Mali, Morocco and Tunisia. The second one pertains to the inventory of the bilateral agreements linked to the readmission or the deportation of irregular migrants and rejected asylum-seekers.

Finally, I have supervised and coordinated major large-scale research projects on return migration policies which mobilized various scholars across disciplines and in different countries, namely in the Mediterranean, Africa and the Caucasus. The rationale for these scientific projects is not exclusively academic. These projects also feed into policy-making by critically informing about the impact of policy options and priorities.

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