Milena Belloni


Milena Belloni is the principal investigator in the FWO (Flemish Research Foundation) project «Exiled and separated: a multi-sited ethnography of separated refugee families» jointly hosted by the University of Antwerp and the University of Gent. Her doctoral thesis “Cosmologies of destinations” won the IMISCOE award for the best doctoral thesis in Migration Studies in 2016. Her monograph, «The Big Gamble. The migration of Eritreans to Europe», published by the University of California Press in 2019, has received the honorable mentions of the RC31 Section of the International Sociological Association and the ENMISA section of the International Studies Association. Her work focuses on transnational migrant families, refugees’ journeys to and through Europe, migrant smuggling, refugees’ home-making in urban areas. She conducted fieldwork in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium. She has extensively published in the Journal of Refugee Studies, Global Networks, the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies and the International Journal of Comparative Sociology.


Articles in peer-reviewed academic journals:

  • Belloni M. (2019), Family project or individual choice? Exploring migration of underage Eritreans, Special issue of the Journal of Migration and Ethnic Studies on unaccompanied minors, edited by Lems A. and Strasse S.
  • Belloni, M. (2019) When the phone stops ringing: on the meanings and causes of disruptions in transnational communication between Eritrean refugees and their families back home, in Global Networks
  • Belloni, M. (2018), Refugees and citizens: understanding Eritrean refugees’ ambivalence towards homeland politics, in International Journal of Comparative Sociology.
  • Belloni, M. (2016), Refugees as gamblers: Eritreans migrating through Italy, Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies, 14 (1), 104-119.