Ester Serra Mingot

Ester Serra Mingot is a social anthropologist with an approach on migration, social protection, and gender in African contexts. In 2018 she finished her Phd at the Universities of Maastricht (The Netherlands) and Aix Marseille (France), where she was capable to analyze transnational social protection issues for Sudanese immigrants and refugees in the Netherlands and the UK, as well as their families in Sudan.

She was a postdoctoral researcher and professor at Maastricht University, and afterwards a senior researcher at the Bonn International Convention Center (BICC), Germany, where she worked on a project on return migration and reintegration in Ghana. Ester Serra holds a degree in translation and Interpreting at the University of Alicante (Spain) and holds a Master´s degree in Migration and Intercultural Relations (EMMIR) at the Universities of Oldenburg (Germany), Stavanger University (Norway) and Ahfad University for Women (Sudan).



2018. Protecting across borders: Sudanese families across the Netherlands, the UK and Sudan. Maastricht: Datawyse / Universitaire Pers Maastricht.


Chapters ad articles:

2021 (with Carlos Alberto González Zepeda) “Migraciones africanas y los claroscuros de la protección social en México”. In: (Trans)Fronteriza, CLACSO, No. 10. 58-66. Disponible en:

2021 Sudanese transnational families securing their old-age ‘pension’ across borders. In: Migration to and from Welfare States. Eds.: Oleksandr Ryndyk, Brigitte Suter and Gunhild Odden. Springer, 219-235.

2020. Ageing Across Borders: The Role of Sudanese Elderly Parents in the Process of Kin and Home Making Within Transnational Families. In: Ways of Home-making. Eds.: Ingunn Moser, Bernike Pasveer & Oddgeir Synnes. Palgrave.

2020 (with P. Palash). Gérer la vieillesse dans les familles transnationales. Ethnographies comparées Équateur/Soudan. Espaces et sociétés. 3(178). 121-136.

2019. The gendered burden of care-receiving. The case of Sudanese Families. Gender, Place and Culture.

2018 (with V. Mazzucato). Moving for a ‘better’ welfare? The case of transnational Sudanese families. Global Networks.

2018 (with V. Mazzucato). Providing Social Protection to Mobile Populations: Symbiotic Relationships between Migrants and Welfare Institutions. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.

2017 (with V. Mazzucato). Mobile Populations in Immobile Welfare Systems: A Typology of Institutions Providing Social Welfare and Protection Within a Mobility Framework. The European Journal of Development Research, 29(4), 787-805.


Research Project as CALAS fellow (transatlantic tandem with Carlos Alberto Gonzales Zepeda)

Title: Protection strategies of African migrants in Mexico. An analysis of social protection infrastructures of mobile populations in crisis contexts.

Abstract: Faced with the enormous gap of inequality, extreme poverty, unemployment, political persecution, and violence. The migration has been and remains to be a social protection strategy for individuals and families. Simultaneously, the increase in restrictive migration policies at global level, pushes many people to seek new migration routes, in which many migrants spend uncertain periods of time in transit countries, with a volatile social protection. In these contexts, which are also affected by violence and socioeconomic crisis, social protection practices take place in conditions of informality and fall mainly on individuals, their social networks and the third sector. Migration and social protection are two phenomena that in recent decades have taken on new forms and, in consequence, different relations among State and society. Many studies have investigated aspects of social protection for migrants from the Global South in industrialized countries of the North, with powerful welfare states.

However, less attention has been paid to social protection strategies for migrants in transit contexts, frequently in the South, where the States tends to withdraw from providing basic services to the population. Therefore, through a qualitative study, with privileges the ethnographic method, the objective of this research is to know and analyze the social protection strategies used in Mexico by African migrants, and how these are perceived and faced by different social actors, in contexts distinguish by violence and inefficient state protection, where the third sector and the social networks are the main sources for mobile populations.