Serena is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Centre for Migration, Diversity and Justice (CMDJ) of the Brussels School of Governance (BSoG) and the Department of Political Science of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). She is the coordinator of the VUB Strategic Research Programme Evaluating Democratic Governance in Europe (EDGE). Serena is also a member of the VUB RHEA Centre of Expertise on Gender, Diversity & Intersectionality and the Brussels Interdisciplinary Research centre on Migration and Minorities (BIRMM), as well as an associate member of the European Academic Network on Romani Studies.
Serena obtained her PhD in Political Science at VUB in 2018. In her PhD thesis "Romani Women in European Politics. Exploring Multi-Layered Political Spaces for Intersectional Policies and Mobilizations", she investigated whether contemporary European multi-layered political spaces contribute to fostering or hindering intersectional policies and mobilizations, both at the national and the transnational levels.
Serena holds a Postgraduate Certificate in EU Law on Immigration and Asylum from the 'Odysseus Academic Network' of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (2013), an MA in International Politics and Relations from the University of Pisa (2009, summa cum laude), and a BA in International Communications from the University for Foreigners of Perugia (2005). During her Master, she spent a year as an Erasmus student at the Department of Hautes Etudes Internationales (HEI) of the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (I.Na.L.C.O. – Paris).
From 2009 to 2012 Serena worked in the International Development Co-operation sector in the Western Balkans and coordinated Humanitarian Aid interventions in Eastern Africa.
Research interests: Activism, Anti-Gypsyism, Central Eastern Europe, Civil Society, Diversity Governance, Europeanization, Equ(al)ity & Non-discrimination, (Political) Intersectionality, Intersectional Mobilizations, Minority Politics, Political Opportunity Structures, Political Participation, Racisms, Roma rights, Roma women, Romani (Gender) Politics, Safe Spaces, Social Movements.
Research Methodology: Qualitative research methods (in-depth interviews, ethnographic research/observation, content analysis, case study research, etc.)