Michele Gonnelli

Curriculum VitaeGonnelli

Work Experience

  • since October 2014: PhD Fellow at SIIC on Migrations & Diaspora, Erich Brost Institute
  • 2007 –- 2014: Editor in Chief of The International Commentary, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (Pisa, Italy); Media Manager at the International Training Programme for Conflict Management, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna
  • 2003 – 2006: Teaching Assignments in Germany, France, Australia and Italy
  • 2001 – 2002: Expert for Sustainable Development in Europe, Ministry for the Environment Italy


  • 2005 – 2007: MA Language & Culture – ITALS, 110/110
  • 2001 – 2002: Sustainable Development, Postgraduate Programme (1500 hours) – Scholarship
  • 1995 – 2000: Degree in Political Science – International Studies, University of Pisa, “summa cum laude”

Research Focus and Interests

  • Migrations, Diaspora Studies, and Social Remittances
  • Somalia and the Horn of Africa
  • Development Communication & Communication for Social Change
  • Development Theory and Economics

PhD Project

„Somali Diaspora Members as unofficial ‘Development’ Agents and Communicators in their Country of Origin. Visions and Challenges”

The project aims at investigating social change communication and practice as emanating from Somali Diaspora members in their unofficial and unplanned developmental engagements towards their country/community of origin. Moving beyond their role as financial remitters, the focus is on their capacity as social change agents, social remitters, and hence social change communicators. In particular the research explores Somali Diaspora members as (re)producers of new/old development goals and social change paradigms that where developed and/or readjusted along diasporic trajectories. Visions and communication challenges are then investigated as experienced at individual and interpersonal level. Exceeding the historical debate revolving around the Modernization theory, the project shifts the focus to substantial bottom-bottom processes. By doing so it intercepts a vast reality that exists well beyond the institutional project and the professional practice typical of the Development sector. The ultimate goal is to shed some light on spontaneous and overlooked dynamics, where actual change might silently take place.



Conference Papers

  • Gonnelli, M. (2016): “Somali Italian Diaspora Members as Development Communicators”, presented at the IAMCR 2016 International Conference, 27-31 July, Leicester (United Kingdom).
  • Gonnelli, M. (2015): Somali Development Agents as Development Communicators: A bottom-bottom
    Approach”, PhD Conference on International Development, 24 – 25 September, Bochum (Germany).

Book Chapters

  • Gonnelli, M. (forthcoming 2017): “Somali Diaspora Members as Development Agents: Visions and ‘Religious’
    Challenges”, In: The Handbook of Diasporas, Media and Culture, Willey Blackwell & IAMCR.

Author at Security Praxis

  • Refugee Status? I would prefer not to, thank you! – August 2016
  • Would-be Refugees and Migrants as Tourists in Tuscany’s Mugello – February 2016
  • Tahriib, Titanic, and Residence Permit Seekers – September 2015
  • Job (security) hunting or, the job that wasn’t there – September 2015
  • Somalis on Hold, between Return Dreams and Everyday Life Challenges – February 2015
  • Narratives of Disembarkation – February 2014

The International Commentary, Periodical, ISSN no. 2239-7949, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Edited Issues & Editorials:

  • Peace-Keeping, Trends and challenges in Africa, July 2014, Vol. X no. 36
  • Senegal, between Migrations to Europe and Returns, April 2014, Vol. X no. 35;
  • Somalia, Clan and State Politics, Dec. 2013, Vol. IX no. 34;
  • Research outputs as policy inputs, July 2013, Vol. IX no. 33;
  • Yemen on the verge of change, April 2013, Vol. IX no. 32;
  • Colombia: Land & Human Issues, December 2012, Vol. VIII no. 31;
  • Sudan/South Sudan: Broadcasting State Power, July 2012, Vol. VIII no. 30;
  • Iran: Beyond The Taken for Granted, April 2012, Vol. VIII no. 29;
  • Libya, A Security Crossroads. European Perspective and Beyond, Dec 2011, Vol. VII no. 28;
  • Pakistan To-Day: Some Insights, July 2011, Vol. VII no. 27


  • Diaspora: Somalier sitzen zwischen zwei Stühlen”. translated from
    English, In: Africa Positive, no. 56, January 2015.


  • since 2015: European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI)
  • since 2015: SSIA, Somali Studies International Association (SSIA)
  • since 2014: Italian Association for African Studies (ASAI)
  • “Africa on the Move”, 17 – 20 September 2014, Macerata, Italy
  • “4th PhD Conference on International Development 24 – 25 September 2015” Ruhr-University Bochum, Bochum/Germany


Prof. Dr. Jens Loenhoff, University Duisburg-Essen


Email: michele.gonnelli(at)siic.science | michele.gonnelli(at)tu-dortmund.de

Twitter: @michelegonnelli