Apolline Foedit new

Apolline Foedit

Doctoral Researcher Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding (CCDP)
PhD Researcher in International History and Politics, Europeaum Scholar for the cohort 2024/2025
Spoken languages
French, English, German, Spanish
Areas of expertise
  • Social movements
  • Migration policies and law
  • Human rights
  • Civil society
  • European Construction
Geographical Region of Expertise
  • Western Europe
  • France
  • Switzerland

PhD Thesis


Title: Defending the Right to Asylum. Socio-History of Mobilisations in Geneva and Paris since the 1980s

PhD Supervisor, Co-Supervisor & 2nd Reader: Mohamed Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou, Camille Hamidi (Lyon II/ENS Lyon) and Nicole Bourbonnais

Expected completion date: 2026

Apolline’s doctoral research traces the dynamics of the social movement for the right to asylum in Geneva from the 1930s to the 2010s. She focuses on the (re)configuration of grassroots organizations amidst increasingly stringent asylum policies in Switzerland and the EU, within the broader context of the Europeanization of migration and asylum policies. Her research aims to explore the intricate relationship between local, national, and European asylum policies and grassroots movements, examining the reciprocal influence between them. Additionally, she investigates the consequences of the institutionalization of associations and the interplay between control and care within certain associations involved in asylum advocacy.




Passionate about human rights, social movements, and the European construction, Apolline Foedit has been working on a thesis in international history at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies since September 2020. Apolline holds a BA in international relations from the University of Geneva and an MA in development studies from the Geneva Graduate Institute.

Her approach combines history and sociology in order to shed light on the resistance to the restrictive development of migration policies in Switzerland and France, drawing attention to local, national and international dynamics. It is based on the findings of her master's dissertation: the Europeanisation of migration policies is taking place to a large extent to the detriment of the right to asylum in France and Switzerland. On the one hand, agreements with the European Union (EU) tend to externalise borders and controls, making migration routes more dangerous. On the other hand, the association of immigration with insecurity and criminality justifies the tightening of the conditions for obtaining asylum, this field being more and more subordinated to immigration management.
In order to understand the evolution of the configurations of the mobilisations, Apolline focuses on several key moments in the evolution of the asylum laws and studies on the one hand the archives of the associations and activists (position papers, reports, flyers, etc) and on the other hand those of the national and local authorities and international organisations to understand how these actors were perceived.  It also follows the methods of oral history in order to complement these sources with interviews with actors of the time.


Research Interests


  • Social Movements
  • Migration Policies
  • Asylum
  • Human Rights
  • Associations
  • Collective Action
  • Civil Society
  • Socio-History
  • European Construction


Publications and Works


  • Foedit, Apolline. « Politisation des expériences de racisme en France. De la reconnaissance à la stigmatisation des victimes ? (1983-2020) », Cahiers de la LCD, vol. 17, no. 2, 2023, pp. 101-114. Available on
  • Foedit, Apolline. L’européanisation Des Politiques Migratoires : Vers La Précarisation Du Droit D’asile En France. Geneva, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. Print.  

Fellowships, Grants and Awards


  • Europeaum Scholars cohort (2024/2025);
  • IHEID scholarships (academic years 2021-2022; 2022-2023; 2023-2024);
  • Merit-based excellence scholarship (IHEID, academic year 2020-2021);
  • SESAM scholarship (University of Geneva, 2017) for the exchange semester in Australia.