Irene Manganini

PhD Candidate in International Law
PhD Affiliate, Gender Centre
Spoken languages
Italian, English, French, Spanish, German
Areas of expertise
  • International Refugee Law
  • International migration law
  • Queer and Feminist Legal Theory
  • International Human Rights Law

PhD Thesis


Title: Reimagining Human Mobility: Queering International Migration Law

PhD Supervisor and Co-Supervisor: Vincent Chetail and Janna Wessels

Expected completion date: 2025

The aim of this research is to apply Dianne Otto's concept of "queer curiosity" to one of the most disputed branches of international law, the international migration one, in order to “reimagine radical possibilities” of changing it. Concretely, my research aims to analyse in law and in practice the encounter of queer migrants with international migration law across three different case studies: family reunification, asylum law and border controls. The aim of this analysis is twofold: on one hand, it purports to assess whether there is any space for queer migrants within such framework(s) and/or what the best legal avenues for them to navigate the system could be creatively thought of being. On the other, building on such findings, it wants to offer a reflection on what this space or lack thereof could say of the system itself from a queer perspective.




Irene (she/they) is a PhD candidate in International Law at the Graduate Institute of Geneva, where she is researching on the application of queer theories to the international migration law framework. Irene also works as UNHCR-designated asylum adjudicator (first instance) in the Territorial Commission for the Recognition of International Protection of Milan. Prior to that, she worked in different capacities with IOM in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Bangladesh and with UNHCR in Italy, as well as with human rights NGOs and grassroot activist groups working on migration issues. Irene considers themselves a queer activist who contributes to a common aim through research activity and legal practice.


Research Interests


  • Queer and Feminist Legal Studies

  • Global South Approaches to International Law

  • Critical Political Theory

  • International Migration Law

  • International Human Rights Law

  • International Law of the Sea


Relevant Publications and Works



Fellowships, Grants and Awards

  • Doc.Mobility, UNIGE and Graduate Institute (2024)

  • Graduate Institute Scholarship (2021 - 2024)

  • UN|DESA Italian Fellowship Programme (2020)

  • Prix Ladislas Mysyrowicz, Graduate Institute (2019)

  • European Voluntary Service Programme (2015)

  • Erasmus University Exchange Scholarship (2013 - 2014)