Valerio Simoni

Valerio SIMONI

Research Associate, Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy
Spoken languages
English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan
Areas of expertise
  • Transnational mobilities
  • International migration
  • International tourism
  • Ethics and morality
  • Marginal livelihoods and informal economies
  • Gender, Sexuality and Intimacy
  • Politics of culture and identity
  • Heritage-making
  • (Post)socialism
Geographical Region of Expertise
  • South America
  • Caribbean


Valerio Simoni joined the Institute in 2014, and is currently Senior Research Fellow in Anthropology and Sociology and the Global Migration Centre. His doctoral and postdoctoral investigations focused on the economic, social, and cultural flows generated by international tourism and migration, with theoretical interests spanning three main areas of concern: the economy and its margins, the transformations of intimacy, and the politics of mobility. His monograph, Tourism and Informal Encounters in Cuba (2016) was awarded in 2018 the Nelson Graburn Book Prize (AAA-ATIG). A social anthropologist by training (MA University of Neuchâtel, PhD Leeds Metropolitan University), he has held research and teaching positions in the UK, Portugal, and Switzerland. Between 2014 and 2018, he co-convened the Anthropology and Mobility Network of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA).

In 2017, Valerio Simoni was awarded a five-year European Research Council Starting Grant for the project "Returning to a Better Place: The (Re)assessment of the 'Good Life' in Times of Crisis" (BETLIV). BETLIV focuses on how ideals of a “good life” are articulated, (re)assessed, and related to specific places and contexts as a result of experiences of crisis and migration. A multi-sited endeavor (Spain, Ecuador, Cuba), this research explores the imaginaries and experiences of return of Ecuadorian and Cuban migrants, and contributes to three main scholarly areas of enquiry: 1) the study of morality, ethics, and what counts as a “good life”, 2) the study of the field of economic practice, its definition, value regimes, and “crises”, and 3) the study of migratory aspirations, projects, and trajectories.




  • Critical Perspectives on Migration: Mobilities, Borders, and Transnational Connections
  • Anthropology and Tourism: Encounters through Difference and Inequality
  • Of Good and Evil: an Anthropology of Ethics and Local Moralities / Du bien et du mal: Anthropologie de l'éthique et des moralités locales
  • The Politics of Culture, Identity, and Heritage
  • Mobilities, Spaces and Cities (MINT Applied Research Projects)




Journal Special Issues

Peer-Reviewed Articles

Book Chapters