Effrosyni Charitopoulou

Hannah Seeger Davis Postdoctoral Fellow, 2023-2024

  • Degree
    Ph.D., Sociology, University of Oxford, 2020
    The European Refugee Crisis in Greece: Understanding Host Communities
    Research Project
    Encounters on the Migrant Trail
Contact Info

Effrosyni Charitopoulou is a political sociologist. Broadly, her research investigates the dynamics that define intergroup relations, focusing particular on local and refugee populations. She principally focuses on modern Greece, using both contemporary and historical case studies, and secondarily on other European countries. Her book project, entitled Encounters on the Migrant Trail, investigates the ways in which host communities in Greece interacted with asylum seekers in the context of the Syrian refugee crisis. She is also working on projects relating to the legacies of refugee integration as well as state exclusion policies on identity, trust, and social cohesion. She holds a DPhil in Sociology from the Nuffield College and University of Oxford. Her doctoral studies were funded by Nuffield College at the University of Oxford, A. S. Onassis Foundation, as well as A. G. Leventis Foundation.

About the Research Project

Encounters on the Migrant Trail

In 2015-6, approximately 885,000 people mainly from Syria, embarked in overcrowded rubber boats, crossed the Aegean straits from Turkey to Greece, in search of refuge. Before the arrival of humanitarian actors, host communities were left to their own devised and willingness in assisting these newly arrived populations. And yet, Greeks, who, based on cross-national European surveys are amongst the most anti-immigrant populations in Europe, acted in solidarity with asylum seekers and became immersed in offering help. This book project sets out to explain this empirical puzzle. I draw on in-depth interviews, survey data, as well as ethnographic observations. In brief, I demonstrate that the emotional processes that emerged during interethnic interactions led Greeks to act in a prosocial manner towards asylum seekers. Situational characteristics facilitated this process. In this vein, the type of intergroup contact has been critical in triggering the behaviors of interest.

Current Roles

  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow