Julien Debonneville

Curriculum Vitae


Biographical Note

After having studied Sociology (University of Geneva, 2005-2008) and Social sciences (University of Lausanne, 2008-2010), I was hired by the University of Lausanne as a junior researcher on SNSF (Swiss National Science Foundation) and SNIS (Swiss Network for International Studies) research projects (2009-2011). These projects focused on the role of the World Bank in the transfer of development policies in Brazil and the Philippines (SNSF), the feminization of the fight against poverty in Brazil and the Philippines (SNIS). I subsequently completed a doctoral thesis devoted to transnational migrations at the University of Geneva (2011-2016), which was based on 10 months of ethnographic fieldwork in the Philippines, unpicked the processes of sexualization and racialization of Filipina women as they go through recruitment, training and deployment as migrant domestic workers. From 2016 to 2019, I expanded my field of research into the nexus of Mobilities and Migrations through an SNSF-funded project. This innovative research focused on the processes of racialization and sexualization that take place in the European artistic field. In particular, I explored the ways in which the normative regime of transnational mobility shapes artistic careers. By studying the transnational field of the arts, I demonstrated how the construction of cultural, ethnic/racial and gendered differences has become an aesthetic norm which structures the biographical, professional and mobility trajectories of artists in the field of contemporary dance. Since 2020, I have kept contributing to the fields of Transnational Mobilities and Migrations studies, Gender studies, Sociology of Public spaces, Sociology of Work and Sociology of Art.

Academic employment

Since 2023:     Senior researcher. University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland (HETSL, HES-SO)

2016 - 2023 :   Senior researcher and teaching assistant. University of Geneva.

2011-2016:       Phd. Candidate and teaching assistant. University of Geneva.

2009-2011:      Junior researcher. University of Lausanne.

Secondary visiting positions and fellowships

2017-2018 (Sept-Aug): Visiting scholar (FNS early.postdoc mobility). Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity (Göttingen). Department of social and cultural diversity. Sponsor: Pr. Steven Vertovec

2011 (Jan-August):Visiting scholar(FNS doc.mobility). Department of Ethnic studies, UC Berkeley. Sponsor: Pr. Evelynn Nakano Glenn

2008 (Jan-Sept.): Visiting scholar. Department of Women and Development Studies, University of the Philippines. Sponsor: Pr. Judy Taguiwalo.


2011-2016: Ph.D. in Social sciences. University of Geneva.

2011-2016: CUSO doctoral programme in Sociology, Gender studies, Transversal skills

2008-2010: Master degree in Social Sciences. University of Lausanne.

2005-2008: Bachelor in Sociology. University of Geneva.

Research and Scientific Activities 

Approved Research grants


  • FNS Agora , as co-applicant with Pr. Marylène Lieber

Project:  Photography Exhibition: "Invisibles / Survisibles. A nos histoires", with Cindy Bannani, Amel Benkara, Inès El-Shikh, Aïda Hammad, Vlora Imeri, Mariam Mussa, Nidonite, Rabab Nour, Marylène Lieber, Eva Marzi, Laetitia Gessler.


  • FNS early.postdoc, as principal applicant:

Project: “Corps en mouvement: Mobilité, Cosmopolitisme, Multiculturalisme. Ethnographie des élites artistiques transnationales dans le milieu de la danse contemporaine“ [Bodies on the move: Mobility, Cosmopolitanism, Multiculturalism. Ethnography of Transnational Artistic Elites in Contemporary Dance] (01.09.2017-31.08.2018)


  • FNS doc.mobility, as principal applicant:

Project: “Les écoles du care aux Philippines: le devenir travailleuse domestique au prisme de l’altérité. Discours institutionnels, carrières migratoires et frontières sociales et symboliques dans la production de l’Autre“ [Schooling for care in the Philippines: becoming a domestic worker and otherness] (01.01.2015-31.08.2015)

Involvement in collectif research 

Since 2023

  • "Étude qualitative sur le non-recours au Revenu d'Insertion", Applicant: Pr: Emilie Rosenstein (HETSL).
  • "Accompagnement et évaluation de la phase pilote du projet 'OASIS Faites valoir vos droits !'", Applicant: Pr: Emilie Rosenstein (HETSL). 


  • “Genève, une ville égalitaire? Les pratiques féminines des espaces publics“, [Geneva, an egalitarian city? Women's practices in public spaces], Mandate from the City of Geneva (Service Agenda 21), Applicant: Pr. Marylène Lieber (University of Geneva).


  • “Les “Chinois“ au Mali, au Cameroun et en Sierra Leone“ [Chinese migrants in Mali, Cameroon and Sierra Leone], Swiss Network for International Studies (SNIS), Applicant: Dr. Antoine Kernen (University of Lausanne).


  • “Les transferts de politiques innovatrices dans les “pays en développement” et les organisations internationales. Le cas des politiques de transferts conditionnels en espèces et des politiques de décentralisation dans quatre pays“ [Policy Transfers in ‘Developing Countries’ and International Organizations. The case of Conditional Cash Transfer Policies and Decentralization Policies in Four Countries], Fonds national suisse de la recherche scientifique (FNS), Applicant: Pr. François-Xavier Merrien (University of Lausanne).
  • “Development Myths in Practice: The feminization of Anti-Poverty Policies and International Organizations“, Swiss Network for International Studies (SNIS), Applicant : Pr. François-Xavier Merrien (University of Lausanne).

Membership of editorial Board

  •   2017-2023: Member of the editorial boardof Question de Genre (Seismo, Zurich).

Conferences, Congress, and workshops (organizer)


  • “Social Justice in Uncertain time“, Congress of the Swiss Sociological Association (Scientific committee), June, University of Geneva.


  • “Migration, racialisation and gender: a Philippine perspective“, organized with Catherine C. Choy (UC Berkeley) and Asuncion Fresnoza-Flot (Université Libre de Bruxelles), Panel, International Conference on Philippine studies (ICOPHIL XI 2020).


  • “Mouvoir, se mouvoir, émouvoir Polysémies féministes, noires et décoloniales du mouvement“ [To move, to be moved. Feminist, blacklness and decolonial polysemies], organized with Delphine Gardey (University of Geneva) and Noemi Michel (University of Geneva). March, University of Geneva
  • “Les groupes vulnérables et les rapports de pouvoir. Perspectives éthiques“ [Vulnerable groups and power relations. Ethical Perspectives], organized with Lorena Parini (University of Geneva), Journée d’étude “L’éthique (en) pratique : la recherche en sciences sociales“, February, University of Geneva.


  • “Le genre tout terrain. Des sexualités au religieux : quelles approches anthropologiques du genre ?“ [From Sexualities to Religion : what anthropological perspective on gender ?], organized with Delphine Gardey (University of Geneva) and Saba Mahmood (UC Berkeley), May, University of Geneva.


  • “Gender, Migrations and Racialisation in Southeast Asia”. organized with Gwenola Ricordeau (UC Chico) and Asuncion Fresnoza-Flot (Université Libre de Bruxelles). Panel, ASEASUK Conference, September, University of Brighton.


  • “What is coalition? Reflections on the conditions of alliance formation with Judith Butler’s work, organized with Delphine Gardey (University of Geneva) and Cynthia Kraus (University of Lausanne), Judith Butler (UC Berkeley), May, University of Geneva.
  • “L’intersectionnalité à l'épreuve du terrain“ [Intersectionnality on the field], organized with Iulia Hasdeu (University of Geneva), 6ème Congrès international des recherches féministes francophones, September, University of Lausanne.


  • “Gender and the Global Care Economy“, organized with Delphine Gardey (University of Geneva) and Elizabeth Prügl (IHEID). SNIS Annual Conference, October, Geneva.
  • Gender Meets Sociology“, organized with Delphine Gardey (University of Geneva), Panel. Congress of the Swiss Sociological Association, September, University of Geneva.



  • SNIS Award (Swiss network for international studies) for the best PhD thesis in international studies.


  • University of Lausanne Award for the best Master thesis in social and political sciences.

Academic Service

2019 - 2023

  • Member of the research committee of the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Geneva

2016 - 2023

  • Member of the scientific committee of the master for Gender studies, University of Geneva

2015 - 2017

  • Coordinator of the certificate of Advanced Studies in Gender studies, University of Geneva

2014 – 2016

  • Member of the scientific committee of the Doctoral School for Gender studies (CUSO)

2012 – 2016

  • Member of the scientific committee of the Doctoral Program in Gender studies, University of Geneva

2012 – 2013

  • Elected member of the University Assembly, University of Geneva