Stefano Intropido

PGR Hub, Level 4, Adam Smith Building


Research title: From Vatican Policies to Humanitarian Practices: the Role of the Holy See’s Migrants and Refugee Section on Catholic NGOs Working with Displaced Migrants

Research Summary

Research Summary

This study analyses the work of aid organisations connected to the Catholic Church in order to assess the impact of official Vatican teaching and policy on humanitarian assistance to displaced migrants. The 21st Century Catholic Church has increasingly become more theologically concerned with the holistic wellbeing of displaced people, signalling a paradigmatic shift towards a theology of migration enriched by a global perspective of transnational governance, as demonstrated by the creation of the Migrants and Refugees Section within the Vatican’s newly reformed Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development. Ascribed within a growing interest on the part of academics and practitioners with regards to the importance of religious actors in humanitarian assistance, this research intends to understand the extent to which the ‘migration policies’ of the Catholic Church are implemented by Catholic (and other) NGOs within the remit of forced human displacement. In doing so, it seeks to foster cross-agency cooperation and sustainable solutions for forcibly displaced people. Stemming from five years of displacement-related research in Europe, this thesis comparatively and contextually evaluates Catholic policy programming for the local implementation of displacement provisions, as well as fostering academic understanding of the multi-layered actorness of the Holy See with regards to forced human displacement.

Research Aims: 

Following the post-secularist trajectory of my MPhil research, this project will complement academic appraisals of the Holy See as a multi-layered global actor in International Affairs and Refugee Studies to ultimately translate into an operational framework for religious and secular organisations involved in Humanitarian Assistance to forcibly displaced people. 

Research Interests:

  • Human Displacement 
  • Faith & Religion
  • Post-Secularism
  • Humanitarian Affairs
  • Refugee Assistance
  • South-to-South Migration
  • Catholic Social Teaching
  • Participatory Research Methods

Disciplines include: International Politics, Sociology, Anthropology, Refugee Studies, Forced Migration Studies, Religious Studies, Humanitarian Affairs, Development Studies.


Keating, M., Cairney, P. and Intropido, S. (2020) "The Political Class in Scotland", Chapter 27 in Keating, M. (ed) (2020) The Oxford Handbook of Scottish Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198825098.013.26


Fully-funded PhD:

  • UofG College of Social Sciences (CoSS) PhD Studentship
  • Research Training Support Grant (RTSG) 
  • 100% Tuition Fee Waiver

Other Funding:

€100: Trinity College Dublin, Irish School of Ecumenics Trust, James Haire Memorial, 2020

€2,000: Trinity College Dublin, Irish School of Ecumenics Trust, MPhil Funding, 2019

£1,200: The Andrew John Williamson Memorial Trust Travel Grant, 2018

£1,000: UofG Stevenson Exchange Scholarship, Erasmus+ at SciencesPo Paris, 2017

£1,000: Stirling University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Ede and Ravenscroft Grant, 2017


  • Public Seminar on Intercultural and Interreligious Education, Irish School of Ecumenics, Loyola Building, School of Religion, Trinity College Dublin, 28th February 2020. Participant and Organiser’s Assistant.
  • Conference – Dublin Platform for Human Rights Defenders, Dublin [Ireland]. 28th September – 4th October 2019. Contributed to security, crowd-control, administrative duties and conference/meeting interpreting.


2022: English Teacher, Refugee language school, St Aloysius ESOL Group

2020 - 2021: English Teacher, ItSoundsFun, Spain

2019: Educator & Coordinator, ConVoi Onlus, Italy

Additional Information


Thesis: The Social Power of Pope Francis in Response to Forced Human Displacement: The Holy See Towards the UN Global Compact on Refugees.

Dissertation: Eduquer pour intégrer. Discussion des voies d’implémentation des droits à l’éducation supérieure pour les réfugiés en France; une analyse des initiatives d’intégration de SciencesPo Paris.


  • OLS Language Assessment in French: LEVEL C2Altissia EU, 2018
  • Mental Health First Aider; NHS Scotland, 2018
  • European Business, International Business and European Integration; EM Strasbourg Business School, 2017.


  1. Italian: native
  2. English: proficiency
  3. French: proficiency
  4. Spanish: advanced

Posts held:

I currently serve as PhD Politics Representative in the School of Social and Political Sciences.