MariaCaterina La Barbera is PhD in Human Rights from the University of Palermo, Italy (2008). Her field of research is Feminist Legal and Social Philosophy. Intersectionality is her main area of specialization. Her research is interdisciplinary, covering Human Rights, Critical Legal Studies, Law & Society, Gender Studies, and Citizenship Studies. The common thread of her research is the conceptualization of equality and difference, focusing on intersectionality from a human rights perspective. The concepts of interlocking inequalities, social justice, social position, and membership are key in her research. In particular, she investigates how social structures and political and legal institutions shape individual and collective positioning, focusing on the inequalities produced at the intersection of gender structures and migration regimes. She recently explored how theory shapes the praxis of intersectionality; how praxis affects its conceptualization; and how its implementation via public policies impacts society. She is now devoting to study the conceptualization of integration and membership underlying nationality acquisition. She engages in empirically-informed philosophy of law thanks to long-standing collaborations with sociologists and political scientists.
Her research is published in international high impact journals, such as Politics & Gender, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Law & Society Review, Policy & Society, Critical Discourse Studies, International Journal of Human Rights, Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis, Global Jurist, Andamios or Diritto & Questioni Pubbliche. She edited the volumes Identity and Migration in Europe (Springer 2015), Igualdad y no discriminación en España (Centro de Estudios Políticos y Constitucionales 2016), and Challenging the Borders of Justice in the Age of Migrations (Springer 2019) and Migraciones y fronteras de la justicia (Bajo palabra 2020). Her research reaches a broad academic audience and seeks social impact through platforms such as The Conversation or Neodemos.
She currently is IP of the project INTERSEGRA: “Integration and belonging in the institutional praxis: critical discourse analysis from a gender and intersectionality perspective” and co-IP of the research project CIVITES: “The subjective dimension of citizenship: conceptions, legal praxis and individual strategies in Italy and Spain” funded by the Spanish State Research Agency of the Ministry of Science and Innovation. She is also recipient of the research grant HHRR-INTERSECTIONALITY: “Human Rights at the intersection of gender and migration” funded by the same agency within the research program Ramón y Cajal. She has been PI of the recently terminated projects InterUNIGUALes: “Equality in Universities: employment, education”, funded by the Spanish Institute of Women, and IMPLEMAD: “Towards the implementation of the human rights, gender and intersectionality approach in Madrid’s municipal policies”, funded by the research program on Cooperation and Global Citizenship of the Madrid City Council.
She started her career at the Department of Politics, Law and Society of the University of Palermo, in Italy. She has been Visiting Student and Staff Researcher at the University of California-Berkeley. She obtained competitive postdoctoral fellowships such as a Jae-DOC fellowship to join the CSIC-Centro de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales and a García Pelayo fellowship from the Spanish Ministry of Presidency to join the Centro de Estudios Políticos y Constitucionales. She held teaching positions at National Distance Education University, University Carlos III of Madrid and Nebrija University. She has repeatedly been a Visiting Scholar at the University of California-Berkeley and the University of Aberdeen. She received the Award Joven Investigador en Filosofía Jurídica y Social from the Argentine Association of Philosophy of Law (2006) and the “Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Seal of Excellence” (2017) from the European Commission. She regularly acts as a peer reviewer for high impact journals and publishers as well as the Spanish National Research Agency (AEI). She currently is a member of the Berkeley Center on Comparative Equality and Anti-Discrimination Law.
She has got the I3 certification (Incentivation of Incorporation and Intensification of research activity) from the Spanish State Research Agency of the Ministry of Science and Innovation and 2 research periods (sexenios) recognized by the Spanish National Commission for the Evaluation of Research Activity (CNEAI) in the fields of Legal, Moral, and Political Philosophy (2006-2012) and Social Sciences (2013-2019) respectively. She has been certified by the Spanish National Agency for Quality Assessment and Accreditation (ANECA) as apt to hold an Associate Professor position in the Spanish university system (Profesora Titular de Universidad). Her work languages are Spanish and English, Italian is her mother tongue.
Datos tomados de la base de datos ConCiencia