Integrating field practice, academic research and policy advice, he has developed a “horizontal career”, based on more than twenty-five years of collaborations in different world regions with various organizations including civil society, UN agencies, research institutes, agricultural enterprises and donors offices, including the European Union and its delegations.
His publications range from scientific articles to technical notes and advocacy papers on agro-pastoral livelihoods. His current concern is to provide effective scientific evidence and policy advice on aspects of rural development, food security, natural resource management and rural mobilities through sound analysis of field realities and practices on the ground. Such endeavour is undertaken through the Global Governance Programme of the Robert Schuman Centre at the European University Institute. The GGP hinges on broad interdisciplinary themes and on the many cross-cutting issues related to globalisation.
He has been awarded a Marie Curie fellowship with the TraMed project to investigate on the increasingly relevant role of immigrant shepherds for the sustainability of pastoral systems in Mediterranean EU countries – a specific case study within the debate about migrants’ contributions to farming and rural development in Europe and the broader aspects of natural resource management in the Mediterranean region – a domain where migrations plays an increasingly important role.
His current engagement with GPP is through the ERC-funded PASTRES project whose objective is learning from pastoral systems to tackle societal challenges related to growing degrees of uncertainty through the systematic use of sophisticated resource management and livelihood configurations underpinned by an in-depth local knowledge as well as through complex mobility patterns supported by a reticular territorial organization and high reliable social networks.
Michele is also leading Working Package 3 of the H2020 Defend project that aims to generate sound and consistent knowledge around how human and animal mobility related to production, trading, conflict and migration impinge on the risks related to disease spreading at the borders of European Union.