MATEJA SEDMAK, PhD, Principal Research Associate

Tel.: +386 5 663 77 00

Research areas:

  • Ethnic studies
  • Intercultural studies
  • Migrations
  • Vulnerable social groups
  • Sociology of family
  • Sociology of everyday life


Mateja Sedmak graduated with honors in 1995 at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Analitical Sociology. A year later she joined the International Postgraduate Study (European Social Policy Analysis). She was studying abroad at the St. Patrick’s College Maynooth, Republic of Ireland and in the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Ljubljana. In 1997 she obtained joint master’s degree with the master thesis The Abortion Policy Historical Background – A Comparative Analysis between Slovenia and the Republic of Ireland. As a young researcher she continued her postgraduate training at the doctoral level at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, in the field of sociology of the family. In June 2001 she obtained her PhD with the dissertation Ethnically mixed marriages as a form of interpersonal cultural confrontation, under the supervision of prof. Tanje Rener, PhD. For her doctoral dissertation she received the “Peter Klinar Award”, awarded by the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana. Mateja Sedmak is a member of the Institute for Social Studies at the ZRS Koper, and since 2007 she has been the head of the Institute. Since its beginning (2000-2013), she was also the head of the Center for Public Opinion Research at the ZRS Koper. She lectured (2003-2016) at the University of Primorska (Faculty of Humanities, Faculty of Tourism Studies and Kinesiology). She was a member of the Senate of the University of Primorska (2003-2007 and 2013-2016) and the Senate of the Faculty of Humanities. She is the editor of Annales – Series Historia et Sociologia and the member of editorial committees of Družboslovne razprave (SI), Italian Sociological Review (IT) and Demography (SR). She was a member (2004-2011) of the Commission for the Enforcement of the Role of Women in Science at the Ministry for education and Science of the republic of Slovenia. She is the Head of the Section for Intercultural Studies at the Slovenian Sociological Society and was also a member of the Presidency 2014-2017. Since 2017 she has been the President of the Scientific Council of the ZRS Koper, and since 2016 she has been a member of the Council for Social Sciences at the National Research Agency. Mateja Sedmak was the leader of many national and international projects, among which the Migrant Children and Communities in A Transforming Europe project (MiCREATE) funded under the Research and Innovation Grant Scheme, Horizon 2020, is particularly worth mentioning. She publishing work is recognized nationally and internationally. Among her publication following are worth to be exposed: SEDMAK, Mateja et. al. (2018). Unaccompanied children in European migration and asylum practices: in whose best interests? (Routledge research in asylum, migration and refugee law). London; New York and SEDMAK, Mateja et. al. (2014). Children’s voices: studies of interethnic conflict and violence in European schools, (Routledge research in international and comparative education). London; New York..

Research activity:

Mateja Sedmak was and still is a leader of several international and national research projects.

Leader of international projects:
– Migrant Children and Communities in A Transforming Europe (MiCREATE), (Horizont, 2020; Research and Inovation Grant sheme, 2019-2021);
– DC4AC- Regional Centre for Dual Career Politics and Advocacy (DC4AC) leader for Slovenia (European Commission Erasmus + program, 2015-2017);
– In Whose Best Interest? Exploring Unaccompanied Minors ‘Rights through the Lens of Migration and Asylum Processes (European Commission, 2014-2015);
– Children’s Voices: Exploring Interethnic Violence and Children’s Rights in the School Environment (European Commission – FRC program, 2011- 2012),
– Study on indirect measurement methods for undeclared work in the EU (Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini, Italy, 2009),
– Ethnic minority and Roma women: a case for gender equality? (Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini, Italy, 2008),
– Study on poverty and social exclusion in rural areas (Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini, Italy, 2006-2008).
– Job Instability and Changes in Family and Household Trends (European Commission; 2005 –2006)

Leader of national projects: (selection in last years):

– Identification, classification and potentials for the development of social tourism products in Slovenia – with an emphasis on programs for seniors (CRP project: Slovenian Research Agency and Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, 2015-2017);
– Intercultural integration on the wings of fairy tales (Ministry of the Interior, 2015);
– SOS: stress, absence, distress (Public tender for co-financing projects of social partners in the field of improving the working environment 2010-2012)
– Research on the financing of the Foundation for Financing Disabled and Humanitarian Organizations in the Republic of Slovenia (applied project, FIHO financier, April – June 2009);
– Minorities and border social realities as factors of integration processes (study of the area of Slovene-Italian cultural contact (L5-7003, 2005-2008);
– Analysis of domestic violence in Slovenia – proposals for prevention and measures (V5-0954; 2004 -2006);
– Women in the Slovenian Armed Forces – designing strategies for greater inclusion and better working conditions (M5-0040, 2004-2006);
– Identity and ethnic structure of Slovenian Istria (L5-3433, 2001-2004);
– National and cultural identity in the area of Slovene-Italian cultural contact in the processes of European integration (V5-0536, 2001-2003);
– Drug problem on the coast: Analysis of the situation and the development of strategic sources (applied project, financier: Municipality of Piran and the Municipality of Izola, 2004);
– Economic position of the Italian minority in Slovenia (applied project, financiers: Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Slovenia and Center for the Promotion of Entrepreneurship, Piran, 2002).