Mateja Sedmak, PhD

Principal Research Associate
Head of Institute
Phone: +386 5 663 77 91

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. Her publishing work is recognized nationally and internationally. Among her publications the 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.