SOAS University of London

AHRC awards SOAS scholar £2million for project on deepening democracy in politically fragile countries

3 October 2017

Professor Emma Crewe, Professorial Research Associate in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at SOAS University of London has been awarded an Arts and Humanities Research Council grant from the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) of £2million for a three-year project on deepening democracy in extremely politically fragile countries.

The goal of this project is to create opportunities for scholars in extremely politically fragile states to undertake research on democracy, public engagement and women's political participation. The project will link researchers interested in deepening democracy through the creation of the Global Research Network on Parliaments and People.

Professor Emma Crewe said: “The Global Research Network on Parliaments and People will be creating opportunities for national scholars in extremely politically fragile states, especially Ethiopia and Myanmar, to develop their capacity to undertake interdisciplinary research on politics. This will enhance scrutiny, understanding, and support for the processes and relationships required to deepen democracy.”

Deepening democracy

Yangon Film School alumnus Lay Thida filming during the 2008 Beginners' Course

The project will partner with the Forum for Social Studies (Addis) and Enlightened Myanmar Research Foundation (Yangon) to enable research capacity development by: training; allocation of small, medium and large grants to researchers; mentoring in research methods and dissemination; facilitation of learning between grantees and support in advocacy; stimulating debate; and fostering multi-disciplinary co-operation within the research network. National researchers will be given support and opportunities to undertake high quality research on the links between Parliament and the People and collaborate with arts organisations.

Professor Crewe will be the Principle Investigator and Co-Investigators on the project include: Meheret Ayenew (Forum for Social Studies, Addis Ababa), Ruth Fox (Hansard Society, London), Niraja Gopal Jayal (JNU, New Delhi), Cristina Leston-Bandeira (University of Leeds), Mandy Sadan (SOAS), and Myat Thet Thitsar (Enlightened Myanmar Research Foundation).

Announced by the UK Government in November 2015, the GCRF is a £1.5 billion fund to support cutting-edge research and ensure the UK takes a leading role in global development. By working with world leading researchers and institutions, the fund contributes to addressing the complex global issues faced by developing countries. It focuses on challenge-led, multidisciplinary research, providing an agile response to emergencies in need of urgent analysis and strengthening the UK and developing countries’ capability for research.