SOAS University of London

SOAS scholar awarded £75,000 grant to study the British Council

23 July 2019

SOAS Centre for Global Media and Communications’ Dr Dounia Mahlouly, has been awarded £75,000 to lead a new six-month research project, investigating the British Council's approach to alternative and positive narratives.

The project, on which Dr Dina Matar, Chair of the Centre for Global Media and Communications, will act as advisorm will provide analysis of the experience of British Council's Strengthening Resilience(SR) programme in promoting positive narratives about youth empowerment and state-civil society relations.

The project will explore the potential, limitations and challenges of British Council's communication activities in Tunisia and Lebanon and analyse how positive narrative campaigns may be received in a broader range of MENA countries, where SR is being implemented. Based on empirical evidence collected from fieldwork interviews and workshops, this project will contribute to shift focus away from traditional counter-narrative practices towards alternative forms of initiatives designed to support and enhance media literacy. 

Dr Mahlouly teaches the postgraduate modules ‘International Political Communication’ and ‘Global Media and Post-national Communication’ at SOAS. Before joining SOAS, she conducted her postdoctoral research at King’s College London in partnership with the EU Network of Excellence VOX-Pol. Simultaneously, she worked as a Senior Research Associate for The Open University on a British Council-funded study exploring perspectives for cultural diplomacy in post-revolutionary Egypt. She completed her PhD at the University of Glasgow, in partnership with the American University in Cairo in 2015. Her work focuses on the interplay between state and non-state actors’ communication strategies in post-2011 North Africa.

Dr Mahlouly has recently published ‘Reconciling Impact and Ethics’, an ethnography of research in violent online political extremism.