Monday, 18 December 2017

Violence, Conflict and Development Workshop

We are just finishing up for the term, but looking forward to 2018 :) A highlight that is already on the horizon is our Violence, Conflict and Development Workshop, which will be held on 16 January.

The workshop has been expertly put together by Joshua Rogers and Bilge Sahin, and a full programme is here:

Panel I: Violence, Intervention, and State Formation
Respondent: Dr. Dann Nasemullah, Kings College
Ponsiano Bimeny, SOAS
Constructions of the State, Violence, and the Political Settlement in South Sudan
Joshua Rogers, SOAS
Tribes, Local Militias, and Dynamics of State Formation
Neil Loughlin, SOAS
Land Grabbing and Cambodia’s Winning Coalition
Panel II: Micro-Level Approaches to Peace and Violence
Respondent: Dr. Helena Perez Nino, SOAS
Nicholas Pope, SOAS.
Militias, Bargaining, and Relationships: On the Form and Function of Urban Violence
Dr. Yusuf Sheikh Omar, SOAS.
Somali Diaspora: Knowledge, and skills transfer as peace building in the war-torn state of Somalia
Xandra Miguel-Lorenzo, LSE.
Gender-based violence and Development in the Solomon Islands: A Religious-based Response

Panel III: Gender Perspectives on Law and Violence
Respondent: Dr Samantha Ashenden, Birkbeck
Noemi De Los Angeles Perez Vas, SOAS
Women and Prosecutions of International Crimes in Timor-Leste
Bilge Sahin, SOAS
Justice vs. Violence: the Justice Initiatives on Challenging Sexual Violence Crimes in Armed Conflict in DR Congo
Ebru Demir, Sussex
Women's sexual and reproductive rights in post-conflict situations through a 'transformative justice approach’

Meanwhile, here's the SOAS Christmas tree :)

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Film screening 7 December 7-9pm

In collaboration with one of our VCD students from last year, we will be screening the film, Home in Foreign Land: violence and migration in Central America, on 7 December 7-9pm in DLT. We're really pleased that the film's director, Carlos Sandoval, will be at the screening and there will be a chance to discuss the issues of violence and migration that are part of the film. There is a facebook event page here:

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Partnerships, networks, contradictions

One of the fun things about being in London is the network of people that we interact with. Last night some of us from the VCD course went down the road to the LSE to catch the launch of Oxfam and International Alert's report on 'Partnerships in Conflict.' The event was really well attended with many people from NGOs and civil society organisations sharing interests, concerns and best practice about how to operate in areas of conflict.

While many of the issues raised, including security, independence and accountability, are familiar to those working in this area, it is intriguing to see how they are played out across different contexts and at different moments. Providing aid in situations of conflict is always dangerous and full of contradictions, and it was heartening to see practitioners accepting these difficulties and working together and with donors to find more effective ways of working in the future.

I was happy to get a snap with Oxfam's Yoma Winder, whom I met in Goma in 2002, on stage and - in the foreground - the heads of some of our current VCD cohort :)

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Here we have been - and here we go!

The Department of Development Studies celebrated its 25 year anniversary yesterday. With speeches from our School Director, Baroness Valerie Amos and luminaries past and present, we reflected on the formation of the department and the path it has taken since it was established.
Getting together to mark this milestone was a great way to reconnect with colleagues after the summer, catch up with some PhD students, and look forward to the start of term.
For everyone who is joining us next week - a very warm welcome and here we go!

Baroness Valerie Amos and Prof Alfredo Saad Filho

Thursday, 17 August 2017

The view from Myanmar - towards the start of a new academic year

I am returning to the convenorship of the VCD programme in September. I am currently in Myanmar, and enjoying the view from an area of the world that I have never visited before. Along with a couple of colleagues from other universities, I am leading a training workshop on conflict and peace studies, which is a wonderful exchange of knowledge and experience. I had the pleasure of meeting a former VCD student at a panel discussion earlier this week, and it was great to hear about the work he's gone on to do after completing his MSc.

There has been some time for sightseeing too!

In other news, I am pleased to announce that Kim Wale, who wrote her PhD with us a few years back, has just published her work as a book, and it is available from Routledge.

So it's about change and continuity. It is always fantastic to hear from former students and to know that they are building on their experiences at SOAS. It's getting to that time of the year again when we look forward to welcoming a new cohort and starting on a new round of conversations!

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Civil Society Leadership Awards - SOAS host university


Some good news: SOAS is a host university for the Civil Society Leadership Awards! Apply by 15 July 2017 - for entry in October 2018. Development Studies is one of the areas, and this includes VCD.

Full details here:

The Civil Society Leadership Awards (CSLA) provides fully-funded scholarships for master’s degree study to individuals who clearly demonstrate academic and professional excellence and a deep commitment to leading positive social change in their communities.


CSLA grantees will receive financial and administrative support for the following: Pre-academic preparation via summer schools; Program-related travel; Tuition and mandatory university fees; Monthly stipend for room, board, and other living expenses; Accident and sickness insurance during the program; Funds for educational materials and professional development; Attendance at a regional Scholarship Programs conference; and Accommodations during the application process and the duration of the grant for applicants with disabilities.


Interested applicants must meet the following criteria:
·         Be a citizen of an eligible country;
·         Demonstrate maturity, flexibility and civil society leadership potential;
·         Have a bachelor's degree awarded before July 15, 2017 and an excellent academic record;
·         Demonstrate professional experience in a relevant area;
·         Demonstrate proficiency in the language of instruction (English, German or French) at a level required for admission by host universities;
·         Be able to participate in an intensive pre-academic summer school in July or August 2018 and start their degree program in August or September 2018;
·         Be able to receive and maintain a visa or study permit as required by the host country; and
·         Demonstrate a clear commitment to return to their home country or region to continue supporting open society development.
Awards are available to citizens of the following countries: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Cambodia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Laos, Libya, Myanmar/Burma, Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan

Awards are available for study in the following areas:
Communications, Journalism & Media, Culture, History & Society, Development Studies, Economics, Education Management & Leadership, Environment & Natural Resource Management, Gender Studies, Human Rights, Law (including Human Rights law), Politics & International Studies, Public Health Policy & Health Management, Public Policy & Administration, Social Work & Social Policy

For More Information:

If you have further questions, please first consult the Frequently Asked Questions. If you do not find answers there, you may email us at or through our website.

Completing an Application

Interested applicants must complete an online or paper CSLA application and submit it along with supporting documentation to be considered for CSLA support.
Applications are due: midnight, July 15th, 2017
Online Application
All candidates are strongly encouraged to apply online if possible using Submittable, an online platform. To apply online, please register on Submittable and then follow instructions.
Paper Application
Paper applications may be accessed here. Please download the application form in Word before completing or printing, and review the accompanying materials before submitting your application.    

State-sanctioned sexual violence against women in the Egyptian revolution

Following from last week's post, this is another video submitted as a piece of group work by some of last year's MSc VCD students....