Accepted paper:

Of entanglements, relationships and hierarchies: some anthropological reflections on developing international research coalitions


Jas Kaur (SOAS University of London)
Richard Axelby (SOAS)

Paper short abstract:

Anthropologists involved in the AHRC-GCRF funded 'Deepening Democracy' project in Ethiopia and Myanmar reflect on the complex set of relationships, hierarchies, and entanglements involved in helping develop international research coalitions in these countries.

Paper long abstract:

Drawing on examples from the AHRC-GCRF funded Deepening Democracy project which provides funding and other forms of support to artists, activists and academics in Ethiopia and Myanmar, in this paper we offer some provisional reflections on the complex relationships, hierarchies, and entanglements - including but not limited to the conceptual, geographical, linguistic, institutional, organisational and structural - involved in shaping international research coalitions and contributing to SDGs. As anthropologists we are keenly aware that supporting societal transitions requires more than a myopic focus on achieving SDGs; rather it requires ongoing reflection, critique, and practical action to reorient the unequal structures of funding, monitoring, and evaluation in which we ourselves are enmeshed. This paper is an attempt - as the Deepening Democracy project approaches the final year of its three-year funding - to open up to scrutiny, both within the discipline and beyond, the conceits, constraints and collaborations involved in developing international research coalitions that span cultures and continents.

panel A03
Entangled engagements: anthropology's holistic approach to the Global Challenges