The Global South Doctoral Fieldwork Research Award has been established this year in the Department of International Relations at the LSE and is funded by an alumnus of the IR Department as part of a donation funding research on the Global South.
The annual grant of £2,500 is open to 2nd, 3rd and 4th year MPhil/PhD students in the Department of International Relations. It is intended to support the costs of doing field research in the Global South linked to the student’s doctoral dissertation; and to encourage the student to develop a publishable product based on the fieldwork.
The first recipient of the Global South Doctoral Fieldwork Research Award is Sophie Haspeslagh. She gives her reactions, plus details of her project, below.
‘I am extremely grateful to receive the Global South Doctoral Fieldwork Research Award 2014-15. The award gives me a unique opportunity to travel to Cuba and Colombia to interview both the FARC and the Colombian government negotiation teams as well as conflict analysts, Colombian government officials, diplomats and civil society actors. This award is a huge encouragement to pursue my research, especially because interviews with key actors are such a fundamental part of my project’
Thesis Title: Getting to the table with ‘terrorists’: How proscription affected the inception of peace negotiations between the Colombian government and the FARC. Comparing pre-negotiation before and after 9/11
Sophie’s research project analyses the effects of proscription, or the listing of armed groups as terrorist organizations, on peace processes. By not taking the ‘terrorist’ label at face value, the project proposes to explore and analyse the effects of this label both at a symbolic and material level. By comparing the processes through which the Colombian government and the FARC got to the negotiating table in Caguán in 1999 and in Havana in 2012, and thereby treating the international proscription of the FARC as a critical juncture, this research hopes to uncover the effects of proscription on the way in which peace negotiations are initiated.
Sophie is a doctoral candidate at the International Relations Department of the LSE. Until August 2012, she was Head of Policy at Conciliation Resources, a London-based peacebuilding NGO. She previously managed the advocacy platform of leading British NGOs with programmes in Colombia, ABColombia. Before that, Sophie worked for the United Nations Development Programme in Algeria on governance and human rights issues. She also worked for the International Crisis Group in Colombia and Brussels. Sophie holds a Masters degree in International Relations from SAIS, Johns Hopkins University and a BSc in Politics from the University of Bristol.