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 Tina Blohm. 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. Traveling to Afghanistan, I hope to gain a deeper understanding of how various actors on the ground understand their mission and how they define the notion of ‘national ownership’. This award is an immense encouragement to undertake that research.’
Thesis Title: Light Interventionism and National Ownership – The Role of UN Political Missions in Active Conflict
Tina’s research project analyses the role of UN special political missions in active conflict by examining their practices to promote national ownership. Political missions operate through civilian staff. In on-going conflicts such as in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia or Libya, they need to carefully define their role, most importantly vis-a-vis the host government and other international actors. The research questions whether an emphasis on national ownership is key to negotiating and shaping their position, and how national ownership is interpreted, enacted and perceived.
In 2011, Tina served as a Special Assistant at the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). From 2008 to 2010, she headed the office of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), a German political foundation, in Kabul.