Violence and Democracy: UK-India Early Career Research Workshop

Background: This workshop is an interdisciplinary symposium organised by the British Academy in partnership with the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (Delhi) on the theme of violence and democracy. The workshop will incentivise and establish engagement and collaboration between early career researchers from across a broad range of disciplines within the humanities and social sciences in India and the UK, supporting the next generation of talent, strengthening scholarly mobility between India and the UK, and encouraging the exchange of ideas across both disciplinary and national boundaries.

Rationale: Democracy is usually understood to offer an alternative to political violence.  Normative ideas of democracy privilege dialogue, deliberation, negotiation and adaptation.  However, actually existing democracies routinely face the challenge of political violence.  In fact, right from the nineteenth century, the history of democracy is intertwined, across the world, with the history of violence.  This workshop seeks to explore this historical and conceptual relationship between democracy and violence. It will look at the nature of political violence, raising questions about both the process and the purpose of categorising political violence. The workshop will look at specific instances in which democracy has become violent, and will bring an interdisciplinary focus to the analysis. We invite papers, from scholars of diverse disciplines, inviting a rethinking of democracy from the perspective of conflict and violence and, relatedly, to consider the issue of violence through the prism of histories and experiences of democratic movement.

Design: The workshop will bring together up to thirty of the most imaginative early career minds from the UK and India (the British Academy understands early career as up to ten years after obtaining a PhD) from across the humanities and social sciences to discuss key questions around the theme of violence and democracy.

To incentivise collaboration, the British Academy will, for example, make available some small seed funding at the end of the workshop to support collaborations between UK-based and India-based scholars. This will be available on a competitive basis for research proposals formulated by participants, which will be presented in a group session on the final afternoon of the workshop. This funding is only one of the ways in which the Academy will provide mechanisms for participants to continue the conversations and research ideas developed through the workshop and of course the participants will be welcome to discuss and collaborate outside any Academy support.

The workshop will also provide an opportunity for participants to learn more about the different funding schemes through which the Academy supports early career researchers, the policy areas the Academy focuses on, and future opportunities for collaboration.

The Workshop

The workshop will take place in Delhi, between 28-30 November 2018. The British Academy will meet the costs for travel, accommodation and subsistence for all participants over the course of the workshop. 

Participants will be expected to attend the entire programme of the workshop. If participants do not attend the whole workshop, including the networking opportunities, they will not be able to apply for the seed funding available.

For these purposes, early career is defined as being within a ten-year period from the award of a doctorate.

Application Process

Applicants should provide a CV which should not exceed two sides of paper. Applicants are also asked to provide a justification (not exceeding two sides of paper) explaining:

•    Why they are interested in violence and democracy based on their research and/or teaching areas;
•    What disciplinary and interdisciplinary skills and/or experience they would contribute to the workshop; and,
•    How the workshop could help to develop their own research and career development.

Applications should be sent to Praveen Rai ( no later than 5pm (GMT) on Friday, 14th September 2018.  Successful applicants will be notified by the 1st of October.

Further Information

Further information is available from Christina Moorhouse at and Praveen Rai at