Funding Award: A victim-centred study of women’s demands for sustainable peace

Dr Natascha Mueller-Hirth has been awarded a grant by the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland – her research is entitled “From transition to transformation? A victim-centred study of women’s demands for sustainable peace”.  Natascha, who works in the School of Applied Social Science will work on this project until August 2017, including three weeks of fieldwork in Kenya.

Most armed conflicts feature both direct and structural violence and occur in countries that face severe challenges of poverty and inequality. However, transitional justice – the dominant approach to dealing with legacies of violent pasts – has historically excluded structural concerns such as socio-economic inequalities and gender justice. The needs of victims of violence themselves have often been neglected. This is particularly regrettable since continued poverty and inequality have been shown to re-fuel conflict. The aim of the research project is to identify victims’ needs and their own senses of what is necessary to achieve sustainable peace, focusing on the reparative needs of women as a group that is particularly marginalised. Interviews and focus groups will be conducted with victims of the post-election violence in 2007/08 in Kenya. These data will enable an empirical study of the relationships between transitional justice and what might be called transformative justice – the tackling of structural violence and longer-term social change in a victim-centred manner to prevent future conflict.

This project hopes to give voice to the needs, demands and perspectives of a group of people who are often neglected in peace processes – women victims of human rights violations –  in order to better understand how societies should deal with legacies of violent pasts and how to prevent the recurrence of conflict. Research outputs will include academic publications, findings and recommendations for relevant government agencies, and a research blog.



Funding Opportunity: Carnegie

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Scholarship funding award: Control of Multistable Dynamical Systems

Dr Yang Liu will be working on the control of multistable dynamical systems in the Oil & Gas industry.  Yang will be supervising Boying Liu who has been awarded a Carnegie Caledonian PhD Scholarship.  Control of multistable dynamical systems is a major challenge for power intensive industries to utilize renewable energy in order to ensure long-term sustainable economic growth; strategies for engineering systems to reduce their energy consumptions are to become compulsory. This project will develop new control strategies for general engineering systems with a special attention to the applications in oil and gas industry to maintain their performance within a satisfactory level by using the minimum control energy.


Funding award: Critical Art in Contemporary Macedonia

This project is funded by a Carnegie Trust for the Universities in Scotland Research Incentive Grant, awarded to Jon Blackwood, Gray’s School of Art.  It will provide a comprehensive survey of contemporary art practice in Macedonia. Using participatory observation and flexible interviewing techniques,

  • it will deliver a multi-perspectival, rounded understanding of the major themes informing contemporary Macedonian practice,
  • demonstrate the problems faced by artists in a post-socialist society in transition,
  • identify the strategies adopted by them in engaging with international audiences for contemporary art.

The research looks at the views of artists and the art world as a whole – curators, writers, activists, academics, and Macedonian diaspora, still engaged in the local art scene, in the UK, Austria, and Canada.

The research will result in the production of the first English language survey of contemporary art practice in Macedonia, which will be published by malagalerija in Skopje.  The English language version will be launched in April / May 2016 and a version in Macedonian will appear in the autumn.  The work also builds on significant engagement by Gray’s with Macedonia in the last year; Gray’s students exhibited in Skopje in February 2015 and two were chosen to exhibit at the Paratissima Art Fair in the city in June 2015.  Jon will also publish an essay on censorship and contemporary art in Macedonia appearing in a collection of text on Censorship in Contemporary art, edited by Roisin Kennedy and Riann Coulter, which will be published in 2017.