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ESRC funded PhD studentships – Transformative Justice in Egypt and Tunisia

The Centre for Applied Human Rights (CAHR), University of York (UK), is offering two PhD scholarships as part of a 3 year study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), entitled Transformative Justice in Egypt and Tunisia. The research will be conducted in partnership by CAHR and the Institute for Gender and Women’s Studies, American University in Cairo.

Please note: that the scholarships cover fees and subsistence for UK students, and fees only for EU students. Non-EU overseas students are not eligible for the scholarships.

The Arab world was shaken in 2011 by a series of popular movements, collectively known as the 'Arab spring(s)', that have challenged long established authoritarian regimes. What will be the medium and long term impacts of these uprisings? Who is driving (and contesting) change, and what kind of change is being sought? The research is based on the premise that for these uprisings to deliver on their potential will require transformative change that prioritizes process and local agency over pre-conceived outcomes, and that challenges structures of violence and exclusion. Such change is here termed transformative justice, and is contrasted with traditional approaches to transitional justice. The overarching research question is: How is transformative change defined and delivered in the context of political transition (in Tunisia and Egypt), and which actors, institutions and structures drive and contest such change? The research will look at changing attitudes over time (conducting two sets of interviews, one year apart) and document a range of voices and perspectives (urban/rural, supporters/opponents of the revolutions).

Expressions of interest are invited from those interested in conducting doctoral research on transitional/transformative justice in the following areas:

1)      Key economic and developmental issues e.g. corruption, land, macro-economic policy.

2)      Women’s rights and violence against women.

3)      Old and new forms of social mobilisation.

4)      Access to justice and legal empowerment.

5)      Citizen and social media.

Proficiency in Arabic and/or French would be an advantage, as would experience of conducing fieldwork in post-conflict settings.

To apply: Send a cv and covering letter to Paul Gready ( The letter should include an outline of a proposed topic for doctoral research in one of the fields outlined above, and should specify whether the applicant is interested in researching Egypt or Tunisia - or both countries. Applications should be submitted by Friday 8 November. Interviews of short listed applicants will take place in the week beginning 11 November. If you have not heard from us by 11 November, please assume that your application has not been successful on this occasion. Any inquiries should be forwarded to Paul Gready at the e-mail address given above.

The doctoral students will both conduct their own thesis-based research and play a full role in the main research project. They will join a White Rose (Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York) and Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) project on transformative justice. For further details see