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Dr Gyda Sindre’s research expertise spans the disciplines of Politics, Development Studies and Peace and Conflict Studies, with particular interest in political transitions, post-war development and governance, insurgent/liberation movements, political parties and civic activism as well as the legacies and politics of mass atrocities. Her primary geographical expertise is focused on South and Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Sri Lanka, the Philippines and East Timor) with comparative lessons to political transitions and postwar development in the Balkans.
Gyda Sindre joined the department in 2019. Previously she was a Marie Curie fellow and affiliated lecturer at the University of Cambridge and Assistant Professor at the University of Bergen, and the Centre for Development and the Environment, at the University of Oslo, Norway. Her research has been published in prestigious journals in diverse fields including Political Geography, Government and Opposition, Party Politics, Civil Wars, and Forum for Development Studies amongst others. In terms of collaborative work, she is the co-editor of the new Routledge Handbook of Political Parties, a book on The Effects of Rebel Parties on Governance, Democracy and Stability: From Guns to Governing as well as several journal special issues.
Gyda is the founder and convener of an active research/policy network the Politics After War Network (PAW-Network), which is a hub for research and policy on the political transformation of armed groups, the politics of DDR, state-building and governance after armed conflict and civil war. She also works closely with international and local NGOs and policy makers in the fields of democracy support to bridge research and policy.
More information on Gyda’s personal webpage
Gyda's current and past research focuses on political transitions, post-conflict development, the politics of armed liberation movements and political parties (especially political parties with roots in armed movements), as well as the legacies and politics of mass atrocities.
Around these themes, she is currently working on three projects:
1. Former armed groups in politics: Governance, democracy and state-building
The project explores the political transformation of insurgent liberation movements into political parties and how these parties govern to impact on governance, democracy and development in the years and decades after the end of armed conflict. Bridging fields of comparative politics, development studies and peace and conflict studies, the project focuses on domestic agency and transformative politics during and after armed conflict. The first phase of this research programme focused on the sociology and network structures of insurgent liberation movements turned political parties and the broader question of how formerly armed groups that become political parties adapt to electoral politics. Ongoing work focuses on the question of how former armed groups and liberation movements govern after they become elected ruling parties – with particular attention to broader trajectories of post-colonial and contemporary processes of state-building, democratisation (or lack thereof) and peace-making. Outcomes include several journal articles, a special issue Transforming state visions: Ideology and ideas in armed groups turned political parties in Government and Opposition. The project was initially funded by a £380k Marie Curie Individual fellowship. Drawing on in-depth fieldwork, she is currently writing a book that investigates how former armed groups turned political parties govern and shape the state.
2. The mass atrocities resistance project
This project explores how past and present mass atrocities and genocides impact on contemporary politics. In particular, it explores how minorities and victims’ groups resist and respond to escalation and threats of mass violence and how they seek support from international actors. The project is based on a premise that there is a need to better understand the strategies threatened groups employ to protect themselves against atrocities, and how these groups may be able to mobilize support domestically or internationally. It focuses on a wide range of cases spanning the regions of Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. With initial seed funding from the University of York in 2019-2020, the project, which is based at the Norwegian Centre for Holocaust and Minority Studies has been generously funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. More about the project here.
3. Comparative perspectives on governance, democracy and development in Indonesia and Sri Lanka
Previously, Gyda was involved in several projects that has analysed the state of democracy, local politics and governance, and sustainable development – with specific focus on Indonesia and Sri Lanka. These projects also involved collaborations with local NGOs and activist communities, as well as partners at universities in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the Philippines. Gyda’s ongoing work in this field is focused on civic activism, protest and political mobilisation in relation to transitional justice, environmental protection and local governance.
Gyda would welcome PhD applications in these and related areas of study and encourage potential supervisees to get in touch.
Programme convener: MA in Conflict, Governance and Development and MA in Peace and Conflict Studies
Gyda is the founder and convener of the Politics after War Network, the initiator of a research policy dialogue From armed to non-armed politics, which provides research-based policy guidance to support the political transformation of armed groups and politics of DDR. Her engagements include collaborations with the UN Department of Peace Operations, the Folke Bernadotte Academy, the Westminster Foundation for Democracy amongst others.
Recent PAW-related events Gyda has organised include:
In addition to journal special issues and books, Gyda regularly review articles for leading academic journals, such as American Political Science Review, Political Geography, Party Politics, and Democratization.
Gyda is frequently invited to present her work at international conferences and workshops.
Recent invited talks include:
Feedback and Guidance hours, Semester 1: Mondays 16:30-17:30 and Fridays (online) 14:00-15:00