Routledge Area Studies

Impact & Interdisciplinarity Awards

We are excited to announce the winners of the 2023 Routledge Impact and Interdisciplinarity Awards!

Thank you to all who applied for our second annual Routledge Area Studies Awards in Impact and Interdisciplinarity. The judges praised the range and high standard of the applications. Our aim was to highlight original published research that showcases the unique strengths of Area Studies, its special applicability in real-world contexts, and its position at the interface of multiple disciplines.  We are pleased to celebrate research that makes a significant contribution to our understanding of ‘areas’ of our world and the lives lived therein.

Awarded to Dr. Christiane Fröhlich and Dr. Lea Müller-Funk

Migration Governance and Asylum Crises (MAGYC), WP “Comparing Crises – Lessons from Migration Crises in the Middle East, North Africa, and the Horn of Africa” 

Drs. Christiane Fröhlich and Lea Müller-Funk have delivered a well-conceived, designed, and implemented project. Through the combination of knowledge drawn from peace and conflict studies, sociology and political science, the application of a ‘tracing approach’ model, and the collection of data from outstanding fieldwork, they have produced novel understandings of mobility control within civil war settings. Not only does the project represent an advance in the literature on state-making processes, but it also provides clear conclusions that will be of relevance to policymakers and practitioners – such as those within the realm of peacebuilding – both within the area of study and further afield.  

Headshot of Dr. Christiane Froehlich
Dr. Christiane Fröhlich, co-winner of the 2023 Interdisciplinarity Award.

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Headshot of Dr. Lea Mueller-Funk
Dr. Lea Müller-Funk,
co-winner of the 2023 Interdisciplinarity Award.

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Meet Dr. Christiane Fröhlich, German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA)

Dr. Christiane Fröhlich is a senior research fellow at the German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA) in Hamburg. She is particularly interested in forced migration and its governance in the context of global environmental change and violent conflict, with a regional focus on the Middle East (Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel/Palestine, Turkey). She is also engaged in cross- and intra-regionally comparative research, most recently in the Horizon2020 project “Migration Governance and Asylum Crises (MAGYC)”, in which she led a work package on “Comparing Crises. Lessons from «migration crises» in North Africa, the Middle East, and the Greater Horn of Africa”, which analysed forced migration governance as a strategy of regime stabilisation during civil war and natural disasters, as well as perceptions of “migration crises” outside of Europe. Dr. Fröhlich holds a PhD from the Center for Conflict Studies at Marburg University and is the first speaker of the German Network for Forced Migration Studies

Meet Dr. Lea Müller-Funk, Danube University

Dr. Lea Müller-Funk is a Senior Researcher and Principal Investigator at the Department of Migration and Globalisation at Danube University, Krems, and an associated researcher at the German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA). Her research focuses on diaspora politics, (im)mobilities in displacement contexts, and the drivers of forced migration governance with a geographical focus on the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe. Dr Müller-Funk earned a joint PhD in Comparative Politics and Arabic Studies from Sciences Po, Paris, and Vienna University, and has held fellowships at the University of Amsterdam and the University of Oxford. She has led projects on migration decision-making and future imaginations in displacement contexts (SYREALITY) and the project Teaching Immigration in European Schools (TIES). As part of the MAGYC project, she studied forced migration governance and dynamics of South–South migration flows in North Africa, the Middle East and the Horn of Africa. Follow Dr. Lea Müller-Funk’s TIES project, here.

Interdisciplinarity Award Shortlist

Research Project TitleApplicant
Migration Governance and Asylum Crises (MAGYC), WP “Comparing Crises – Lessons from Migration Crises in the Middle East, North Africa, and the Horn of Africa”Christiane Fröhlich, Lea Müller-Funk
The Production of “South-South” Capitalist Labor Relations at Chinese-Operated Mines in ZambiaJustin Haruyama
Cape Verde: A Visual Political Ethnography of Food, Migration and SocietyKaian Lam

The judges would like to highly commend Dr. Justin Haruyama’s research project ‘The Production of “South-South” Capitalist Labor Relations at Chinese-Operated Mines in Zambia.’ This project was commended for its originality and its innovative fusion of sociology, linguistics, anthropology and political economy, developing the novel concept of ‘shortcut English’ to explore changing race relations in postcolonial contexts.

Awarded to Professor Gehan Selim, University of Leeds, and team

Digital Heritage for Sustainable Safeguarding of Endangered Cultural Heritage in the Global South

The impressive project by Professor Gehan Selim and colleagues is highly original and innovative, making a significant contribution to the safeguarding of cultural heritage in conflict regions of the Global South through the use of digital technologies. The project, which addresses a critical global challenge, contributes to our understanding of the impact of conflict on people’s heritage and focuses on the role of the youth towards thinking about the future and rebuilding a collective identity. The project has demonstrated substantial impact and led to tangible changes in terms of youth capacity building through training, and the development of toolkits and guidelines that have influenced policy at both national and international levels. The project has broader implications for sustainable cultural heritage preservation beyond the Global South and has the potential for future impact.  

Headshot of Dr. Gehan Selim
Professor Gehan Selim, winner of the 2023 Impact Award.

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Meet Professor Gehan Selim, University of Leeds

Gehan Selim is the Hoffman Wood Professor of Architecture and Deputy Director at Leeds Social Sciences Institute at the University of Leeds. She was Fellow of The Senator George Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice in 2017.  Professor Selim’s research interests lie in Architectural Humanities, Post-Conflict Urbanism and Digital Heritage, focusing on liberation politics, resilient cities and geographies of conflict, particularly at how memory informs post-conflict societies in their everyday practices. Professor Selim currently holds Principal Investigator of the AHRC-funded projects focusing on ‘The Living Museum of Umm Qais’ and ‘Creative Economies Through Youth- led Arts and Craft in Jordan’ (CEARC) projects, and on ‘(Re)Contextualisng Contested Heritage’, mounting interdisciplinary approaches in Kosovo, Lebanon and Iraq. She is also the Co-Investigator of ‘Heritage Borders of Engagement Network’ [ENGAGE]. She is the author of ‘Unfinished Places’ (Routledge, 2017) and ‘Architecture, Space and Memory of Resurrection in Northern Ireland’ (Routledge, 2019).  

Impact Award Shortlist

Research Project TitleApplicant
Digital Heritage for Sustainable Safeguarding of Endangered Cultural Heritage in the Global South Gehan Selim, M. Gamal Abdelmonem, Sabeeh Lafta Farhan, Monther Jamhawi, Nabil Mohareb
Transformation and Sustainability Governance in South American Bioeconomies, Research Group in Political ScienceKaren Siegel, Melisa Deciancio, Guilherme de Queiroz Stein, Daniel Kefeli
Analysing community-based legitimacy through the development of a toolkit for advocacy organisations working with intermediaries in the Global SouthMaaike Matelski

2022 Routledge Area Studies Awards, Interdisciplinarity Award Winner

2022 Routledge Area Studies Awards, Interdisciplinarity Award Winners

Dr. Bojan Baća, University of Gothenburg, for the projects “Measuring Civic Engagement, Political Participation, and Social Activism in Central and Eastern Europe: Towards a Comprehensive Index” and “Ordinary Institutions, Extraordinary Actions: Towards a Process-Practice Oriented Approach to Postsocialist Civil Society Building.” The strong regional focus of Dr. Baća’s research project challenges a static view of the region, providing a deeper understanding of political action and democracy in the post-socialist arena. Demonstrating a serious engagement with, and fusion of, Political Science and Social Movement Studies, this interdisciplinary project engages with a broad range of sub-disciplines including political sociology, anthropology, and political geography. 

Dr. Fernando Casal Bértoa, Associate Professor in Comparative Politics at the University of Nottingham, UK, for “Public funding of political parties: what is it good for?” The project has had demonstrable real-world impact at a policy level, with the research findings being of interest to policy makers, national governments, and think-tanks/transnational organisations capable of recommending change. Dr. Bértoa’s submission clearly outlined how his research has led to tangible changes in terms of the development of ODIHR guidelines on political party funding, and national legislation reform in Armenia. 

The Status and Significance of Èṣù in the Pantheon and Tradition of Yorùbá People” by Dr. Ọlásopé Oyèdìjí Oyèláràn, a retired linguist whose research focuses on the phonology and syntax of African languages and French, as well as on the vehicle of indigenous epistemology, particularly of Yorùbá and Yorùbá in the diaspora. This project makes an important contribution to our wider understanding of Yorùbá history and philosophy, and places the spotlight firmly on a people and area of the world that western academia tends to overlook. 

    Please visit our original submission page for a full breakdown of the submission criteria, the judging panel, and more.

    The Routledge Area Studies Awards are conferred by an expert panel of Area Studies scholars, in partnership with Routledge, the world’s leading academic publisher in Area Studies, and the Humanities and Social Sciences broadly.  Routledge publishes thousands of books and journals each year, serving scholars, instructors, and professional communities worldwide.

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