skip to content

Department of Sociology

Dr Manali Desai

Dr Manali Desai is the Principal Investigator on the new ESRC-funded project investigating the multiple determinants of violence against women in Delhi NCR and Johannesburg.

The ESRC has awarded £1.76 million from 2020 to 2023, allocated from the Global Challenges Research Fund, to Principal Investigator Dr Manali Desai (University of Cambridge), and Co-Investigators Dr Nandini Gooptu (University of Oxford), Prof. Sanjay Srivastava (Institute of Economic Growth, New Delhi), Prof. Kammila Naidoo (University of Johannesburg) and Dr Lyn Ossome (Makerere Institute).

The project will emphasise on the mechanisms of violence in specific cases and localized environments, which will be linked to urban transformation, inequality and emerging gender/racial/caste/class relations through a multi-scalar research design. By gathering historically contextual and granular data, the project takes forward a ‘second wave’ research on violence, specifically sexual violence and domestic interpersonal violence.

The project seeks to capture the experiences of transition from apartheid to post-apartheid and liberalization in South Africa, and from state-led development to neoliberalization as manifested in urban India, and explore how the attendant shifts in security, ownership, rights, dispossession, and value are manifested in episodes and enactments of gendered violence in the two cities.

The emphasis on qualitative methodologies in this project will enable researchers to immerse themselves in the daily life of specific neighbourhoods, while at the same time looking at how local and national state agencies and policies frame the problem of gendered violence. The project will seek to compare the particular insights from the two cities, to draw broader conclusions about the effects of globalisation and urban transformation on gender relations and violence.