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Diverse Research Projects on Civil Society, Yorùbá History, and Funding of Political Parties Win Routledge Area Studies Awards

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Bojan Baća, Fernando Casal Bértoa, and Ọlásopé Oyèdìjí Oyèláràn Recognized for Significant Contribution to Understanding of ‘Areas’ in Inaugural Impact and Interdisciplinarity Awards

Three Area Studies researchers have been praised for the quality and significance of their work in the first annual Routledge Area Studies Impact and Interdisciplinarity Awards, from a field of applications which the judges described as being of ‘high standard’.

The Interdisciplinarity Award was given to early career researcher Dr. Bojan Baća (University of Gothenburg) for two interrelated postdoctoral research projects that engage with Political Science and Social Movement Studies. The judges said that Dr. Baća’s “impressive” work is both “original and innovative” and that it makes “a significant contribution to understanding the complexity and diversity of civil society in post-socialist countries in Central and Eastern Europe.”

The Impact Award was given jointly to two projects. Dr. Fernando Casal Bértoa (University of Nottingham) was recognized for a project on party funding in post-communist Eastern Europe. The judges noted that Dr. Bértoa’s work has “demonstrable real-world impact at a policy level, with the research findings being of interest to policy makers, national governments, and think-tanks/transnational organizations capable of recommending change.”

Scholar emeritus Dr. Ọlásopé Oyèdìjí Oyèláràn also received the Impact Award for his new reading of the divinity of Esu, which challenges negative representations of Esu by Abrahamic religions. The judges described Dr. Oyèláràn’s work on Yorùbá history and philosophy as “a significant piece of indigenous knowledge that contributes a decolonizing perspective on African history and culture, deepening our understanding of the negative impacts of colonialism on this culture.”

Madeleine Heming Markey, Portfolio Manager for Area Studies at Routledge, said, “We’ve created these new awards to highlight research which showcases the unique strengths of Area Studies, its special applicability in real-world contexts, and its position at the interface of multiple disciplines.”

“Many congratulations to these three very worthy winners. We’re very grateful to everyone who submitted their projects for consideration, with submissions received from more than twenty countries, spanning all continents (aside from Antarctica). We are indebted also to our fantastic expert panel of judges who had a tough job given the high standard of the diverse range of submissions”, added Heming Markey.

Full details about the winners and their research projects can be found on the Routledge Area Studies Impact & Interdisciplinarity Awards website.