skip to content

Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)



Sharath Srinivasan is the David and Elaine Potter Associate Professor in the Department of Politics and International Studies and a Fellow of King's College, Cambridge. He holds a DPhil from Oxford University, where he was a Chevening, Overseas Research Studentship, Clarendon and ORISHA scholar. He also holds degrees in law (human rights, public international law, social theory) and commerce from the University of New South Wales, Australia.

Dr Srinivasan has been the inaugural director and currently co-director of the University of Cambridge's Centre of Governance and Human Rights (CGHR). CGHR is multi-disciplinary and outward-looking, with the explicit goal of influencing policy and practice through innovative and critically constructive research. Dr Srinivasan also serves on the Governing Council of the British Institute in Eastern Africa (British Academy) (2017-) and its Research Committee (2014-), on the executive committee of the Society for the Study of the Sudans in the UK (2013-2019), and is an elected Fellow of the Rift Valley Institute, (2015-).


I am an interdisciplinary and applied researcher currently working on issues at the intersection of digital technology and politics in Africa. This research has been awarded funding by UK-DFID, ESRC, Wellcome Trust, Isaac Newton Trust, university-related research funds and private foundations. It has yielded numerous publications, supported six early career researchers, built international research collaborations and had notable research impact. I am co-founder and the first executive director of a non-profit spin-out from this research, Africa’s Voices Foundation (a registered charity in the UK). Now with over 25 staff in Kenya, Africa’s Voices applies digital social research methods to deliver governance programmes in East Africa worth £1+ million annually.

Grounded in political theory on civic republicanism, democracy and constitutionalism, my long-term research interest lies in unravelling how political ideas, values and interests that are embedded in the ‘built’ world – for example in digital technology applications but also institutions built by peacemakers – enable or constrain political action and the public realm. I am committed to praxis; applied interdisciplinary research collaborations that enable critical thinking and collaborative innovation. My current work with Cambridge Computer Laboratory colleagues combines political theory and human computer interaction to reimagine socio-technical systems that can be built to serve civic democracy.

I regularly contribute to wider policy and public forums, and to date have accepted close to 30 speaking invitations for university conferences, the media and policymaker/public events.


Key publications: 




Srinivasan, S. (2021). When Peace Kills Politics: International Intervention and Unending Wars in the Sudans. London: Hurst & Co; New York: Oxford University Press.



Srinivasan S., Karekwaivanane G. & S. Diepeveen (eds.) (2021), Publics in Africa in a digital age. Routledge.



S.M.H. Nouwen, L.M. James and S. Srinivasan, eds. (2020), Making and Breaking Peace in Sudan and South Sudan: The Comprehensive Peace Agreement and Beyond. In Proceedings of the British Academy, Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Articles (peer-reviewed)

Platzky Miller, J., Sander, S., and Srinivasan, S. (2022). ‘Control, Extract, Legitimate: COVID-19 and Digital Techno-opportunism across Africa’, Development and Change, 53(6). 25 pages.

Braam, D. H., Srinivasan, S., Church, L., Sheikh, Z., Jephcott, F. L., & Bukachi, S. (2021). 'Lockdowns, lives and livelihoods: the impact of COVID-19 and public health responses to conflict affected populations-a remote qualitative study in Baidoa and Mogadishu, Somalia’, Conflict and Health, 15(1), 1-11. 11 pages.

Riha, J. Abreu Lopes, C., Ibrahim N., & Srinivasan, S. (2021). ‘Media and Digital Technologies for Mixed Methods Research in Public Health Emergencies such as COVID-19: Lessons Learned From Using Interactive Radio-SMS for Social Research in Somalia’, Journal of Mixed Methods Research. 

Srinivasan, S., & Abreu Lopes, C. (2020). ‘Mediated Sociability: Audience Participation and Convened Citizen Engagement in Interactive Broadcast Shows in Africa’. International Journal of Communication, 14, 22. 22 pages.

Srinivasan, S., & Diepeveen, S.  (2019). Communication Technology and African PoliticsOxford Research Encyclopaedia of Politics. Oxford University Press. 32 pages.

Srinivasan S., Karekwaivanane G. & S. Diepeveen (2019), ‘Rethinking publics in Africa in a digital age’, Journal of Eastern African Studies, 13(1):2-17. 16 pages.

Srinivasan S. & Diepeveen, S. (2018). ‘The power of the ‘audience-public’: Interactive radio in Africa’, International Journal of Press and Politics, 23(3):389-412. 24 pages.

Srinivasan S. (2014). ‘Negotiating violence: Sudan’s peacemakers and the war in Darfur’, African Affairs, 113(450):24-44. 21 pages.

Heyns C. and S. Srinivasan (2013). ‘Protecting the Right to Life of Journalists: The Need for a Higher Level of Engagement’, Human Rights Quarterly 35(2):304-332. 29 pages.

Srinivasan S. (2007). ‘No Democracy without Justice: Political Freedom in Amartya Sen’s Capability ApproachJournal of Human Development and Capabilities 8(3):457-80. 24 pages.


Book chapters

Hamilton, M., McPherson, E., & Srinivasan, S. (2022). ‘Deal with me, here I stand!’: presence, participation and the equal protection of online assemblies’ in Viljoen, F., Fombad, C., Tladi, D., Skelton, A. and Killander, M.,eds., A Life Interrupted: Essays in honour of the lives and legacies of Christof Heyns. (Pretoria: Pretoria University Law Press (PULP): 327-346. 19 pages.

Srinivasan, S. & Nouwen, S.M.H. (2020), Peace and Peacemaking in Sudan and South Sudan, in S.M.H. Nouwen, L.M. James and S. Srinivasan, eds., Making and Breaking Peace in Sudan and South Sudan: The Comprehensive Peace Agreement and Beyond. In Proceedings of the British Academy (Oxford University Press).

Srinivasan S. & Lopes, CA (2016), ‘Africa’s Voices Versus Big Data? The value of citizen engagement through interactive radio’ in Hemer O and T Tufte (eds), Voice and Matter: Communication, Development and the Cultural Return (Gothenburg: Nordicom):155-171. 16 pages.

Srinivasan S. (2016), ‘Civil Society as Counter-power: Rethinking International Support Toward Tackling Conflict and Fostering Non-Violent Politics in Africa, in Aall P. & Crocker, C., eds, Minding the Gap: African Conflict Management in a Time of Change, (Waterloo ON: Centre for International Governance Innovation):295-310. 16 pages.

Srinivasan S. (2014), ‘FrontlineSMS, Mobile-for-Development and the 'long tail' of governance’ in Livingston, S. & Walter-Drop, G., eds, Bits and Atoms: Information and Communication Technology in Areas of Limited Statehood (OUP, Oxford):79-97. 19 pages.

Srinivasan S. (2013), ‘Climate Change and Human Security in Africa’ (with L Watson) in Redclift, M. & Grasso, M., eds, Handbook on Climate Change and Human Security, (Edward Elgar):305-333. 29 pages.

Srinivasan S. (2012), ‘The politics of negotiating peace in Sudan’ in Curtis D. & Dzinesa, G., eds, Peacebuilding, Power and Politics in Africa (Ohio University Press):195-211. 17 pages.

Srinivasan S. (2008), ‘A marriage less convenient: China, Sudan and Darfur’ in Ampiah K. & Naidu, S. eds, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon? Africa and China (U KwaZulu Natal Press): 55-85. 31 pages.

Srinivasan S. (2008), ‘A “rising Great Power” embraces Africa: Nigeria-China relations’ chapter in Adebajo A., & Mustapha, A.R., eds, Gulliver’s Troubles: Nigeria’s Foreign Policy after the Cold War (U KwaZulu Natal Press):334-67. 33 pages.



Srinivasan S., Karekwaivanane G. & S. Diepeveen (eds.) (2019), ‘Special Issue: Publics in Africa in a digital age’, Journal of Eastern African Studies, vol 13 (1). 12 peer-reviewed papers.

Co-Editor, Politics and Interactive Media in Africa (PiMA) Working Paper Series. Cambridge, UK: University of Cambridge, Centre of Governance and Human Rights. 10 peer-reviewed papers.

Co-Editor, New Media |Alternative Politics Working Paper Series. Cambridge, UK: University of Cambridge, Centre of Governance and Human Rights. 4 peer-reviewed papers.

Co-Editor, CGHR Working Papers, Cambridge, UK: University of Cambridge, Centre of Governance and Human Rights. 13 peer-reviewed papers.

Editor, The University of New South Wales Law Journal (1998), 21(3), & UNSW Law Journal Forum ‘The 1998 Constitutional Convention: An Experiment in Popular Reform’ (1998)

Teaching and Supervisions


Communication technology and politics; African politics and international relations; normative theory and world politics.


Research supervision: 

I encourage postdoctoral student applications in core research areas of the Centre of Governance and Human Rights, with particular interests in projects concerning: interdisciplinary research on the implications of digital technology for democracy; media, communication technology and politics/development in Africa; the politics and accountability of international intervention in Africa (human rights, humanitarian/development, peace and security); the domestic and international politics of Sudan, South Sudan, East Africa and the Horn of Africa.

Co-Director, Centre of Governance and Human Rights (CGHR)
David and Elaine Potter Associate Professor
University Teaching Officer
Fellow, King's College

Contact Details

Email address: