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Dr Sharath Srinivasan

Dr Sharath Srinivasan


David and Elaine Potter Lecturer in Governance and Human Rights

Co-Director, Centre of Governance and Human Rights (CGHR)


Sharath Srinivasan is the David and Elaine Potter Lecturer in Governance and Human Rights 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-).

Research Interests

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 20 staff in Kenya, Africa’s Voices applies digital and computational social research methods to deliver governance programmes in East Africa worth £1+ million annually. I am strongly committed to how social sciences can lead applied interdisciplinary research towards impact.

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 enable me to think critically and to innovate with others. 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.


African politics and international relations, and aspects of ethics and world politics, especially peacemaking, peacebuilding, governance, human rights and humanitarian intervention.

Supervision Interests

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.

Key Publications

Journal articles

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

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

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), & UNSW Law Journal Forum ‘The 1998 Constitutional Convention: An Experiment in Popular Reform’ (1998)