Dr. Palash Kamruzzaman
Palash Kamruzzaman is a Senior Lecturer in social policy at the University of South Wales (USW), UK. He conducted research in Bangladesh, Ghana, Nigeria, Jordan and Afghanistan and published in the areas of refugees and displacement, expertise in international development, politics of development, aid ethnographies, participation in policymaking, global development goals (eg SDGs, MDGs), civil society and extreme poverty.
Q1. Who are you?
I am a Senior Lecturer in social policy at the University of South Wales (USW), UK. I come from a multidisciplinary academic background combining degrees in sociology and social policy (PhD), and anthropology (MSS and BSS (Hon.)). I have taught international development, politics, sociology and anthropology at several UK universities such as University of Bath, University of Leicester, University of Nottingham, University of Liverpool and Independent University (Bangladesh). I have conducted research in Bangladesh, Ghana, Nigeria, Jordan and Afghanistan and published in the areas of refugees and displacement, expertise in international development, politics of development, aid ethnographies, participation in policymaking, global development goals (eg SDGs, MDGs), civil society and extreme poverty. I am the author of Poverty Reduction Strategy in Bangladesh – Rethinking Participation in Policy Making (2014) and Dollarisation of Poverty – Rethinking Poverty beyond 2015 (2015), and the editor of Civil Society in the Global South (2019).
Q2. What was your motivation for applying for the FFVT fellowship? Why Germany?
I was motivated by the diverse research interests and expertise of FFVT colleagues. It seems to me that I can learn from their experience and expertise while at the same time, I also felt that sharing my research experience might open up opportunities for research collaboration with substantial impact. In tandem with this, Germany has a rich heritage of hosting refugees, and this (opportunity of learning from this experience) played an important role for me when I applied for an FFVT scholarship.
Q3. What do you expect from the fellowship?
As I said above, of course this fellowship will be a great opportunity to share my experience and learn from a group of colleagues who also have great knowledge about refugees, displacement and peace. Moreover, I expect this will generate some exciting and innovative ideas for future research that will have a substantial impact on the lives of Rohingya refugees initially and perhaps will also have a positive impact on other refugees across the world. Along the way, I would be most delighted if we could produce something (e.g. research outputs, policy briefs, podcasts or academic outputs etc.) that could add to the existing scholarship.
Q4. What is the focus of your work, and what is innovative about it? / What are your planned outcomes and activities for the fellowship period? And how do they relate to your FFVT hosting institution/ the FFVT cooperation project?
My current focus is on understanding refugee crises through a holistic lens (more like exploring the humanitarian–developmental nexus of refugee crises). To elaborate, my recent study looked at the experience of violence and loss of dignity among two of the most vulnerable groups, namely the forcibly displaced Rohingyas from Myanmar who now live in Bangladesh and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Afghanistan. I realise that it is extremely important that we (academics, practitioners, policymakers and the political leaders) hear the voice of these groups. However, the refugees are just one element (perhaps the most important one) of a complex jigsaw puzzle. Currently, we know very little about other stakeholders who also play (or could play) important roles in hosting refugees as well as for sustained yet dignified solutions. Bearing this in mind, I am currently involved in two pilot studies in Jordan and Bangladesh that look into the perceptions of the local communities that are hosting refugees. I take this fellowship as an opportunity that will hopefully result in some collaboration that would have a positive impact on the lives of refugees and offer some evidence base for policymakers, practitioners and academics.