Dr. Shandana Khan Mohmand is a social scientist whose main area of research is political participation and accountability.
Her research is interdisciplinary and comparative, and focuses largely on the following three questions:
1. How does democracy work to empower marginalised voters under conditions of persistent inequality?
This question informs the focus of her book on rural voters in Pakistan, as well as of research projects on political competition across local brokers, and increasing women’s political participation by studying the impact of appeals by political parties and civil society organisations. Much of this work aims to contribute to comparative politics literature by nuancing the conventional dichotomy set up between clientelistic and programmatic politics.
2. How can local governments be made to work better for citizens as a whole, and marginalised groups (women, poor, minorities) in particular?
Her work in this area focuses on questions of representation, accountability, and responsiveness, and takes a political economy approach to the analysis of local government and service provision in the Western Balkans, South Asia, and Africa (with a group of co-researchers in a recent issue of the IDS Bulletin).
3. How can the work of research communities and their relationship with policy actors be strengthened to produce more effective evidence-based policy?
This question defines the focus of a number of professional training programmes that Shandana has designed and led to strengthen research communities in Africa, Latin America, and the Western Balkans, which include the Multi-Method Research Course (MMRC) offered annually in Kenya; and the ELLA network in Africa and Latin America on comparative research.
She has over 15 years of experience teaching undergraduate, graduate, and professional training courses. Her publications include the forthcoming Crafty Oligarchs, Savvy Voters: Democracy and Inequality in Rural Pakistan (Cambridge University Press), journal articles, and chapters in Parties and Political Change in South Asia (Routledge, 2015); Local Democracy in South Asia (Sage Publications, 2008); Devolution and Governance (Oxford University Press, 2007); and Decentralisation and Local Governance (Orient Longman, 2005). She has also conducted policy research for ADB, DFID, CIDA, SDC and the UNDP Human Development Report Office.
Research interests: Political participation and behaviour, political accountability, decentralisation, political economy of service delivery, informal institutions.
Languages: English (fluent), Urdu/Hindi (native), Pushto (native), Portuguese (basic), Punjabi (basic).