Skip to main content

Virtual Research Fellowship to work on African Knowledges of Climate Change Adaptation


Dr Michael Chasukwa is one of nine African scholars awarded a Leeds University Centre for African Studies / Leeds Arts and Humanities Research Institute virtual research fellowship for the year 2021. Michael is the Head of Politics and Administrative Studies at Chancellors College at the University of Malawi. The virtual fellowship is an opportunity to strengthen the partnerships between Chancellors College and Centre for Global Development.

Michael will be working with the Co-Director for the Centre for Global Development (CGD), Emma-Louise Anderson, on a research project on 'African Knowledges of Climate Change Adaptation – A critical examination of power play between international and local actors in Climate Change Policy Making and Implementation'.

Under this Fellowship, Micheal and Emma will examine the multifaceted power struggles that undergird the policy making and implementation process. In Malawi, UNDP channels donor funding to push a resilience agenda and supports the Ministry of Natural Resources and Climate Change, Department of Environmental Affairs in implementation.  There remain entrenched obstacles to “joined-up” government including ministries and departments working in silos. Policy formulation and implementation requires the participation of a plethora of competing actors at multiple levels – public sector, civil society and businesses. Such processes must not only be well-coordinated but also entail complex negotiations and prioritizations. Unfortunately, Malawi is on the receiving end of policies because of their seemingly lack of expertise and influence in the global policy spaces. This research will argue that effective implementation of global policies on climate change is dependent on utilizing African knowledge on the power dynamics between national and international actors.

Michael Chasukwa comments:

"I am delighted to return to the University of Leeds as a LUCAS/LAHRI Research Fellow. This Fellowship gives me an opportunity to engage in critical scholarly debates with several intellectuals with different specialisations participating in the Fellowship Programme. I am looking forward to working with my former doctoral supervisor, Dr Emma-Louise Anderson, and colleagues in Leeds University Centre for African Studies, Leeds Arts and Humanities Research Institute and School of Politics and International Studies."