CGHR thinks critically and innovatively to foster citizen voice and solidarity-building towards a just, inclusive and better world 

Across the world, societies and polities face rapid transformations in technology, alongside upheavals in climate, health, conflict and global order, and demands to address historic and new injustices. Our challenge is to more sharply understand these dynamics and their implications, and to improve how research supports progressive change and those who drive it. 

Thinking with practitioners, at CGHR we are reimagining how justice, solidarity and citizen voice can flourish with or against technology. 

Academic research centres committed to praxis have a crucial role to play. At their best, they combine independence and freedom of thought, rigorous and innovative research, and patient and deep exchanges with practitioners. 

From over a decade of critical and collaborative praxis research, we have learnt that the crucial spaces for new thinking and action on justice, well-being and citizen voice challenges lie at intersections and in interactions between practice and scholarship, between disciplines, and between individuals and institutions across the world. 

Co-Directors Dr Sharath Srinivasan and Dr Ella McPherson speaking to students, friends and associates at CGHR’s Welcome Drinks in October 2022.
CGHR’s distinctive approach, developed from empirical and theoretical innovation during our first decade, follows these tenets: 
  • Social sciences-led critical thinking, informed by deep interdisciplinarity; 
  • Student-led initiatives manifesting collaborative and inclusive knowledge generation – across disciplines, levels, and institutions; 
  • Deliberate bridge-building between scholarship and practice; 
  • Close collaborations with practitioners to identify issues and problems and design solutions and innovations starting from a grassroots level; 
  • Bringing collaborative knowledge into conversation with the academy to innovate theoretically, resulting in design-fuelled research and research-fuelled design; 
  • Reflexivity around the role of the academy in the world today and the politics of scholarship. 

CGHR is co-directed by Dr Ella McPherson, Associate Professor of the Sociology of New Media and Digital Technology at the Department of Sociology, and Dr Sharath Srinivasan, David and Elaine Potter Associate Professor in Governance and Human Rights at the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS).  

CGHR was founded in late 2009 by Sharath Srinivasan. A generous gift to the University by the David and Elaine Potter Foundation endowed a lectureship that made the establishment of the Centre possible. The Potter Foundation’s gift continues to support the core work of the Centre. Established in 1999 by David and Elaine Potter, the Foundation seeks to achieve an impact through grants that promote reason, education, and human rights, in the hope of improving mutual understanding, reinforcing good governance, and encouraging the growth and maintenance of a robust civil society, particularly in less developed countries.