Dr. Murali Shanmugavelan

Research Lead

Dr. Murali’s academic research and professional experience in international development have been primarily concerned with addressing social inequalities through rights-based communication (including digital technologies) research, policy and activism.

He has over 20 years of experience developing, managing and implementing projects focused on developing media and ICT policies and practice; outreach and strategic communications; and innovations in mobile applications in multi-disciplinary and cross-cultural settings. Murali has written numerous research and policy reports briefs that include but not limited to pro-poor access, digital divide, internet governance, access to knowledge, and most recently, caste and development.

Dr. Murali holds a Ph.D. from SOAS University of London and Master’s degrees in Political Science (Presidency College, Chennai), Political Communication (University of Madras), and Media and Communications (LSE). He wrote his doctoral thesis on ‘Everyday communicative practices of caste’. His work contends that caste – similar to race, gender and sexuality – to be recognized as a category in communications studies and digital cultures. His current research interest lies in developing a framework for ‘Decolonising media and communication studies – a radical proposal from anti-caste perspectives.’ Bringing together critical academic skills and extensive professional experience in media, ICT, internet in the International development sector, Murali is currently working on the re-manifestation of caste and social hierarchies in digital cultures such as hate speech, big data, and platform economies.