Francisco Freire, researcher of the Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas of NOVA University (FCSH/NOVA), has been awarded an European Research Council (ERC) grant of 1,2 million euros to study the west Sahara region.
Francisco Freire, who conducts research at the Centro em Rede de Investigação em Antropologia (CRIA), one of the research units of FCSH/NOVA, has been distinguished for its project "Critical Approaches to Politics, Social Activism, and Islamic Militancy in the Western Saharan Region (CAPSAHARA)".
The funding, totaling 1,2 million euros for a period of 48 months, has the objective of analyzing the reconfigurations established in the socio-political vocabulary of the western Saharan region from the post-empire to the contemporary period.
The team is formed by 13 international researchers who will study the social and political structures shared in the region, the local variations of those structures, their specific configurations, based on social markers such as gender, age, and class, and the use of those structures in different historical periods.
The project’s main goal is to analyze the types of interplay established between pre-modern socio-political traditions and contemporary political expression and activism, in a particularly sensitive – and academically disregarded – region.