Alex Manby

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Geography (2019 cohort)

I am a political and social geographer interested in how young people experience and respond to everyday geopolitical uncertainty. Empirically, my research focuses on the Northeast Indian state of Nagaland, where in 2015 activists and the state signed a framework peace agreement after decades of conflict over the area's territorial status. Drawing on the geographies of temporality, territory, peace, and youth, I seek to understand how young people in Nagaland imagine both territory and the future in the context of on-going tensions between instability and stasis. I will further examine how these imaginings shape youth social and political action in the region, as well as how the category of youth is constituted against this backdrop of geopolitical uncertainty.                                             

Prior to starting my DPhil, I worked at The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT), a social purpose company part owned by HMG Cabinet Office, where I was a member of the Youth, Education, and Skills Team. At BIT, I helped to design interventions informed by behavioural science to improve school outcomes, conducted qualitative research, and assisted in the delivery of randomised control trials in schools and colleges. Before joining BIT, I worked in widening participation and access, delivering programmes to raise aspiration and attainment among students in East London. 

I hold an MSc with distinction in Geopolitics and Security from Royal Holloway, University of London, where I was awarded the department prize for best thesis. Prior to my MSc, I completed a BA degree in Geography from the University of Oxford and was awarded the proxime accessit C.D.D. Gibbs Prize for outstanding performance (3rd overall).

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