The Centre for Democratic Politics is delighted to welcome two new scholars to Leeds, Dr Eduardo Moreira da Silva and Dr Blagovesta Tacheva.
Eduardo is an Assistant Professor at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil and he is a visiting scholar with us until December 2023. His areas of expertise are: participatory institutions; deliberation; Social Network Analysis, and machine learning. He has specific interests in participatory institutions and social movements in Latin America, and deliberation and social network analysis, digital participation and machine learning.
Eduardo will be working on a project that aims to develop the dimensions and functionalities of a platform to help governments to organize citizen participation processes in large scale. Recent research shows economy in time and resources with the use of digitalization processes in public services carried out in Amazonas, Pernambuco and Paraíba state governments. Research financed by CNPq in the area of human rights has led to the development of an algorithm by Eduardo’s team that performs semi-automated analysis of documents. In addition, a journalist robot is working in categorizing documents and generating a 240-character text to be published on Twitter. This toolkit is a helpful instrument to enhance the links of the participatory institutions with the society.
Blagovesta has joined the School of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) as a Research Fellow working on the project ‘Addressing barriers to political engagement’ with Professor Cristina Leston-Bandeira. The project, co-produced with the Petitions Committees of the UK and Welsh Parliaments, will explore experiences and perceptions of political engagement among citizens from seldom-heard groups, in a bid to identify barriers and potential enablers for their further engagement.
Blagovesta is an interdisciplinary researcher, whose primary interests span across multiple fields of study, including human rights, mass atrocity crimes prevention, security studies, global and public health. In addition, she has experience in research with vulnerable and socially disadvantaged groups.
Since gaining a PhD from POLIS, University of Leeds, in 2021, Blagovesta spent four months working at the UN Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect before joining Global Partners Governance (London) as a human rights consultant. In 2022, she returned to the University of Leeds to work on two WHO-commissioned research projects on pandemic preparedness and response at POLIS. Before re-joining POLIS in February 2023, Blagovesta spent five months at Educational Engagement, University of Leeds, conducting an evaluation of the effectiveness of summer schools in improving access to higher education, led by the Centre for Transforming Access and Student Outcomes in Higher Education (London).