Sean Callaghan

Sean Callaghan

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Personal Details

Over Sean's 30+ year career in international development he has developed an extensive global network of trusted local partners. Sean is now leveraging that social capital to bring proven real-world expertise, invaluable grassroots access and experienced impact pathways to academic research projects. Working at the nexus between practice and theory, the resulting interdisciplinary collaborations have the potential to produce high-quality knowledge that can shape programming and inform policy. This work is not without its challenges: not only is Sean able to build these partnerships, but also a skilled cross-cultural facilitator – able to mentor and coach both academics and activists as they seek to identify timely research questions and appropriate methods to answer them while navigating the power-dynamics inherent in these multi-stakeholder processes. Sean is currently facilitating research partnerships for universities in the United Kingdom and the United States. Many of his current assignments focus on gender-based violence. Sean brings a unique set of cross-disciplinary experience covering business, systems design, activism, leadership mentoring, spirituality, organisational growth, financial management, and personal formation. Sean also holds an MPhil and I am a Professional Certified Coach with the International Coaching Federation.

PhD Research

Supervised by Prof Lisa Smith, Prof Gavin Brown and Dr Stefano De Sabbata. Efforts to address Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) in diaspora contexts are undermined by a lack of understanding of the prevalence, distribution and nature of the practice leading to ineffective policy and intervention responses.

Sean’s research will explore FGM/C in diaspora communities globally, with a specific focus on the under-researched context of migrants and their descendants living in the United States of America, home to approximately half of the FGM/C-practicing diaspora community outside of Africa and the Middle East. While, the addition of descriptions of the nature of FGM/C to the raw statistical prevalence data adds aspects of what and how to our understanding, it completely misses the critical element of motivation – the why. Resultant interventions might be more targeted but still fail to address root causes. It is for this reason that increasingly the focus of Sean's research is shifting towards the Dynamics of Persistence. The demographic geospatial elements of his research thus simply provide the canvas on which this more fundamental question is explored.

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The School of Criminology
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T: +44 (0)116 252 2458


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