Murali Shanmugavelan

Murali Shanmugavelan


Murali Shanmugavelan is a researcher for Fairwork Bangladesh and Research Lead at iSocial.

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. Murali’s research focuses on the re-manifestation of social hierarchies such as caste, race and gender groups in digital cultures such as hate speech, big data and platform economies.

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.

Murali holds a PhD 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). His doctoral thesis ‘Everyday communicative practices of caste’ made the case for caste – similar to race, gender and sexuality – to be recognised as a category in communications studies and digital cultures.

For the Fairwork project, Murali is involved in the research design, stakeholder management, strategic advocacy, and data analysis and interpretation in Bangladesh.