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Ms Nela Smolovic Jones

Profile summary

  • Research Student
  • Research Student
  • The Faculty of Business and Law
  • Research Directorate

Professional biography

I currently work as a PhD researcher at The Open University, UK, exploring the democratic practice generated via the work of the civil sector organisations. I hold an MA in Development Studies from the University of Auckland and an MRes from The Open University. Acting as the lead author on two published journal articles, I am an active researcher and writer on democratic practice, especially in the context of countries in transition. I hold a particular practice and research interest in feminism and issues of gender in general. Prior to embarking upon full-time study, I was an experienced interpreter/translator and election monitor, with an extensive background of working with civil sector organisations.

I have worked in the field of democratic development throughout my professional career. My experience in the monitoring of elections with OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and European Network of Election Monitoring Organisations, as well as acting as an interpreter and translator, has developed my ability for research, hard work and study. However, it also increased my interest in understanding the ways in which democratic practice can be generated. I have experience in managing high-level, visible and politically sensitive projects during times of tension in various developing countries, as well as conducting Master’s research within the context of a country ruled by a military regime, which gave me an insight into the working of civil sector and their importance for crafting and developing democratic practice. I have learned greatly from working closely in the past with highly skilled political analysts, as well as gender, legal, electoral and media experts, and as a result understand the diverse range of issues and methodological concerns related to the development of democratic practice.

Research interests

Participative democracy, especially agonism and deliberation; feminist theory; performative accounts of identity/practice; poststructuralist discourse theory; ethnography.