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Dr Dena Freeman’s work focusses on globalization, development, inequality, religion and democracy.
It charts the internal discussions and dilemmas about theology, development practices and humanitarian standards that took place over a fifty year history as Tearfund transformed from quasi-missionary agency, into a major relief and development NGO, and then re-oriented itself into a ‘faith-based organisation’.
She has also written about other evangelical social justice organisations, including the Micah Challenge, a transnational evangelical advocacy campaign for the Millennium Development Goals.
A previous book, (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) , looks at the way in which Pentecostalism, one of the fastest growing religious forms in much of the global South, articulates with local development processes.
It explores the ways in which Pentecostal belief and practice can lead to new values and forms of sociality, which in turn can lead to changes in economic behaviour.
Since the 1970s neoliberalism, financialisation and globalisation are leading again to the de-coupling of the political and the economic and again rates of economic inequality are rising.
Freeman explores the mechanisms through which this is taking place and argues that in order to tackle inequality it is necessary to re-democratise the economic at both national and global levels.The research thus also explores the need for, and the challenges of, global democracy.Following on from this, she is currently beginning ethnographic explorations of the contentious politics of contemporary global governance processes in a range of forums, such as the United Nations (particularly the processes around the Sustainable Development Goals, and also the attempts at the Human Rights Council to establish international law to regulate transnational corporations) and also the G20 and its ‘engagement groups’. His research focuses primarily on the African Great Lakes region, especially on the societies of South-western Uganda, where he has been conducting ethnographic fieldwork since 2000. Phil in Social Anthropology from the University of Oxford.Further ethnographic work in Ethiopia has explored issues of happiness, wellbeing, development, markets and moralities, religious change and regional patterns of cultural variation.Dena has carried out consultancies for a wide range of organisations in the fields of international development and corporate social responsibility (CSR), including The Fairtrade Foundation, The Ethical Trading Initiative, CARE International, FARM-Africa, SOS-Sahel, Sustainable Livelihood Action, the International Rescue Committee (IRC), as well as a number of companies in the clothing and agricultural sectors. Affordances of Rupture and their Enactment: A Framework for Understanding Christian Change.The research traces the historical relationship between the ‘political’ and the ‘economic’ in Europe from 1800, as both capitalism and democracy developed.In the period from 1800-1945 the spheres of political decision-making and of economic activity were largely separate as most people, whether in Europe or the colonies, had no political voice regarding the economic policies that were implemented.She is also a member of the European Research Network on Global Pentecostalism Her earlier work looked at the dynamics of cultural transformation in the Gamo Highlands of southern Ethiopia.It brought together anthropological and historical perspectives to explore processes of politico-ritual transformation and the construction of inequality in rural communities.