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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


Michael Crawley

Michael Crawley
Michael Crawley
African Studies School of Social and Political Science University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh UK
Research Interests
Risk, ethnography, Migration and development, Youth, Long-distance running, Hope

PhD Title

Youth, Hope and Running for Development in Ethiopia

Research Project Description:

My work focuses on long-distance running as a way of ‘living towards the future’ in a context of widespread youth unemployment in Addis Ababa. Based on fifteen months of ethnographic fieldwork I explore how bodies, commercial interests and global flows interact. My research also explores the complex links between long-distance running and ‘development’. 


‘Youth, Running and ‘Development’: An Introduction’. Book Chapter in ‘East African Running, The Social Science Perspective,’ Ed. Benoit Gaudin.

Conference Papers:

‘We Are Burning Ourselves Up’: Energy, Efficiency and Trust among Ethiopian Runners’. PASHDA Conference, 2016, Nairobi.

‘Against the clock: Long-distance running and the reclassification of time in Addis Ababa’. ECAS, 2017, Basel.


2015: Tutor, "International Development, Aid and Humanitarianism" (UG, Year 2)

Academic Awards:

2014 – 2017: Recipient of ESRC Studentship

2012 – 2013: Recipient of Global Development Academy Masters Scholarship

2008: Recipient of Huntley MacDonald Sinclair Traveling Scholarship


Dr Neil Thin and Dr Jamie Cross


The Second Wind Project: In 2015 I won a Handa Fellowship for a project to retrain runners in related fields such as massage therapy. The project also involved English lessons and classes on the commercial structure of athletics.  


I write regularly for the Guardian newspaper ( and have written for a number of other publications including Like the Wind magazine and the Fitzdares times. I have also appeared on the Marathon Talk podcast ( In 2015, with the support of the Global Development Academy, I hosted a screening of Town of Runners, including a Q and A with the film’s main protagonist, coach Sentayehu, and the film’s producer, Dan Demissie.