Research Portrait of the Month: February Dr. Andreas Johansson at SASNET

As Director of SASNET at Lund University, Dr. Andreas Johansson has long and diverse field research experience. Together with UI’s Henrik Chetan Aspengren, he heads the South Asia-focused collaboration between SASNET and UI. The collaboration is focused on the countries of South Asia and the regions’ relations to the rest of the world. It aims at building a strong research environment of international quality.

In his initial research, Dr. Johansson examined how different organizations use Islamic religious terms and symbols to enhance their political influence in society. His research is about fundamentalism in South-Asian Muslim societies, and how a non-fundamentalist political party, namely the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), use Islam in their rhetoric. His findings were presented in his PhD thesis, which was titled ‘Pragmatic Muslim Politics – The Case of Sri Lanka Muslim Congress’. Dr. Johansson then completed postdoctoral study at Linnaeus University as part of Associate Professor Kristina Myrvold’s project on the use of religious miniature scriptures during the First World War.  The research project investigates the production, distribution, and use of miniature scriptures by Muslim and Sikh soldiers from the province of Punjab in India who fought for the British Army on the Western Front during World War I between 1914 and 1918.

He has been concerned with Islamic politics in South Asia for over 10 years and thus has developed as deep understanding of both the Sri Lankan and Maldivian political landscapes and contestations in their civil societies. In addition, he has also done research on the Japanese Mafia (the Yakuza). As a keen photography enthusiast, Dr. Johansson believes that photographs can contribute to the presentation of research findings. His book ‘Yakuza Tatto’ (published in 2017)  is a great example of this.

Dr. Johansson is continuously publishing research articles and books on the topic of Muslim politics in South Asia. He is currently working on a book project, but his latest article on the challenges ahead for the newly elected Maldivian president Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (Swedish only) can be found here. To find out more about Dr. Andreas Johansson please see his research profile at Lund University

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