The Initiative for Peacebuilding brings together multidisciplinary research, engagement, and education to advance peacebuilding and conflict prevention in the Indo-Pacific region.
Sustainable peace is one of the essential conditions for global security and wellbeing. One way that peace is pursued is through the prevention and transformation of violent conflicts, and the conditions that give rise to these conflicts. Another is through supporting the attitudes, institutions and structures that can sustain peaceful societies.
With deep regional expertise and capabilities which bridge research and practice, the Initiative for Peacebuilding contributes to peacebuilding and conflict prevention by:
- researching peacebuilding in innovative and regionally grounded programs
- engaging with peacebuilding practice and policy from the standpoint of a university-based initiative
- educating the current and next generation of peacebuilding practitioners and researchers
Initiative for Peacebuilding Launch
The Initiative for Peacebuilding was launched on 21 April 2021 with messages from the Vice Chancellor and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Deputy Secretary, along with Professor John Langmore and Dr Tania Miletic. The launch was part of the Future of Peace Leadership symposium, co-hosted with Rotary.
The Initiative for Peacebuilding deepens understanding about complex conflict issues, while building relationships with local actors in Asian and Pacific countries who are leading peacebuilding efforts in the region. Through substantially enhancing availability of expert scholarship and experienced peacebuilding practitioners, the Initiative offers rigorous research into the causes of conflict, capacity to strengthen dialogue among a range of stakeholders, and imaginative thinking about means for preventing violent conflict and building peace.
Banner image: Bougainville, Credit: Sari Sutton
Keep up to date with news and events of the Initiative for Peacebuilding
News and past events
Professor John Langmore AM
Dr Tania Miletic
- Professor Karen Farquharson, Vice President of Academic Board and Professor of Sociology, School of Social and Political Sciences
- Professor Erika Feller, Professorial Fellow, Melbourne School of Government
- Dr Emma Leslie AM, Executive Director, Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (Cambodia)
- Professor Adrian Little, Pro Vice Chancellor (International) and Professor of Political Theory, SSPS
- John McCarthy AO, former senior Australian diplomat, analyst, and writer
- The Reverend Professor Russell Goulbourne, Dean, Faculty of Arts
- Associate Professor Tilman Ruff AO, Nossal Institute for Global Health.
- Professor Derek McDougall, Professorial Fellow, School of Social and Political Sciences.
- Dr Carla Winston, Lecturer in International Relations, School of Social and Political Sciences.
- Dr Siad Darwish, Environmental Peacebuilding and Gender Advisor.
- Dr Dolly Kikon, Collaborator on Food Systems, Conflict and Peacebuilding.
- Professor Sanjay Barbora, Tata Institute of Social Sciences.
- Dr Rachael Diprose, Senior Lecturer in Indonesian Studies, School of Social and Political Sciences.
- Dr Anne Decobert, Lecturer in Development Studies, School of Social and Political Sciences.
- Dr Lesley Pruitt, Senior Lecturer in Development Studies, School of Social and Political Sciences.
- Dr Anouk Ride, Independent Researcher, Solomon Islands.
- Denise Nichols, Practitioner Affiliate.
- Mr Soth Plai Ngarm, Research Affiliate.
- Dr Gabrielle Grant, Research Affiliate.
- Dr Gillian Howell, Dean's Research Fellow, Fine Arts and Music.
- Dr Nerkez Opacin, Teaching Associate, School of Social and Political Sciences.
Jacob is undertaking research into UN Special Political Missions and the politics of peacebuilding. Jacob’s research proposes to explore both the theoretical and practical dimensions of how UN Special Political Missions, and peace operations more broadly, engage in the politics of conflict to support peace. Jacob’s strong academic achievements and his decade of professional diplomatic experience enable him to make substantial contributions to the Initiative.
Naomi is a Master of International Relations student at the University of Melbourne, with an interest in conflict resolution and prevention and in peace building. She has experience studying and volunteering across Africa and Asia, predominantly in post-conflict Rwanda. She was recently published in the Australian Institute of International Affairs, Australian Outlook: Burundi vs. Rwanda: Potential for a Future Genocide.
A current postgraduate student studying a Master of International Relations at the University of Melbourne, Patrick has long held a piercing interest in issues relating to conflict resolution, the international dimensions of global security decision–making, and the growing importance of multilateralism in the face of global challenges. Following previous research, Patrick’s current thesis seeks to explore the theoretical and practical dimensions of contested legitimacy within multilateral institutions and global decision making, particularly within the Asia-Pacific region. Patrick’s research background has recently led him to intern for Australia’s Cyber Security CRC where he conducted major research into the growing spectre of geopolitical competition in outer space.
The Initiative for Peacebuilding develops empirically demand-driven activities to analyse and address underlying causes of conflict, and support enhanced peacebuilding efforts among those best-placed to engage.
Strengthening Diplomacy and Conflict Prevention
This research program focuses on the importance of strengthening diplomacy and aid as critical to peace and security. Even before the pandemic, peacebuilding was under-resourced, a situation which was worsened by severe underfunding of diplomacy, aid, and development. With priorities shifting to COVID-19 responses, local peacebuilders fear further reductions in financial support and attention from international, government and non-government donors. Engaging with researchers from across the humanities and social sciences enables a dynamic exploration of case studies from across the region, where partnerships already exist. Example projects relate to: the current efforts to re-vision diplomatic renewal in foreign policy in Australia; the importance of dialogue and relationship-building in relation to Northeast Asia; and professional development modules that can support enhanced policy and practice in conflict prevention.
Indo-Pacific Peacebuilding Practice Innovations
This research program focuses on innovations in peacebuilding and conflict prevention among key Indo-Pacific case studies (such as Myanmar, Bougainville, and Solomon Islands). The program seeks to examine how peacebuilding organisations, states, and non-state actors are working to adapt their efforts to today’s complex challenges. It provides opportunities for reflection and the strategic re-visioning of peacebuilding efforts, while learning from, sharing, and supporting new opportunities to advance peace. An example project involves collaboration with key First Nation mediators in Australia, and Southeast Asian and Pacific peacebuilding organisations, to examine what is working in relation to conflict transformation efforts. This is achieved through the collaborative investigation of partner experiences in Myanmar, the Philippines, Solomon Islands, Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, and Central and Northern Australia.
John Langmore, Tania Miletic, Aran Martin, and Bob Breen, 2020, Security Through Sustainable Peace: Australian International Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding, Melbourne School of Government and School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
John Langmore, Tania Miletic, Aran Martin, and Nathan Shea, 2017, State Support for Peace Processes: A Multi-Country Review, Published by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Miletic, Tania and Anouk Ride, 2022, 'Tensions are high between China and Australia over Solomon Islands, but it’s in everyone’s interests to simmer down', The Guardian.
Ride, Anouk and Tania Miletic, 2022, 'Stepping carefully amid conflict in the Pacific', Pursuit.
Feller, Erika, 2022, 'Social Justice – How and for Whom?', Australian Outlook.
Barbora, Sanjay, 2022, 'AUKUS an unwelcome guest at the table of nuclear disarmament', Pearls and Irritations, 16 January 2022.
McDougall, Derek, 2022, An Authoritarian Turn in the United States: Implications for Australia? Australian Outlook (Australian Institute of International Affairs), 28 January 2022, An Authoritarian Turn in the United States: Implications for Australia? - AIIA - Australian Institute of International Affairs
John Langmore and Tania Miletic, 2021, Submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, Inquiry into Funding for Public Research into Foreign Policy Issues, March.
Tania Miletic and John Langmore, 2020, ‘Australian Threadbare Diplomacy in Conflict,’ Australian Outlook, 26 November
Miletic, Tania. 2018, Diaspora and Peacebuilding. Prepared for Diaspora Learning Network and Diaspora Action Australia. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Miletic, Tania. 2018, Concept Note: Diaspora Peacebuilding and Reconciliation. Prepared for Diaspora Learning Network’s Seminar #1, DAA and DFAT.
Miletic, Tania. 2016, ‘Cambodia’s peace 25 years on’, Australian Outlook. Australian Institute of International Affairs, 26 October
McDougall, Derek and Chauvel Richard (guest editors). 2021 Small Wars & Insurgencies, 32, no. 6
McDougall, Derek 2021. Australia’s humanitarian response to disasters in the South Pacific. Asian Journal of Comparative Politics, Online First, 1-19.
McDougall, Derek 2021. 'Concerns for the neighbours (and some others): international involvement in the conflicts in the Southern Philippines and West Papua' Small Wars and Insurgencies, First Published 26 July.
Chauvel, Richard & McDougall, Derek 2021, ‘Introduction: Maritime Southeast Asia’s encounter with Westphalianism’, Small Wars & Insurgencies, pp. 1–12.
McDougall, Derek (2021), 'Review of "The frontlines of peace: an insider’s guide to changing the world"', Peacebuilding, DOI: 10.1080/21647259.2021.1999167
Martin, A., Nathan S., and J. Langmore, 2017, ‘International mediation and Australian Foreign Policy: building institutional capacity to respond to overseas conflict’, Australian Journal of International Affairs 71 (1), 2017, 88-104.
Langmore, John and Jeremy Farrall, 2016, ‘Can Elected Members Make a Difference in the UN Security Council? Australia’s Experience in 2013-2014’, Global Governance, 22, 1, Jan. – March, pp 59 -77
Langmore, John and Ramesh Thakur, 2016, ‘The Elected and Neglected Security Council Members’, The Washington Quarterly, 39:2,99-114, DOI: 10.1080/0163660X.2016.1204412.
Langmore, John, 2013, ‘Australia’s Campaign for Security Council Membership’, 2013, Australian Journal of Political Science, March, Vol. 48, No. 1, pp 101 – 111
Langmore, John and Shaun Fitzgerald, 2012, ‘Strengthening Global Economic Governance’, in Kate Macdonald, Shelley Marshall and Sanjay Pinto (Eds.), New Visions for Market Governance: Crisis and Renewal, Routledge, New York, pp 94-106
McLachlan-Bent, Ashley and John Langmore, 2011, ‘A Crime against Humanity? Implications and Prospects of the Responsibility to Protect in the Wake of Cyclone Nargis’, Global Responsibility to Protect, Vol 3, No. 1, pp 37 – 60.
Langmore, John and Jan Egeland, 2011, ‘Learning from Norway: Independent Middle-Power Foreign Policy’, Griffith Review 32, May, pp 164 – 179.
McDougall, Derek 2021. International Relations, in Understanding Contemporary Asia Pacific, 2nd ed. Katherine Palmer Kaup, Lynne Rienner Publishers, Boulder, Colorado, pp. 177-234.
McDougall, Derek 2021. Australia and the South Pacific Islands in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief, in Humanitarianism in Asia-Pacific: Engaging the Debate in Policy and Practice, eds Alistair Cook and Lina Gong, Springer Briefs in Political Science, Springer Nature, Singapore, pp. 41-45.
Professor John Langmore
Chair of the Board, Initiative for Peacebuilding
T: +61 419 897 489, E: email@example.com
Dr Tania Miletic
Assistant Director, Initiative for Peacebuilding
T: +61 437 272 287, E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Nathan Bond
Program Manager, Initiative for Peacebuilding
T: +61 3 8344 7542, E: email@example.com