The Initiative for Peacebuilding’s approach to developing activities is guided by the principles of empirically-demand-driven support to peacebuilding that helps analyse and address underlying causes of the conflict and support enhanced peacebuilding efforts to those best placed to engage.

The three arms of the Initiative for Peacebuilding – research, engagement, and education – aim to contribute to peacebuilding efforts in the region with the overall goal of enhancing the disciplinary knowledge base for more sustainable peace work. All projects undertaken under the Initiative for Peacebuilding will be interdisciplinary, and focused on developing knowledge, understanding and analyses of conflicts and issues that seek to support and strengthen peacebuilding approaches in the region.

Two women smiling, Photo Credit: Ian ‘Fred’ Smith, DFAT
Photo Credit: Ian ‘Fred’ Smith, DFAT

Research Programs

Strengthening Diplomacy and Conflict Prevention

This research program will build on the substantial work of John Langmore, Tania Miletic and colleagues to analyse and recommend strategies for strengthening diplomacy and conflict prevention in Australian foreign policy. Based on the existing research data from the survey of 125 interviewees and the subsequent report Security Through Sustainable Peace: Australian International Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding, John Langmore and Tania Miletic will prepare a series of scholarly and policy-oriented research papers for publication on key findings and topics from this body of work.

Contemporary conflicts occur in a globalised web of shared global challenges, all of which require political solutions. The project will focus on the importance of strengthening diplomacy and aid as critical to security through peace. Even before the pandemic, peacebuilding was under-resourced, a situation which was worsened by severe underfunding of diplomacy, diminishing aid and development allocations. 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 – political science, development studies, law, sociology, psychology and economics – enables a dynamic exploration of case studies from across the region, where partnerships already exist.

Indo-Pacific Peacebuilding in Focus

This research program will investigate key issues in our region and case studies (such as from Myanmar and Bougainville) for strengthening peacebuilding and conflict prevention in the Indo Pacific. Through partnerships with peacebuilding actors in Australia and across Asia and the Pacific, project proposals, consultancies, and invitations to collaborate, the Initiative will contribute to understanding, analysing and advancing peacebuilding knowledge and experience grounded in the region.

The project seeks to provide opportunities for reflection and strategic re-visioning of peacebuilding efforts and how best to learn from, share and support new opportunities to advance peace, focusing on the Indo-Pacific region. The project will include research-related and dialogue-driven opportunities for academics, diplomats, analysts, and practitioners to critically discuss experiences in the wider global pandemic context of challenges and opportunities for addressing violent conflicts and support to peacebuilding initiatives in the region.