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

Peacebuilding Research Programs

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.