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Since 2010, Peace and Conflict students have been going out into the world with Postgraduate Diplomas, Masters and, soon, PhDs.  We endeavour to keep in touch with our graduates and are always keen to hear where the post-study journey takes them.

Amie Kirkham for bio-2Soon after submitting my Masters thesis at NCPACS I was lucky enough to be offered an internship opportunity with the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPCS) in Cambodia, provided I could stay for at least three months. After editing research papers in preparation for publication for the first eight weeks I had the opportunity to travel to Yangon, Myanmar and assist with a training workshop with young democracy leaders, teaching conflict transformation skills.

I am now working as CPCS’s Listening Project Coordinator. Listening projects use listening methodology, conducting informal conversation style interviews that gather a wide range of opinions and identify key themes that are held by a wide group of people. CPCS uses listening projects to elevate voices from inside Myanmar that are not being heard, particularly in relation to the Myanmar peace process, aiming to build a more inclusive peace process.

I feel very lucky to have been incorporated into the CPCS team and really enjoying working at CPCS. It is a vibrant, supportive and encouraging environment and I am learning an enormous amount about practical peacebuildng.  A publication that I have been coordinating and writing was published in May 2014.  It showcases the perspectives of low ranking soldiers across six armed groups in the Myanmar Peace Process and represents over one hundred conversations across the Myanmar conflict.

My latest publication results from 111 conversations with a cross-section of people living in Karen (Kayin) State, to better understand different views on the Myanmar peace process and their current needs. Using listening methodology it draws on insights and wisdom of people directly affected by ongoing conflict and the Myanmar peace process.

Angelina Mnyanyi

AngelAfter gaining a Bachelor of Law (LLB) From University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, I did my Postgraduate Diploma in Peace and Conflict Studies at Otago University (2010). I completed my Masters with Peace and Conflict Studies in 2014.

What I really like about the programme is for me to be able to demonstrate a genuine interest in a wide range of areas of conflict both micro and macro which for sure can be attractive to potential employers in my near future. I thoroughly enjoyed my programme and particularly liked the way that the Centre for Peace Studies papers opened my eyes to different ways of viewing the world. The papers were both interesting and relevant to my future careers, and the work placements gave me the first opportunity to test myself on my mediation skills.

I really enjoyed the contact with my lecturers, all of whom were so approachable and helpful in terms of learning and discussing career paths. I love every moment I spent with my classmates.

I also like the fact that my programme allows me to work in different countries. I will always be thankful for the knowledge, skills, confidence, and support I received during my time at Otago. I recommend the programmes to anyone considering a career in Peace and Conflict.

Anne-Marie Judson

Photo of Anne-Marie JudsonAfter completing my MA(R2P) and PgDip (Human Security) at NCPACS, I decided to further my international law interest and have returned to complete an LLB at Te Piringa Law faculty (Waikato University). At the same time I am volunteering as a client interviewer with Bay Community Law in Tauranga. I have recently been selected to the U.S. Embassy student advisor program. My interests and specialist knowledge lie within the confines of International Humanitarian intervention, International law, R2P, Human security and the state of emergency.

Chin-Kuei Tsui

Photo of Chin-KueiI graduated from National Chengchi University, Taipei, Taiwan, with a Bachelor Degree in Arabic Language and Literature, and a Master Degree in International Relations. Prior to joining the National Centre for Peace and Conflicts Studies, I completed two-years of my PhD studies at the Department of International Politics, Aberystwyth University, in Wales. My research interests are Critical Terrorism Studies, Critical Discourse Analysis, International Relations Theory, and U.S. Foreign and Security Policies.

My PhD thesis focused on President Clinton’s terrorism and counter-terrorism discourses and his counter-terrorism policy. The thesis aims to demonstrate a clear continuity of the U.S.-led war on terror from Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, through to George W. Bush. By carefully examining U.S. terrorism and counter-terrorism discourses with the aid of critical discourse analysis, this research argues and illustrates that U.S. terrorism discourse functions to maintain a counter-terrorism ‘regime of truth’, and places boundaries around what can meaningfully be said and understood about the subject of terrorism.

Tsui C. K. (2013). Framing the Threat of Rogue States: Iraq, Iran and President Clinton's Dual-Containment Approach to Middle East Peace. This paper will be presented at the 2013 Australian Political Studies Association (APSA) Conference (Murdoch University, Perth, Australia, September 30th, 2013).
Tsui C. K. (2013). Rethinking the Discursive Construction of Terrorism and Counterterrorism: What Discourse Showed, Explained, and Hid. Paper presented at Centre Research Seminar (National Central for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Otago, May 16th, 2013).
Tsui C. K. (2013). Writing National Identity: Discourses, Narratives, and the Social Construction of Terrorism as a Negative Ideograph. Paper presented at the 2013 International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Convention (San Francisco, California, USA, April 5th, 2013). Available at:
Tsui, C. K. (2012). The Myth of George W. Bush's Foreign Policy Revolution: Reagan, Clinton, and the Continuity of the War on Terror. e-International Relations. December 2nd, 2012. Available at:
Tsui, C. K. (2012). Framing the Threat of Catastrophic Terrorism: Discourse, Intertextuality, and President Bill Clinton's Counterterrorism Initiatives. Paper presented at the 2012 New Zealand Political Studies Association (NZPSA) Conference (Victoria University of Wellington, November 27th, 2012)
Tsui, C. K. (2012). Writing Wars on Terrorism from Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and through to George W. Bush: Discourses, Narratives and National Identity. Paper Presented at Power and Politics Conference 2012 (University College, University of Otago, July 3rd 2012)
Tsui, C. K. (2012). Writing the New Terrorist Threat in the Post-Cold War Era: Clinton and the Construction of the Catastrophic Terrorism. Paper Presented at Centre Research Seminar (National Centre for Peace and Conflicts Studies, University of Otago, May 17th 2012)
Tsui, C. K. (2011). Tracing the Discursive Origins of the War on Terror: Clinton and the Construction of the Terrorist Threat in the Post-Cold Era. Paper Presented at A Decade of Terrorism Conference (University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, September 8-11th 2011

Ellen Furnari, PhD

Ellen2Before coming to the Centre to work on a PhD, I worked with in the field of unarmed civilian protection with the Nonviolent Peaceforce in Sri Lanka and elsewhere. Based on early work, I was particularly interested in what was being learned in the direct practice, and in evaluation. Returning to the US I worked with a number of organisations on strategy, program design and learning and evaluation.

My PhD thesis is titled "Understanding effectiveness in peacekeeping operations: Exploring the perspectives of frontline peacekeepers" ( . I used constructed grounded theory as research methodology and interviewed over 50 former and current peacekeepers who served as military, police, civilian, or unarmed civilian peacekeepers.

While waiting for my examination results, and since graduating, I have become an adjunct faculty at Webster University and JFK University, both in the US. I also consult with the Nonviolent Peaceforce, part of a team working on a curriculum for unarmed civilian peacekeeping and protection. This course will be sponsored by UNITAR, a UN training agency. Additionally, I have written a number of papers (some of which can be found here) and a chapter for a book to be published in 2015. Several articles are under review for publication.

In addition, I am using the skills I learned in Dunedin with the Alternatives to Violence Program (AVP), helping to facilitate AVP programs in a prison near where I currently live. Working there with AVP has led to my also teaching Buddhism twice a month there.

It was a profound honor to be a student at the Centre, and my time there challenged me to grow in both academic and personal realms. I am deeply appreciative of the opportunity to return to academia after many years in the field, and to go out again with new perspectives and skills.

Recent publications:

Ellen Furnari and John Lindsay-Poland (2016): Wielding Nonviolence in the midst of violence: Case studies of good practices in unarmed civilian protection, Books on Demand, 2016, ISBN 3741219959, 9783741219955

Roy Tamashiro & Ellen Furnari (2015): Museums for peace: agents and instruments of peace education, Journal of Peace Education, DOI: 10.1080/17400201.2015.1092712

Relationships are Critical for UCP, Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice,

Securing space for local peacebuilding: the role of international and national civilian peacekeepers, Peacebuilding,

Michael Fusi Ligaliga

Michael LigaligaI completed my Postgraduate Diploma and MA at the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies in 2013. I worked closely with Dr. Heather Devere. My MA thesis was looking at translational issues in the 1962 Treaty of Friendship between New Zealand and Samoa. The framework I used was a form of back translation called the Brislin Model of Translation, to examine textual differences between the English and Samoan text in the treaty.

I am currently teaching at Brigham Young University Hawaii in the areas of Political Science, Cultural Mediation, Conflict & Crisis in the Pacific, Pacific Governance, Culture and Conflict, and Peace Building. In 2014 I will be working as the Acting Director for the David O. McKay Center for Intercultural Understanding which oversees over 150 students who are either majoring in International Peace Building or doing a certification course in International Peace Building.

I hope to return to the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies after my time here in Hawaii to pursue my PhD. I love the NCPACS, they are my family and have done so much for me. Aloha !!!

Paul Bedggood - Ngapuhi

P&CBefore coming to the NCPACS I worked in Southern African countries assisting with the implementation of primary health education programmes. I completed my Master’s thesis at the NCPACS where I evaluated the New Zealand Aid Programme within a peace studies framework. I then returned to the field of primary health, working alongside an NGO in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, which disseminates basic health education to people living in outliner communities. For a year I assisted with the organisation's planning structures, implementation of health workshops, and the restructure of their monitoring and evaluation systems.

While I am continuing to work alongside a number of actors within the health field, I’m now predominantly working with an eco-tourism association located within the interior of Bougainville. The locally owned and operated organisation is comprised of previous warring groups and sees ex-combatants from opposing sides of the civil war working together. By establishing a variety of hiking options in and around Central Bougainville, the eco-tourism group hopes to establish a means of generating income and preserving culture in an environment increasingly under pressure from cash-crop farming and impinging social issues. Living and working alongside the Rotokas people, I am primarily assisting with GPSing and mapping, organisation planning and development, and the implementation of eco-tourism awareness workshops.

I feel privileged to have studied at the NCPACS, and would like to return to Dunedin to further my studies in the future.

Prakash Bhattarai

Prakash BhattaraiIn 2014, I completed my PHD candidate in Peace and Conflict Studies at University of Otago- National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, Dunedin, New Zealand. I hold two Masters Degrees, the first one in Population Studies from Tribhuvan University (TU) Kathmandu, Nepal in 2005 and second one in International Peace Studies from the Kroc Institute of International Peace Studies at University of Notre Dame, USA in 2010.

I have a decade of professional and leadership experience in the areas of democracy, human rights, peacebuilding, migration, and youth.My work in Nepal has been in a leadership and managerial role in both national and international organizations. From July-December 2009, I got a practical action opportunity to work at Catholic Relief Service, Mindanao, Philippines, where I was engaged in a research project on third party intervention in the Mindanao peace process and the monitoring and evaluation of the impact of peace education program in Mindanao, Philippines.

As part of my PhD dissertation, I focused on a research project that seeks to explain the coordination dynamics of third party intervention in conflict-affected countries. Research demonstrates the levels, trends, effectiveness, and other dimensions of coordination and cooperation among peace interveners and the problems and prospects associated with multiparty intervention in the resolution of a conflict. This research was primarily based on field research in Nepal and the Philippines.

Rachel Fairhurst

Rachel FairhurstAfter graduating with a Postgraduate Diploma in Peace and Conflict Studies in 2010, I traveled on a Fulbright scholarship to the United States to complete a MA in International Peace Studies from the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame.

I have worked in the West Bank at ARIJ, a sustainable development organization. Currently I'm a research associate at the Kroc Institute, where I work on policy-related issues such as sanctions and security in Iran, as well as civil society efforts to engage with regional and international organizations on issues of peacebuilding and human security.

Scott Pearse-Smith

Photo of Scott Pearse-SmithScott completed his Master of Arts at the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies in 2011. Scott’s masters research investigated the impact of hydro-development on the peace and conflict environment of the Mekong Basin.

After graduating, he published a number of journal articles:

Pearse-Smith, S. W. D. (2014). The return of large dams to the development agenda: A post-development critique. Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development, 11(1): 123–131.

Bobekova, E., Pearse-Smith, S. W. D., Svensson, I. (2013). Rivers of peace: The East Asian peace and institutionalised Mekong River cooperation. European Journal of East Asian Studies, 12(1): 7–34.

Pearse-Smith, S. W. D. (2012). ‘Water war’ in the Mekong Basin? Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 53(2): 147–162.

Pearse-Smith, S. W. D. (2012). Lower Mekong Basin hydropower development and the trade-off between the traditional and modern sectors: ‘Out with the old, in with the new’. The Asia-Pacific Journal, 10 (23): 1.

Pearse-Smith, S. W. D. (2012). The impact of continued Mekong Basin hydropower development on local livelihoods. Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development, 7(1): 73–86.