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.
- Ajirapa Pienkhuntod
- Angelina Mnyanyi
- Anne-Marie Judson
- Amie Kirkham
- Christopher John Masters
- Babu Ayindo
- Chin-Kuei Tsui
- Ellen Furnari
- Jonathan Sutton
- Joe Llewellyn
- Michael Fusi Ligaliga
- Monica Carrer
- Nijmeh Ali
- Paul Bedggood
- Prakash Bhattarai
- Rachel Fairhurst
- Scott Pearse-Smith
- Sylvia Frain
Ajirapa Pienkhuntod undertook PhD study at the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies from 2013 to 2017. Her PhD thesis title is Facilitation, Imposition, or Impairment? The Role of Bridging Networks on Peacebuilding of Local Religious Leaders in the Deep South of Thailand. Ajirapa is currently a lecturer at College of Local Administration, Khon Kaen University, Thailand. Her areas of research interests are ethnic/religious conflict, conflict transformation, peacebuilding in intra-state conflict, and regional security issues. Her current research focuses on the effect of intra- and inter-group networks on individuals’ behaviours (violent/peaceful) in Thailand. Prior to joining College of Local Administration, she was an executive political and economic assistant to Thai Ambassador to New Zealand. Her career has been driven by efforts to utilise academic knowledge in policy formation and implementation.
My doctoral thesis is entitled Arts, Peacebuilding and Decolonization: A Comparative Study of Parihaka, Mindanao and Nairobi. Deploying a decolonizing lens, the study explored how arts-based initiatives, while composing works and processes of meaning, beauty, and imagination, simultaneously work towards breaking the apparent cycles of violence in ‘post-colonial’ contexts.
The findings from Parihaka (Aotearoa/New Zealand), Mindanao (southern Philippines) and Nairobi (Kenya) clearly demonstrate that these Indigenous cultures of peace and nonviolence were, and continue to be, encoded in orature and other hybridized arts. Therefore, Indigenous peace traditions, arts and culture need to elevated from the footnotes to the text of the discourse of building peace and building justice so that genuine conversations of peace approaches can happen at all levels.
After completing my doctoral studies in early 2017, I returned to Kenya where I continue to function as a storyteller, artist, teacher and scholar in arts, peacebuilding and social transformation. After publishing my doctoral thesis, I plan to return to join one of the Kenyan universities and do what I love most: teach!
Soon 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.
After 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 on the subject of international mediation.
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.
After 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.
As a Franciscan friar (a member of the Anglican Franciscans – the Society of St Francis), I wanted to explore some contemporary aspect of Franciscan peacemaking. My studies at NCPACS (2011-2015) led to my PhD thesis, “Instruments of Peace?” - Franciscans as Peacemakers in Sri Lanka During and After the Civil War which explored the responses of Franciscan sisters and friars in Sri Lanka to the protracted civil war in that country. The particular aspects looked at were the influence of faith in sustained peacemaking, the relationship of internal community relationships to external peacemaking, and how knowledge of the historic Franciscan peace tradition informed and nurtured peacemaking today.
In 2017 I was elected international leader of the Society of St Francis. Although I now have no opportunity to follow peace studies in an academic context my work and travel give me the opportunity to see first-hand the issues of justice, peace and environmental concerns which are part of the situation of our brothers round the world and to help promote concern and advocacy for these issues. I also try to encourage our brothers to live peacefully with each other since this doesn’t happen automatically for Franciscans! While in Dunedin I was able to continue with my interest in the Alternatives to Violence Project by being part of the facilitation team on several workshops and I would like to continue with this if the opportunity is available.
I 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: http://files.isanet.org/ConferenceArchive/4a893de9c6e54b1abd1999f228f54aca.pdf
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: http://www.e-ir.info/2012/12/02/the-myth-of-george-w-bushs-foreign-policy-revolution-reagan-clinton-and-the-continuity-of-the-war-on-terror/
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
Before 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" (http://otago.ourarchive.ac.nz/handle/10523/4765) . 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.
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, http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/hkG4Wj7hnvGd9Agz9e56/full
Securing space for local peacebuilding: the role of international and national civilian peacekeepers, Peacebuilding, http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/6zUISW2AMG6NaVrm9Hb2/full
I completed my PhD at the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (NCPACS) in 2018 with the support of a scholarship from the Rei Foundation. Previously, I completed an MA and a PGDip at NCPACS.
My early research focused on nonviolence and nonviolent resistance movements. My most recent project looked at the effects of different types of nonviolent revolutions on democratisation. Before this I explored the role of Gene Sharp’s work on the successful ‘Otpor’ movement in Serbia. Prior to my work in peace and conflict studies, I completed an undergraduate degree in occupational therapy and I am currently registered as a non-practicing occupational therapist. I also have a background in peace activism.
My doctoral research explores anarcho-pacifist nonviolence, which explicitly rejects all forms of direct, structural and cultural violence as a means and as an end. I am exploring how anarcho-pacifism can be utilised in order to create peaceful societies. As part of this research I am conducting interviews with anarcho-pacifists and proponents of Gandhian nonviolence in Aotearoa New Zealand, India, and the United States.
I completed my doctoral thesis “Authoritarian Politics and the Outcome of Nonviolent Uprisings” in 2018 with the support of funding from the Rei Foundation. My research examined how internal power struggles within authoritarian governments can affect the success or failure of nonviolent ‘people power’ movements that aim at regime change. Using a mixed methods approach based on statistical analysis, in-depth case studies, and field research, I found that autocrats who consolidate their personal control of government are more likely to lose power when challenged by mass protest movements. I am currently working on projects related to civil resistance, peacebuilding, and Southeast Asian politics, while pursuing postdoctorate opportunities.
My research interests include comparative authoritarianism, mainland Southeast Asian politics, repression and dissent, and nonviolent/civil resistance. My work has appeared in the Journal of Peace Research.
My doctoral thesis examines whether there are aspects within Faa Samoa that influence domestic violence in Samoa. Numerous researches have examined Samoa’s protective and preventative mechanisms against Domestic violence that are specific to Faa Samoa, but little is known whether or not there are other aspect(s) within Faa Samoa that contribute(s) or influence(s) domestic violence in Samoa. My research employs Galtung’s Typology of Violence to understand Samoa’s domestic violence issues. Galtung suggests there are three types of violence—direct, structural and cultural and that direct violence is reinforced by structural and cultural violence. The aim of the research is to examine whether or not there are example(s) of structural and cultural violence in Faa Samoa and if they (structure and cultural violence) reinforce direct violence (domestic violence) as suggested by Galtung’s Typology of Violence.
I received my BA in Political Science and International Peacebuilding from Brigham Young University Hawaii (BYUH) in 2010. In 2012, I completed my PGDip and MA from the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies. I then returned to BYU Hawaii as a lecturer where I taught peace and conflict theory, indigenous peacebuilding and mediation classes. During my time at BYU Hawaii I became the Acting Director of the David. O McKay Centre for Intercultural Understanding which is the Peace Centre for BYU Hawaii. In 2015, I returned to NCPACS to pursue my PhD.
Ligaliga, M.F., & Devere, H. (2013). Covenant or Contract? The Treaty of Friendship between New Zealand and Samoa 1962. The Journal of Pacific Studies, 33 (2), 116-130.
Ligaliga, M.F (2017, May 22) Indigenous Peacebuilding methods: Understanding Va: A Samoan Perspective. Lecture presented at the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
Ligaliga, M. F (2015) Faa Samoa? Peacebuilder or Peacebreaker? Proceedings of the Pacific Postgraduate Symposium: Pacific Voices VIII. Dunedin, New Zealand: Pacific Island Centre, University of Otago.
My PhD research project focuses on the Maoist conflict in India, more precisely in rural areas of West Bengal. My study places the local civilian groups at the core of the analytical framework, and seeks to understand their role in shaping the dynamics of conflict at a local level and in building a discourse of peace. Through this study I seek to go beyond predominant myths and narratives on tribal and poor peasants, and achieve a deep understanding of the experience, perceptions and attitudes of these people.
My Indian origins and my experience in India gave me the inspiration and motivation to study human rights and peace and conflict studies. I graduated with full marks in Political Science, International Relations and Human Rights from the University of Padua (Italy) in 2010 and achieved a MA in Conflict, Security and Development from King’s College London with Distinction.
Since I joined National Centre for Peace and Conflict at the University of Otago I found myself surrounded by people genuinely committed to give a contribution to peace. As a result, the Centre is not only in a very rich and stimulating environment from an academic point of view, but it is also also very friendly, open and welcoming. Coming to the other corner of the world for this adventure was definitely worthwhile.
I grew up in Haifa, in an internal refugee family originally from Mia’ar, a small village that was destroyed during the 1948 war, in the Galilee of Palestine.
I finished my B.A degree at Haifa University, studying Political Science, Sociology & Anthropology. I completed my MA research in the Political Science Department at the Hebrew University, specializing in “Democracy and Citizenship Theories”. I am interested in civic education, and its impact on forming and framing a diverse citizenship contexts, while asking the question of, “who and what” is a “good citizen”. I believe in promoting citizenship education through citizenship engagement; because of that I affiliated myself with practical activism.
My MA research is based on social and political movement theory, emphasizing the diverse aspects of resistance in the Palestinian struggle, through investigating the popular culture and the particularity of local activism as resisting tools for statehood in front of the Israeli occupation. Also, as a trigger for political and social behavior change among Palestinians, in the internal Palestinian society during liberation process. My case study is the first Intifada, and “traditional music” as a political active player in reshaping the Palestinian struggle, politically and socially.
For my Ph.D. in the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies I concentrated on the Palestinian citizens of Israel as an indigenous people, emphasizing the tension between citizenship and nationality in sustainable conflict.
Before 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.
In 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.
After 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 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.
Sylvia studied with the Centre from October 2013 – February 2017.
She was recently awarded the Te Ara Auaha | Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies at Te Wānanga Aronui o Tāmaki Makau Rau | Auckland University of Technology, Strategic Research Investment Fund Postdoctoral Fellowship. Sylvia is currently with Te Amokura | Pacific Media Centre.
Sylvia's research profile can be found at this link: http://www.pmc.aut.ac.nz/profile/sylvia-frain.