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Conflict management



Australian guidelines for the protection of civilians

As experiences in Afghanistan, Bosnia, the Central African Republic, Iraq, Rwanda, South Sudan, Syria and Timor-Leste have all too clearly demonstrated, contemporary situations of armed conflict and other situations of violence can have a devastating impact on civilians. Today, armed conflict is more often taking...

A new era? Timor-Leste after the UN

Overview Timor-Leste has made impressive progress since its historic achievement of independence in 2002. From the instability that blighted its early years, the fledgling democratic country has achieved strong economic growth and a gradual reinstatement of essential social services. A decade on in 2012, Presidential...

The Sulu archipelago and the Philippine Peace Process

This paper examines the factors behind the reluctance of the ruling elites in the Sulu islands, in the Philippines, to join a region that will be dominated by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) from central Mindanao. Introduction The plebiscite on a new law to...

No exit: next steps to help promote South Pacific peace and prosperity

This paper explores contemporary official and scholarly thinking on aid, development, conflict prevention and strategic shaping to try to identify promising avenues to promote regional growth and stability in a tight budget environment. Overview As Australia focuses on its global interests in a changing and...

South Sudan crisis: April 2015 update

The Sudan conflict has been one of the longest running in contemporary African history. This paper provides an update on the current crisis in South Sudan. Executive summary In mid-December 2013, the newly formed country of South Sudan erupted into violence, creating a significant humanitarian...

Political power struggles in Aceh

This paper looks at how political power in Aceh is moving away from the old Free Aceh Movement government-in-exile. Introduction Political dynamics within the top ranks of the former rebel Free Aceh Movement (Gerakan Aceh Merdeka, GAM) suggest that a generational transfer of power is...
Discussion paper

Remembering the past, shaping the future: memory frictions and nation-making in Timor-Leste

This paper investigates state-sponsored memorialisation and commemoration in Timor-Leste and what effect that it has on nation building efforts. Introduction Among policy-makers working in the field of peace-building, there is growing interest in how initiatives to memorialise or commemorate the violent past might contribute to...

America, China and the 'new model of great-power relations'

This speech discusses the 'new model' of great power relations between China and the US, potential threats to this model, and what additional steps could be taken to increase the likelihood of achieving it. Introduction In June of this year, I gave a speech on...

Yemen: factors behind possible economic and political collapse

Australia is a member of the Friends of Yemen, and Canberra can play an important role in encouraging practical steps towards its recovery that will go a long way towards averting a major security and humanitarian disaster, one that will likely occur if adequate international...

Escalation in Northeast Asia: a strategic challenge for Australia

This paper examines the possible escalation of conflict between China and Japan and the implications for Australia and the US. Executive summary: Political competition and a lack of crisis management mechanisms could make it very hard for China and Japan to resist escalatory pressures in...
Working paper

Sub-national governance in post-RAMSI Solomon Islands

In this critical period of transition, the most important thing that the Australian government and other members of the international community can do is help Solomon Islanders reverse a recent history of defunding and dismantling the institutions of subnational government. Abstract Over the past decade...

Conflict in the East China Sea: would ANZUS apply?

This paper analyses the circumstances under which conflict in the East China Sea could occur and the implications for Australia.

Political settlements: the history of an idea in policy and theory

This paper explores how the concept of ‘political settlement’ in statebuilding arose, identifies its essential elements, the level of consensus around them, and tests out some of its normative content. Abstract Over the past five years, several major international development policy statements and declarations have...

The links between security sector reform and development

Executive summary: This paper explores the relationship between security and development, with a focus on how different types of violence inhibit development in fragile and conflict-affected states. This paper is based upon a comprehensive literature review of separate pieces of research including academic studies, datasets...

Responding to Indo-Pacific rivalry: Australia, India and middle power coalitions

In this Analysis, Lowy Institute International Security Program Director Rory Medcalf and Nonresident Fellow C. Raja Mohan argue that Chinese assertiveness and uncertainties about America’s role in Indo-Pacific Asia are causing middle powers to look for alternative approaches to regional security.

Timor-Leste after Xanana Gusmão

This report looks at the highly personalistic system of post-independence governance in which a tiny elite of ageing resistance leaders has dominated political life. Overview When Xanana Gusmão steps down as Timor-Leste’s prime minister, it will mark the beginning of a long-deferred transition of power...
Discussion paper

Translating transitional justice: the Solomon Islands Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Introduction The Solomon Islands Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was the first truth commission in the Pacific, established under the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Act 2008 (TRC Act) in an effort to ‘promote national unity and reconciliation’ following the civil conflict which troubled the country...

The geopolitical implications of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

This paper analyses the reasons why President Putin decided to invade Ukraine and annex Crimea, the implications of this for Russia’s return as a major power, and the broader geopolitical policy implications. Executive summary This is the worst crisis in Europe since the end of...

UNHCR Global trends 2013

The UN refugee agency annual statistics show that more than 51 million people were forcibly displaced at the end of 2013, the largest number since the end of World War II. Half of the world's refugees in 2013 were children. UNHCR's annual Global Trends report...

Preserving peace as China rises

With inventive foreign policy needed to reassure the Indo-Pacific’s established powers and accommodate Chinese ambitions, this report proposes three complementary strategies: prolong US leadership; protect the territorial status quo; and pursue a policy of ‘strategic ambiguity’ vis-à-vis territorial disputes. Executive summary With the centre of...