New Research Grants

Folke Bernadotte Academy Grant - "Managing Inclusion for Sustainable Peace through Constitutional Implementation"

Professor Pip Nicholson and Professor Cheryl Saunders

Constitutions are integral to peacebuilding efforts and effective rule of law in fragile and conflict affected (FCA) settings. Inclusive peacebuilding and constitution making processes are widely recognized as critical to sustainable peace.  This project will focus on a hitherto under-researched and less understood issue: the implementation of constitutions in FCA contexts and the nexus with sustainable peace.

Constitutional texts and structures created in FCA contexts use ‘inclusion mechanisms’ to address the root causes of conflict (whether socio-cultural, ethnic, economic, religious or other). Examples include reforms to parliamentary and executive structures to reflect power-sharing agreements; restrictions on political parties; revised electoral processes. Constitutional structures such as federalism may mitigate the risk of further conflict by accommodating the interests of diverse groups within the state. Human rights commitments may be implemented in domestic law.

Without effective implementation of these and other inclusion mechanisms in FCA settings, the risk of return to conflict is ever-present.  By understanding the drivers and barriers to full implementation and applying these lessons to peacebuilding, constitution-building and rule of law practice, we can enhance prospects for sustainable peace.

The project will focus on Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka and Kyrgyzstan, case studies chosen for their diverse causes of conflict and approaches to constitutional implementation.  A report will highlight relevant lessons for peacebuilding and rule of law practitioners, drawing on evidence gained from literature reviews, case studies and forums.

ARC Discovery Project - "Indonesia’s Refugee Policies: Responsibility, Security and Regionalism"

Professor Susan Kneebone, Dr Antje Missbach (Monash) and Dr Heru Susetyo (Universitas Indonesia)

This project aims to analyse the formulation and implementation of Indonesia’s laws and policy on refugees and asylum seekers, by utilising original empirical research, to understand better the ‘Indonesian state’, its perceptions and responses to these issues nationally, regionally, and under the bilateral relationship with Australia. It utilises concepts of responsibility, security and regionalism to generate new knowledge in the areas of refugee protection, human security and regionalism in Southeast Asia. Expected benefits are strengthened institutional collaboration with Indonesian academics and policy-makers and fresh thinking on responsible regional solutions for refugee protection.