London Calling!

Comparative Peacebuilding in Asia: Liberal and Illiberal Transitions from Ethnic Conflict and Authoritarianism

Monday 25 June 2018

London School of Economics, UK

In the last decade, there have been historic breakthroughs in protracted ethnic conflicts in south and south-east Asia, as countries like Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Indonesia and Timor-Leste, have entered a tenuous path from war to peace. These ‘post’ conflict countries are going through political, social and economic transformations that are not linear and liberal, but often inconsistent, troubled, and illiberal. Moreover, peacebuilding and the transition from ethnic conflict is in most cases happening amidst a parallel transition of democratisation from authoritarian rule. The relationship between these two processes is often taken to be unproblematic and complementary, whereas in reality they can create tensions and even a renewed basis for the reproduction of ethnic conflict in the future as the conflicting goals of each come into contest.

Our research network therefore focuses on two main questions: (1) does illiberal peacebuilding in Asia present a more effective and resilient pathway to conflict resolution, or is it the converse?; (2) Is democratic institutional deepening and the end of authoritarianism in Asia going to complement ethnic conflict resolution or to weaken it?

Following a series of conferences in Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia between 2015- 17, the final event in this series will be held in London on 25 June 2018. We seek to use this opportunity to address the larger debates and frameworks on peacebuilding, to interact with the policy community, and to engage with comparative experiences from other regions, particularly Africa.

This event is supported by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Our previous events have also benefited from grants and the generous support from the Independent Social Research Foundation (ISRF) and the Asia Foundation (TAF).

For information, please contact Rajesh Venugopal at The project website is in development and will be available from March 2018 with updated information on the programme.

Series convenors

Dr Najib Azca, Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia
Dr Nicholas Farrelly, Australian National University
Dr Claire Smith, University of York, UK
Dr Rajesh Venugopal, London School of Economics and Political Science Dr Lars Waldorf, University of York, UK

Comparative Peacebuilding in Asia: liberal and illiberal transitions from ethnic conflict and authoritarianism

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