Building Better Peace
I am a Senior Lecturer in International Relations at La Trobe University.
My research focuses on civil wars and peace processes, in particular, how the international community supports societies as they move from war towards peace, and why these processes often fail to establish stable peace. I'm particularly interested in the negotiation of power during these processes, the role of non-state actors and women, and how the assumptions and behaviours of international interveners affects their capacity and credibility in the countries in which they work.
My first book, "Why Peace Processes Fail: Negotiating Insecurity After Civil War" was published in 2015 by Lynne Rienner Publishers. My second book, "Violating Peace: Sex, Aid and Peacekeeping" was published in 2020 with Cornell University Press.
Why peace processes fail: negotiating insecurity after civil war
Why do so many post–civil war societies continue to be characterized by widespread violence and political instability? Or, more succinctly, why do peace processes so often fail to consolidate peace? Addressing this question, Dr Jasmine Westendorf explores how the international community engages in resolving civil wars—and clarifies why, despite the best of intentions and the investment of significant resources, external actors fail in their reconstruction efforts and even contribute to perpetuating the very conditions of insecurity and conflict that they are trying to alleviate.
Dr Jasmine Westendorf's discomforting book investigates sexual misconduct by military peacekeepers and abuses perpetrated by civilian peacekeepers and non-UN civilian interveners. Based on extensive field research in Bosnia, Timor-Leste, and with the UN and humanitarian communities, she uncovers a brutal truth about peacebuilding as she investigates how such behaviors affect the capacity of the international community to achieve its goals related to stability and peacebuilding, and its legitimacy in the eyes of local and global populations.
"Even if there’s no war raging, there are many places where people can’t live with dignity, human rights, or access to health and education." - Dr Jasmine-Kim Westendorf
Get in touch
I've published a range of peer-reviewed articles and book chapters that explore a few key themes: the role of the international community in peace processes in civil wars, issues of women, peace and security; and sexual exploitation and abuse in peace operations.
I have also made numerous media appearances discussing peace and post conflict issues.
I am available for expert consultancy, media comment, and graduate supervision, and I love opportunities to collaborate with others (either in academia or outside).