Dr Jasmine Westendorf
Dr Jasmine-Kim Westendorf is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations at La Trobe University and a Research Associate at the Developmental Leadership Program.
Her 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. She is 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.  

Jasmine's first book, Why Peace Processes Fail: Negotiating Insecurity After Civil War was published in 2015 by Lynne Rienner Publishers. Her second book, Violating Peace: Sex, Aid and Peacekeeping is out now with Cornell University Press. She has also published her research in leading journals, including International Affairs, the Australian Journal of International Affairs and the Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding. 

Jasmine has conducted policy and research work with a range of NGOs including the Humanitarian Advisory Group, International Women's Development Agency, World Vision, ActionAid and others. She has advised Australian and US government agencies on issues of peace processes and sexual exploitation and abuse in peacekeeping. She is a Board member of Oxfam Australia. Jasmine is a regular contributor to international and local print and broadcast media. 

Jasmine has conducted field research in Timor-Leste, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Nepal, Cambodia, Cyprus, Palestine, and at UN Headquarters in New York and with the humanitarian sector in Geneva. 

Her current work includes two major projects: (1) Building better peace: Exploring alternative pathways to peace after civil war and (2) Mapping the impacts of sexual exploitation and abuse by interveners in peace operations. 

She has also been extensively involved in designing, delivering and facilitating training for peacebuilders globally, including with the International Peace and Security Institute and for NGOs in Palestine.

Jasmine co-founded the Melbourne Free University in 2010 and remains a convenor today. If you’d like to know more about how to start a free uni, check out this manual the MFU wrote.


PhD in International Relations (2014)
Politics and International Relations Program, La Trobe University, Australia.
Examiners: Prof. I. William Zartman, Prof. Roger MacGinty, Prof. Susan Harris-Rimmer
Dissertation title: The Infrastructure for Peace: Why negotiated peace processes fail, and what can be done about it.

Bachelor of Arts (Honours)
The University of Melbourne, Australia.
Major: Political Science
Result: First Class Honours.
Dissertation title: Humanitarian Intervention: Towards Effective Action.

Current Roles & Memberships

  • Deputy Head of Department (Politics, International Studies and International Relations) (2019-)
  • Board Director, Oxfam Australia (2018-2022)
  • Expert Member on sexual exploitation and abuse on the United States Institute of Peace Advisory Board for the Conflict Management Training for Peacekeepers Curriculum Review (2019).
  • Member of the Inter-agency Standing Committee Taskforce on Preventing Sexual Exploitation and Abuse and Accountability to Affected Populations (2017-).