I'm Dr Jasmine Westendorf, 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 am 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 by Cornell University Press, just as the Covid-19 pandemic took the world by storm. I've also published my research in leading journals, including International Affairs, the Australian Journal of International Affairs and the Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding.
I've 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. I've advised Australian and US government agencies on issues of peace processes and sexual exploitation and abuse in peacekeeping. I'm is a Board member of Oxfam Australia. I'm also a regular contributor to international and local print and broadcast media.
I have 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.
My current work includes two major projects: (1) Building better peace: Exploring alternative pathways to peace after civil war, which is based on research I've been conducting in the Basque Country and (2) 'Do No Harm: Sexual exploitation and abuse in humanitarian operations, which is funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Research Award for 2021-2024.
I've 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.
I co-founded the Melbourne Free University in 2010 with Aurelien Mondon and Gerhard Hoffstaedter and remains a convenor today. If you’d like to know more about how to start a free uni, check out this manual we wrote or our website.
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
- 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-).