In this video for the University of Canberra’s Investigating and Explaining Society: Ethnography in Post-conflict Zones (2020) course, I explained the fieldwork behind the book and its core arguments.

This book interrogates the common perception that liberal peace is in crisis and explores the question: can the local turn save liberal peacebuilding? It re-examines three of the cases igniting the debate – Cambodia, Kosovo, and Timor-Leste – and evaluates how these transitional administrations implemented their liberal mandates and how local involvement affected the conduct of their activities. READ MORE

Journal Articles

Oiling the Rigs of State-building: A Political Settlements Analysis of Petroleum Revenue Management in Timor-Leste

Dahlia SIMANGAN and srinjoy bose (2021)

Patronage, rivalry, and rent seeking in the management of petroleum revenues are associated with economic and political challenges in Timor-Leste’s state-building process.” READ MORE

Exploring the Link between Mine Action and Transitional Justice in Cambodia

Dahlia SIMANGAN and rebecca gidley (2019)

“The participatory approaches to mine action highlight local agency and active involvement, which are crucial in creating a civil society that encourages an empowered citizenry.” READ MORE.

Domino Effect of Negative Hybrid Peace in Kosovo’s Peacebuilding

Dahlia SIMANGAN (2018)

“Negative hybrid peace has a domino effect in that when a negative form of hybrid peace takes root in a peacebuilding component, other peacebuilding components become susceptible to other forms of negative hybrid peace.” READ MORE.

The Pitfalls of Local Involvement: Justice and Reconciliation in Cambodia, Kosovo and Timor-Leste

Dahlia SIMANGAN (2017)

“There are instances when local actors exploit the legitimacy of liberal institutions to advance their political interests or deny the pursuit of justice for the sake of short-term stability.” READ MORE.

A Case for a Normative Local Involvement in Post-Conflict Peacebuilding

Dahlia SIMANGAN (2020)

“Exclusive, superficial, non-representative, and politicized types of local involvement failed to achieve or sustain peace in Cambodia, Kosovo, and Timor-Leste.” READ MORE.

When Hybridity Breeds Contempt: Negative Hybrid Peace in Cambodia

Dahlia SIMANGAN (2018)

“The quick introduction but weak implementation of international/liberal norms and institutions enabled the local elite to contextualise, negotiate, resist and reject those international/liberal norms and institutions to preserve an elite-centred status quo.” READ MORE.

A Detour in the Local Turn: Roadblocks in Timor-Leste’s Post-Conflict Peacebuilding

Dahlia SIMANGAN (2017)

“Exclusive and superficial local involvement, political cleavages within the local leadership, and unresolved tensions from international-local encounters were roadblocks in Timor-Leste’s post-conflict peacebuilding.” READ MORE.

Book Chapter

Bridging Gaps: From a Descriptive to a Practical Mid-Space Actor Typology

anna deekeling and DAHLIA SIMANGAN (2021)

“This chapter examines mid-space actors as gatekeepers and their capacities to enable dialogue among opposing parties. The aim is to offer insights for the international community, as outside intervenors, in promoting the bridge-building potentialities of gatekeepers.” OPEN ACCESS.

Research Grant: JSPS/Kakenhi grant-in-aid for early-career researchers

Urban Sites of Peace and Conflict in Marawi City, Philippines: Just Another Brick in the Wall?


The nature of conflict is changing as well as the spaces and places where they take place. As more and more populations move to the cities, conflicts have also taken an urban face. Much of post-conflict rebuilding and peacebuilding tools that have been developed so far, however, are not necessarily effective when applied to urban contexts. Urban conflict, therefore, requires urban peacebuilding. This research uses the case of Marawi City to examine the challenges of urban peacebuilding and contribute to more effective and contextualised approaches to promoting peace in conflict-affected cities. The preliminary fieldwork for this research was recognized by the International Studies Association (ISA)’s Women’s Caucus for the 2019 Deborah Gerner Grant for Professional Development and funded by 2020 Hiroshima University’s Female Researchers’ Grant.