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 HERE.

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 HERE.

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 HERE.

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 HERE.

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 HERE.

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 HERE.

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 HERE.

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 HERE.

Book Chapters

In the Eye of the Peacebuilder: International and Local Perceptions of Peacebuilding Success and Failure in Kosovo and Timor-Leste


How do international and local actors gauge the success and failure of peacebuilding? This chapter seeks to answer this question by examining the similarities and differences in international and local perceptions of peacebuilding success and failure… READ MORE HERE.

Managing transition and building peace from a human security perspective


This chapter focuses on the role of human security in managing transitions and building peace in conflict-affected societies… READ MORE HERE.

“Peaces of the Puzzle”: Mapping the Trajectories of Three Decades of Peacebuilding Scholarship


This review covers bibliographic and thematic analyses to identify the patterns and, more importantly, the knowledge gaps in the existing peacebuilding literature. While the legacy of the liberal peacebuilding agenda continues to influence contemporary peace operations, the political science/international relations (IR) discipline has offered alternative approaches to peacebuilding. READ MORE HERE.

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.

Related Publication
The places that once were: remembering Marawi. New Mandala, May 19, 2023 (with RA Yusoph).