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Professor Caroline Hughes

PositionHead of Peace Studies and International Development and Professor of Conflict Resolution and Peace
LocationPemberton P1.06
DepartmentPeace Studies and International Development
Feedback HoursMondays 12:00-13:00, Wednesdays 12:00-13:00
Telephone+44 (0)1274 234182

Research Interests (key words only)

Peacebuilding, Southeast Asia, the Politics of Aid and Development

Study History

  • 1998, PhD University of Hull, (Thesis: Human Rights after UNTAC: International Intervention and the National Response).
  • 1994 MA with Distinction, South East Asian Studies, University of Hull.
  • 1989 BA Honours, First Class, Politics, Philosophy and Economics, Oxford University

Professional History

  • 2010-2013 Director, Asia Research Centre, Murdoch University, Western Australia.
  • 2008-2013 Associate Professor of Governance Studies,  School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Murdoch University, Western Australia.
  • 2007-8 Senior Lecturer, Department of Political Science and International Studies, University of Birmingham, UK.
  • 2005-2007 Lecturer, Department of Political Science and International Studies, University of Birmingham, UK.
  • 2001-2005 Lecturer, School of Politics, University of Nottingham, UK.
  • 1999-2001 Leverhulme Trust Special Research Fellow, School of Politics, University of Nottingham, UK.
  • 1998-2001 Leverhulme Trust Study Abroad Postdoctoral Scholar, Royal University of Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Professional Activities

  • Assistant Editor, Global Society
  • Editorial Board member, TRaNS, Cambridge Journals.
  • Editorial Board member, Conflict, Peace and Development Series, Anthem Press.

Research Areas

My research interests combine a critical analysis of the politics of international post-conflict intervention, aid and development with expertise in Asian politics. In particular, I focus on the ways in which aid and peacekeeping interventions are mediated by national and local level social structures and ideologies in post-conflict contexts. My empirical focus has been on least developed, post-conflict countries in Asia, in particular Cambodia and East Timor. Recently I have developed a new research agenda focused on the politics of international aid in the context of the ‘aid effectiveness’ agenda.

Current Projects

  • 2013-16 - Australian Research Council Discovery Grant. “The Politics of Public Administration Reform in South East Asia.” (With Dr Shahar Hameiri and Dr Fabio Scarpello, Murdoch University).
  • Australian Research Council Discovery Grant. “Remaking the Poor: Donors and Poor People’s Movements in South East Asia.” (With Associate Professor Andrew Rosser, University of Adelaide; Dr Jane Hutchison, Murdoch University; Dr Ian Wilson, Murdoch University).



  • (with Jane Hutchison, Wil Hout, Richard Robison), Political Economy and the Aid Industry in Asia. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.  9781137303608. 260pp.
  • (with Garry Rodan) The Politics of Accountability in South East Asia: the Dominance of Moral Ideologies, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. ISBN 978-0-19870-353-2.
  • Dependent Communities: Aid and Politics in Cambodia and Timor-Leste. Ithaca: Cornell South East Asia Program Publications, 2009. ISBN hc 978-0-87727-778-1/pb 978-0-87727-748-4.
  • (ed. with Kheang Un), Cambodia’s Economic Transformation. Copenhagen: NIAS Press, 2011. ISBN 978-87-7694-083-6.

Journal Articles:

  • “Poor People’s Politics in East Timor,” Third World Quarterly 35.5 (2015): 908-928.
  • “Friction, Good Governance and the Poor: Cases from Cambodia,” International Peacekeeping, 20.2 (2013): 144-158.
  • (with Garry Rodan), “Ideological Coalitions and the International Promotion of Social Accountability: The Philippines and Cambodia Compared,” International Studies Quarterly, 56.2 (2012): 367-380.
  • (with Jane Hutchison), “Development Effectiveness and the Politics of Commitment,” Third World Quarterly, 33.1 (2012): 17-36.
  • “The Politics of Knowledge: Ethnicity, Capacity and Return in Post-Conflict Reconstruction Policy,” Review of International Studies  37.4 (2011): 1493-1514.
  • “Soldiers, Monks, Borders: Violence and Contestation along Borderlines in the Greater Mekong Subregion,” Journal of Contemporary Asia, 41.2 (2011): 181-205.

Book chapters:

  • (with Sharon Edington), “A Poor Country Problem: Refugees and the Liberal Peace,” in Pamina Firchow and Harry Anastasiou (eds) Practical Approaches to Peacebuilding: Putting Theory to Work, (Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 2016), forthcoming.
  • (with Eng Netra) “Local Spaces for Peace in Cambodia?” in Oliver Richmond and Sandra Poggoda eds,Post-Liberal Transitions: Between Peace Formation and State Formation (Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 2016), forthcoming.
  • “UNTAC, Peace and Violence in Cambodia,” in Mandy Turner and Florian Kuhn eds. The Politics of International Intervention: the Tyranny of Peace (London: Routledge, 2015), 117-138.   
  • (with Eng Netra, Thon Vimealea, Ou Sivhuoch and Ly Tem), “Local Leadership and Economic Transformation,” in Caroline Hughes and Kheang Un eds, Cambodia’s Economic Transformation (Copenhagen: NIAS Press, 2011),245-265.
  • (with Kheang Un) “The Political Economy of ‘Good Governance’ Reform,” in Caroline Hughes and Kheang Un eds, Cambodia’s Economic Transformation (Copenhagen: NIAS Press, 2011), 199-218.
  • (with Kheang Un) “Cambodia’s Economic Transformation: Historical and Theoretical Frameworks,” in Caroline Hughes and Kheang Un eds, Cambodia’s Economic Transformation (Copenhagen: NIAS Press, 2011), 1-26.
  • “Tackling the Legacies of Violence and Conflict: Liberal Institutions and Contentious Politics in Cambodia and Timor-Leste,” in Richard Robison ed. Routledge Handbook of South East Asian Politics (London: Routledge, 2011),
  • “Cambodia in 2009: the Party’s Not Over Yet,” in Daljit Singh ed., Southeast Asian Affairs 2010, (Singapore: ISEAS, 2010), 85-102.
  • “Reconstructing Political Authority Through Elections,” in Joakim Ojendal and Mona Lilja ed. Beyond Democracy in Cambodia: Political Reconstruction in a Post-Conflict Society (Copenhagen: NIAS Press, 2009), 31-69.
  • “’We Just Take What They Offer’: Community Empowerment in Post-War Timor-Leste,” in Edward Newman ed., New Perspectives on Liberal Peacebuilding, (Tokyo: United Nations University Press, 2009), 218-242.
  • “Civil Society in South East Asia,” in Mark Beeson ed. Contemporary South East Asia, Regional Dynamics, National Differences, 2nd ed. (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2009), 125-142.

Public/Academic/Stakeholder Engagement

I have done consultancy work for DFiD, SIDA, UNDP and the World Bank. I was recently part of a team that won an Australian Development Research Award from AusAID, to examine the politics of governance reform in South East Asia. I have a long standing relationship as an external advisor to the Cambodia Development Resource Institute in Phnom Penh.

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