Greg Barton: Challenges Posed by the Islamic State Movement at Home and Abroad

Greg Barton, Professor of Indonesian Studies and Director of the Centre for Islam and the Modern World, deliver an address at Monash University. He sets out the historical context for the rise and rapid expansion of the Islamic State and articulates some coherent optional answers to some of these questions.

Listen to or watch this talk on the ABC website:

Watch Greg Barton’s talk on ABC’s Big Ideas program


Policy Impact: Jo Lindsay contributes to work and care policy

lindsay-macklinThe honourable Jenny Macklin MP invited Jo Lindsay to participate in a policy development Roundtable in Brisbane with leaders from academia, the not for profit sector, and business to discuss current and emerging social policy issues in Australia.

The roundtable assisted in developing and prioritising a set of policies that will help Australians better manage their paid work and caring responsibilities.


What Can New Zealand Do on the United Nations Security Council to Advance the Women, Peace and Security Agenda?

This post first appeared on the Women, Peace and Security Academic Collective blog.

Delegation of New Zealand following election to the Security Council. Photo by Loey Felipe/UN Photo, used under a Creative Commons licence
Delegation of New Zealand following election to the Security Council. Photo by Loey Felipe/UN Photo, used under a Creative Commons licence

The Women, Peace and Security Academic Collective and Women in International Security New Zealand (see note 1) are delighted that New Zealand has won election as non-permanent member on the UN Security Council beginning in January 2015 until December 2016, representing the Western European and other countries group. We see New Zealand as a global advocate for conflict and atrocities prevention, including the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence, and also as an advocate for peacebuilding promoting gender-equal participation in peace and security processes.

It has been 21 years since New Zealand served on the Security Council in 1993-4. At the time New Zealand played a leading role in the Security Council resolution condemning the atrocities in Rwandan “as genocide”. As President of the Council in April 1994 New Zealand ambassador Colin Keating sought to persuade the Council to deploy further UN peacekeeping troops to Rwanda (see Conley-Tyler and Pahlow 2014).

Outside of the Council, New Zealand has consistently promoted peacebuilding in the Pacific region, including facilitating local women’s unique roles in ending violence and brokering peace, such as, in the process that culminated in the 2002 Papua New Guinea – Bougainville Peace Agreement. During that process on several occasions official delegations of leaders of women’s organisations were brought to talks in New Zealand to forge a united voice and to enable their greater inclusion in peace processes at home.

These initiatives funded by the New Zealand government successfully supported women’s peacebuilding initiatives in Bougainville over a number of years. More recent interventions in the Pacific, including the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) and participation in multiple UN missions in Timor Leste underline the importance of a coherent, context-appropriate and sustained strategy for the inclusion of women in nationbuilding at all levels of governance.

New Zealand’s ten-year campaign for non-permanent membership emphasized the country’s representation of small states in international politics that make up over half of the United Nations membership (109 states). Once on the Council New Zealand has vowed to work for reform to increase the non-permanent membership of the Security Council and lessen the veto power of the P5 to make a positive difference to UN multilateralism, particularly to address concerning situations of conflict and insecurity in the world.

In its Security Council campaign, New Zealand did not mention the country’s efforts to advance the Women, Peace and Security agenda at the United Nations and through its foreign development and security policies even though, as the Bourgainville case illustrates, the country has a significant record on WPS. Moreover, New Zealand’s own anti-nuclear security history and identity was founded on widespread women’s peace activism in local communities and at the national level.

In a letter to WPSAC on 9 September 2014, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Murray McCully, wrote “[New Zealand] has a record of “targeting and mainstreaming assistance and promoting the wellbeing of women and girls through our development program and security operations overseas”. Given these commitments, we encourage the New Zealand government to stand up for less powerful, non-state actors, such as, women’s civil society and non-governmental organisations, that are increasingly playing crucial roles in conflict-prevention and peacebuilding as well as for small member states.

In order to make good on its unique WPS record, New Zealand needs to urgently adopt and implement a Women, Peace and Security National Action Plan based on consultations with civil society organisations and actors as well as with government agencies such as the Women’s Development Steering Group in the New Zealand Defence Force. A NAP is crucial for New Zealand to progress its plans to support the “empowerment of women at all levels of the security agenda including promoting the ability of women to act as mediators and men and women to act as gender advisors in situations of conflict” (Minister letter to WPSAC, 9 September, 2014).

The recent appointment of a High Level Panel to review UN Peace Operations that included only 3 women but 11 men highlights the persistent gender gaps that continue to undermine women’s voices in international peace and security. We need UN SC members like New Zealand to ensure that women have an equal stake in UN processes and decisions because we need to harness all the groups who can bring about the resolution of conflicts and the creation of lasting peace.

by Jacqui True and Anna Powles

Note 1: Women In International Security NZ (WIIS NZ) is the affiliate chapter of the global Women In International Security network which seeks to advance and advocate the role of women in international affairs, defence, and security. WIIS NZ was established on International Women’s Day, March 8, 2014, to address the absence of significant numbers of women in leadership positions within New Zealand’s international affairs, defence and security sectors as well as supporting the inclusion of women in leadership roles, adherence of the security sectors to UNSCR 1325, and peacebuilding throughout the region. A core focus of WIIS globally is advocacy for and monitoring of UNSCR 1325 including the NAPs and WIIS NZ is actively engaging the New Zealand Government to hold them accountable for the development and promotion of the NAP.


Celebrating 25 Years of the Parliamentary Internship Program

redirecting to:


Social Sciences Research Strength in the School of Social Sciences: Our Future Fellows

School of Social Sciences ARC Future Fellows: Professor Sharon Pickering, ARC Future Fellow and Head of School, centre front row
School of Social Sciences ARC Future Fellows: Professor Sharon Pickering, ARC Future Fellow and Head of School, centre front row

The School of Social Sciences (SoSS), led by Professor Sharon Pickering, now houses six Social Sciences ARC Future Fellows. This cluster success in the social sciences is not replicated at any other university in the country and is testament to the excellence, innovation and national relevance of social science research at Monash. Pictured are the Future Fellow researchers in the School: Professor Sharon Pickering (Criminology), centre front row, Dr Julian Millie (Anthropology)  and Professor Jacqui True (Politics & International Relations). Associate Professor Andrea Whittaker (Anthropology), Associate Professor Leanne Weber (Criminology),  and Associate Professor Anita Harris (Sociology) back row. The School also has three  ARC DECRA Fellowships. Researchers in SoSS are investigating critical geo-political and social questions: these fellowships will further the research activities of each of the Fellows and enhance their contributions to key national debates.  


Monash student wins trans-Tasman essay award

Lucie Cadzow, a BA Honours student in Politics & International Relations, has won the 2014 Contemporary European Studies Association of Australia (CESAA) award for the best essay by an honours or postgraduate student for her paper on “The European Union’s decision to introduce a financial transaction tax in 2011-12″.

Lucie wrote the 5,000-word policy analysis as part of her assessment for the Honours/Masters unit, The Political Economy of European Integration.

In an exceptionally strong field of postgraduate papers drawn from universities throughout Australia and New Zealand, Lucie’s paper stood out to the judges. As part of her prize, the paper has been forwarded to the editors of the Australia and New Zealand Journal of European Studies for consideration as a published, peer-reviewed paper.

This is the second year in a row that Monash has won the CESAA prize. In 2013, Stuart Bruce won the 20th annual CESAA essay competition in the Postgraduate category.

The prize is generously supported by the Delegation of the European Union to Australia and New Zealand in Canberra.

Find out more:


Challenges posed by the Islamic State movement at home and abroad – Public Lecture

barton-lectureProfessor Greg Barton

School of Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts, Monash University


Thursday, 16 October 2014, 6:30 – 7:30 pm
followed by drinks and canapés.


Monash University Caulfield campus
900 Dandenong Road
Caulfield East VIC 3145
Building H, Room HB40


The unprecedented military surge of the Islamic State (IS/ISIS) movement in Syria and Iraq over the past four months is now challenging not just stability in the Middle East but security around
the world, in large part because it is revitalising the global jihadi movement.

Military gains made by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria add significant complications to existing challenges involving rebel militia and government forces fighting each other. For strategists and policymakers, current
developments raise a number of difficult questions, including:

• Can the IS continue to expand its offensive operations in Iraq and Syria and potentially beyond?

• What is the natural end point of US coalition military operations in the region?

• To what extent will the circumstances of engaging with IS forces serve to promote convergence between unlikely partners in the region?

• Is it likely that the IS movement, together with other jihadi groups such as the al-Nusra Front, will fracture, splintering off into further groups making matters more complicated?

About Professor Barton

Professor Greg Barton is the Herb Feith Research Professor for the Study of Indonesia, Director of the Centre for Islam and the Modern World, and Director International of the Global
Terrorism Research Centre at Monash University. He is also UNESCO Chair in Interreligious and Intercultural Relations – Asia Pacific.

For the past 20 years Professor Barton has been active in inter-faith dialogue initiatives and has a deep commitment to building understanding of Islam and Muslim society.

The axis of his research interests is the way in which religious thought, individual believers and religious communities respond to modernity and to the modern nation state.

He also has a strong general interest in comparative international politics.


To register for this event please go to:

Professor Barton’s public lecture will be followed by drinks and canapés.

Please note that limited places are available for this event. We would encourage you to register early to secure your spot.

Download the flyer for this event (PDF)