POLSIS Graduate Centre Roundtable

Peacebuilding in Authoritarian Regimes

Authoritarian regimes continue to show their resilience to international peacebuilding and the promotion of liberal-democratic norms. Not only have international efforts failed to facilitate shifts away from authoritarianism in recent years, but they have also unintentionally strengthened autocratic rule in some regions. These failures emphasise the value of endogenous in-country modes of peacebuilding when it comes to the facilitation of better governance outcomes. However, peacebuilding efforts in authoritarian regimes present dangerous challenges to in-country civil society activists and leaders, including non-government organizations (NGOs). They also require policy settings from donors that better recognise authoritarian contexts and the many challenges associated with empowering local actors within them. Finally, authoritarian peacebuilding efforts need scholars to produce research and prescriptions for policy change that reflect the complex environments which they inhabit.

In our 2024 Roundtable, in-country practitioners and academic panellists debate important questions about these challenges. What are the lived-experiences of in-country peacebuilders NGOs in authoritarian regimes and how can they be supported? What strategies do local peacebuilders draw on to navigate their relationship with the state? What is the appropriate role for external donors? And how should scholars conceive of their own research in relation to peacebuilding in authoritarian regimes?  Join us to discuss these questions with our panellists, followed by networking and refreshments.


Ms Hnin Shwe Zin Hlaing, Head of Policy Advocacy, Gender Quality Network, Myanmar.

Dr Mario Gomez, Executive Director, International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Sri Lanka.

Dr. DB Subedi, Lecturer in Peace and Conflict, University of Queensland.

Dr. Melissa Curley, Senior Lecturer in International Relations, University of Queensland.


Professor Katrina Lee-Coo, Head of School Political Science and International Studies, University of Queensland.

POLSIS Graduate Centre Roundtable

Wed 17 Apr 2024 5:00pm8:00pm


Terrace Room, Sir Llew Edwards Building