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Contact details +64 (04) 801 5799  ext. 63080

Dr Anna Powles PhD

Senior Lecturer in Security Studies

School of People, Environment and Planning

Dr Anna Powles is a Senior Lecturer in Security Studies with the Centre for Defence and Security Studies at Massey University, in Wellington, New Zealand. She specialises in geopolitics and security in the Pacific Islands region and is concerned with how state and non-state actors are influencing the regional security order and the implications for crisis management, civil-military relations and security governance. Her current research and professional activities are focused on the New Zealand Pacific reset; the external and sub-regional dynamics shaping the regional order in the Pacific Islands, including the role of China and other actors; and New Zealand-Australian alliance relations in the Pacific. Dr Powles is on the Pacific Reset Advisory Group, an independent group advising the New Zealand Government; and works closely with the New Zealand Government including having recently held a joint Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defence and New Zealand Defence Force workshop on climate security in the Pacific; and is a frequent speaker on Pacific issues at New Zealand Government Track 1.5 dialogues.


Dr Powles is the co-founder of the Security, Politics and Development Network which focuses on cross-cutting security dynamics with respect to fragile environments, security sector development and governance, and post-conflict peace support and development programs in the Pacific region. She is also the co-investigator on a Strategic Initiative Fund research project on private security companies in the Pacific Islands and has been engaged by the United Nations Development Programme Pacific as a subject matter expert on private security sector governance in the Pacific.

Additional Positions:

  • Member, Pacific Reset Group (an independent advisory body to the New Zealand Government)
  • Co-Director, Security, Politics and Development Network
  • Director of Women In International Security
  • New Zealand representative on the NATO Core Group on Women, Peace and Security (2016-18),
  • New Zealand Centre Fellow at Peking University (2017),
  • Member of Massey University’s Pacific Research and Policy Centre Caucus,
  • Member of Women, Peace and Security Academic Collective (Australia/New Zealand),
  • Editorial board of Pacific Dynamics: Journal of Interdisciplinary Research (University of Canterbury).

 

Past Positions:

Dr Powles has previously held positions as the Monitoring & Evaluation Security Sector Specialist with the United Nations Development Programme Timor Leste; the Timor-Leste Analyst with the International Crisis Group; Advisor to the Timorese Government on the GoTL’s response to the 2006 humanitarian crisis; and various consultancy positions with international NGOs including the Norwegian Refugee Council, Oxfam, Action Aid and World Vision.

Recent publications include ‘Principled Engagement: Rebuilding Defence Ties with Fiji (Lowy Institute: 2016); Finding Common Ground: New Zealand and Regional Security Cooperation in the Pacific’ (APCSS: 2015); and the ‘United Nations Peacekeeping Challenge: The Importance of the Integrated Approach’ (Routledge: 2015). 

She holds a doctorate from the Australian National University’s Strategic and Defence Studies Centre and is an Alumni of the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Honolulu. Anna has elementary proficiency in Bahasa Indonesia and Tetun.

 

Dr Powles specialises in security in the Pacific Islands region: specifically how state and non-state actors are changing the regional security order and the implications for crisis management. Over the past five years her  research has responded to the need to reconsider the nature of security in the Pacific, including security sector governance, regional security architecture and the changing regional order and the role of regional and external actors in shaping and influencing regional security in the Pacific Islands. She is a member of the Pacific Reset Group (an independent advisory body) and Co-Director, Security, Politics and Development Network.

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Professional

Contact details

  • Ph: +64 979 3080
    Location: Block 7, Level D, Mt Cook
    Campus: Wellington

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy - Australian National University (2010)

Prizes and Awards

  • 2017 Massey University Research Fund (MURF) Award of $12,000. 1.Terms of Engagement (Massey-Lead). This project seeks to ascertain the appropriateness and utility of academic / military engagement. Drawing on debates in Anthropology about the ethics of working with military forces, military sociological literature on civil-military relations, NGO and think tank guidelines on civil-military-police-NGO cooperation, and policy discussions on military roles, interagency and external engagements, this foundational project seeks to identify boundaries in and around academic engagement with militaries and vice versa. Outputs: -Working paper on issues raised in academic discourse about engagement. -Working paper on issues from military perspective. -Set of TOE for future projects between Massey researchers and NZDF. Likely contributors: Nina Harding (Anthropological debates on ethical issues and cultural view on organisations). B Greener and A Powles (civil-military relations, military sociology). Gerard Prinsen (Development Studies perspectives on harm). 2.Southern Katipo 2017 (NZDF Lead) Planning for next major military exercise in 2017. Academics to bring expertise to comment on / engage with military planners to note areas of concern, overlap, limitations, opportunities. Outputs: -Planning and execution of exercise itself. -Post exercise analysis by NZDF and academic team. -Publications on procedural and conceptual - Massey University (2017)

Research Expertise

Research Interests

Dr Anna Powles' research interests are::

  • Geopolitics of the Pacific and Southeast Asia
  • Security Sector Reform and Governance
  • Private Military Security Companies
  • Pacific Islands regional security, conflict and politics
  • Women, Peace and Security
  • New Zealand defence and foreign policy
  • Regional and UN peacekeeping
  • Geographic areas of focus: Pacific Island states, Timor Leste, West Papua, Oceania, Antarctica


Current Research Projects:

1. Private Security Sector Governance in the Pacific Islands region

Dr Powles is a co-lead investigator with Associate Professor Beth Greener on a Massey University Strategic Initiative Fund research project on private security sector governance in the Pacific Islands. She is also working with with the United Nations Development Programme and the Pacific Islands Forum as a subject matter expert on private security governance in the Pacific.

2. New Zealand Policy in the Pacific Islands region

This research examines New Zealand foreign and security policies towards the Pacific Islands region. The findings will be published in 2018 and will include a co-authored manuscript and two sole-authored chapters.

Thematics

21st Century Citizenship

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Defence Studies (160604): International Relations (160607): Political Science (160600): Studies In Human Society (160000)

Keywords

  • Pacific Islands security, politics and conflict 
  • Private military and security companies
  • United Nations peace operations and peacekeeping; stabilisation operations
  • New Zealand defence and foreign policy; New Zealand on the UN Security Council
  • Regional peacekeeping
  • Security Sector Governance
  • Southeast Asia (Timor Leste, West Papua)
  • Women, Peace and Security (UNSCR 1325)

Research Projects

Summary of Research Projects

Position Current Completed
Project Leader 0 1

Research Outputs

Consultancy and Languages

Consultancy

  • Nov 2016 - Jan 2017 - United Nations Development Programme
    Private Security Sector Governance in the Pacific Specialist
  • Oct 2014 - Oxfam Australia
    Reviewed Pacific Small Arms Action Group report on "Arms, Gender and Security in the Pacific"
  • April-May 2013 - Kings College Humanitarian Future's Programme
    Multi-country study into the role of the private sector in post-conflict recovery. Undertook Solomon Islands and Regional Assistance to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) country study.
  • Aug 2011-Jan 2012 - Australian Civil Military Centre
    Commissioned by the Australian Civil Military Centre to conduct lessons learned policy research analysing Australia’s engagement in Timor Leste in response to the 2006 crisis
  • May 2011 - Oxfam Australia
    Commissioned by Oxfam Australia to conduct research on conflict, security, and development trends in Timor Leste to inform Oxfam’s five-year strategic planning in Timor Leste.
  • Nov 2010-Jan 2011 - United Nations Development Programme
    Commissioned by UNDP to independently evaluate the European Union-funded United Nations Security Sector Review project in Timor Leste
  • April-Sept 2009 - Norwegian Refugee Council
    Member of independent evaluation team commissioned to evaluate the Norwegian Refugee Council’s emergency humanitarian response programs in Timor-Leste

Languages

  • Tetum
    Last used: 2013
    Spoken ability: Average
    Written ability: Average
  • Bahasa Indonesian
    Last used: 2013
    Spoken ability: Average
    Written ability: Average

Teaching and Supervision

Teaching Statement

  • 149715 Asia Pacific Security Environment (postgraduate paper taught at the Royal Brunei Armed Forces Academy and extramurally)
  • 149701 New Zealand Strategic Environment (postgraduate paper taught at the New Zealand Defence Command and Staff College and extramurally)
  • Supervision of doctoral and masters-level students

Courses Coordinated

Summary of Doctoral Supervision

Position Current Completed
Co-supervisor 2 0

Current Doctoral Supervision

Co-supervisor of:

  • Vanessa Bramwell - Doctor of Philosophy
    Child security: A critical analysis of theory and practice
  • Brian Nelson - Doctor of Philosophy
    R2P, Ripeness and Decisions: What Policymakers Want

Media and Links

Media

  • 26 Feb 2015 - Online
    What is New Zealand's mission in Iraq?
    Analysis of New Zealand's Building Partner Capacity non-combat deployment to Iraq published in the Lowy Interpreter
  • 24 Oct 2015 - Magazine
    NZ gains UNSC seat but questions remain
    Interview with the National Business Review on NZ's win at the United Nations Security Council
  • 19 Oct 2014 - Television
    NZ gains seat on the UN Security Council
    Interview with TV3 Three60 on New Zealand's successful win of a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council
  • 02 Mar 2105 - Radio
    Iraq-bound troops given option to withdraw
    Radio New Zealand Morning Report interview on New Zealand deployment to Iraq

Beth’s expertise in how states seek to provide for security and what this means for world order has resulted in three books on international policing (2009), police and military roles in peace and stability operations (2014 co-authored with Will Fish) and an edited collection on the New Zealand Army (2017). This expertise is reflected in her current role as the lead investigator on the SPD Network project examining engagement between militaries and academia. Her ongoing research interests include the relationship between liberalism and the use of force, how states seek to use their various agencies for security provision, international policing through the UN, South Pacific security, gender and security, and the nature of the relationship between public and private security actors. She is also a Senior Fellow with the Centre for Strategic Studies, Victoria University

Anna specializes in the security and geopolitics of the Pacific Islands region with a central focus on how state and non-state actors are changing the regional security order and the implications for crisis management. She has written widely on the nature of the changing regional security environment in the Pacific and her current research includes the role of regional and external actors in shaping and influencing regional security in the Pacific Islands; effective crisis management including peacekeeping; private security sector governance and state fragility; and the independence referendums in Bougainville and New Caledonia. Her research expertise is informed by several decades living and working in the Pacific and Southeast Asia  including with the United Nations Development Programme as a Security Sector Reform Monitoring Specialist, the International Crisis Group’s Timor-Leste Analyst, and an advisor to the Timorese Government on the 2006-07 humanitarian emergency. She has consulted widely on humanitarian, civil-military, and protection issues including for the Australian Civil Military Centre, the Norwegian Refugee Council, Oxfam and World Vision. Recent  publications include "United Nations Peacekeeping Challenge: The Importance of the Integrated Approach", (Ashgate: 2015). 

Gerard brings over 25 years’ experience with development programmes in Africa to the SPDN. As an academic and practitioner, he has been engaged as a manager, trainer, researcher, or evaluator, focusing on local governance, particularly in the areas of education and health.  Gerard has increasingly become involved with aid programmes in the Pacific in parallel with his academic research on local polities and small island states negotiating development sovereignty.  He is particularly interested in building bridges between the work of practitioners and the work of researchers in the following three spheres: development programmes in practice, development policies and politics, and teaching and researching development work. 

Dr Harding

Dr Nina Harding
Researcher and Tutor - School of People, Environment and Planning
Email: N.J.Harding@massey.ac.nz

Dr Harding, a social anthropologist, graduated with her PhD in 2016.  Her thesis explored the processes of identity acquisition in the transition from civilian to soldier. She was embedded with a cohort of new soldiers through the first year and a half of their careers in the New Zealand Army, from their first day of basic training to their first overseas deployment. 

She has spent four months in basic training at Waiouru Military Camp, four months of infantry corps training at Burnham Military Camp, four months with the 1st Battalion at Linton Military Camp, and four months deployed with a peacekeeping platoon in the Solomon Islands. 

Nina's Master's thesis was based on the deployment stories of Royal New Zealand Airforce veterans of the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

Her research has contributed to the book on Army Fundamentals: From making soldiers to the limits of the military instrument (2017).

 

 

 

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