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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.
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.
Dr Anna Powles' research interests are::
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.
21st Century Citizenship
Field of research codes
Defence Studies (160604): International Relations (160607): Political Science (160600): Studies In Human Society (160000)
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, 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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Last updated on Friday 18 May 2018