Dr Niamatullah Ibrahimi is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations and an expert on Afghanistan and the broader Middle East region.
He specialises in understanding the domestic and international factors that lead to violent conflicts, and what ultimately helps to restore post-conflict governance and stability.
“The world is witnessing a resurgence of violent conflicts that have led to record numbers of refugees, internally displaced populations and complex humanitarian emergencies,” explains Dr Ibrahimi.
“These events are compounded by other factors – including the effects of climate change or competition between major powers – that undermine the international capacity to respond to conflict in an effective or timely manner.”
According to Dr Ibrahimi, much of the current research on violent conflict and post-conflict governance is “dominated by the perspectives of those that wield violence, or the powers that prioritise their own national interests over conflict resolution.”
Dr Ibrahimi has adopted a very different approach by focusing on marginalised groups to examine the impact of violent conflicts on minority groups, women and activists, along with their role in the reconciliation process.
“It is these groups who often call for accountability for mass atrocities and drive peacebuilding processes at the local level,” he explains.
“By spotlighting the experiences and perspectives of marginalised groups, my research aims to contribute to making peacebuilding and conflict research and polices more sensitive to the experiences and voices of communities who are directly impacted by violence.”
Dr Ibrahimi has published two books (including ‘The Hazaras and the Afghan State’, a study examining the impact of violence and marginalisaiton on Hazara people of Afghanistan), several book chapters and articles in leading international relations journals.
“As a researcher, I am passionate about drawing on my research to contribute to public and policy debates,” Dr Ibrahimi says. “I regularly speak to national and international media and have provided written evidence and oral testimony before the parliaments of Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom.”
“To turn the tide of violent conflicts, it is important to place inclusion, diversity and social justice at the heart of global peacebuilding efforts because inequalities and power imbalances often help perpetuate conflict and lead to relapse of societies to cycles of violence and instability.”