Professor Rachel Julian

IAS Spotlight Series: Pacifism and Nonviolence

Leeds Beckett University

Dr Rachel Julian is a Professor of Peace Studies. She has 30 years of experience working internationally in peace and conflict including disarmament, peacebuilding, nonviolence and Unarmed Civilian Peacekeeping. She spans the practice-research divide by maintaining strong connections to the practice of creating peaceful communities as well as innovative research in understanding how local people are key to success in prevention violence and sustainable peace. Her major contribution is publishing substantial evidence that unarmed civilians can de-escalate violence without using weapons. The findings challenge widely held assumptions that armed soldiers are necessary for managing violence.

Rachel's work centres on the importance of engaging, involving, and being led by local people in communities affected by violence, conflict and who work for peace, through the inter-relationship between feminism, peace, conflict, resistance, culture, and power using a combination of ethnography, experiential knowledge, art, and narrative inquiry to reveal hitherto unused data sources and sites of knowledge.

This focus has included community projects in the UK, the work of international NGO Nonviolent Peaceforce, AHRC-ESRC PaCCS funded research into how local civilians in Myanmar are entwining their daily lives with non-violently protecting people from armed violence, and AHRC funded research on the inclusion of survivor voices and narratives in changing policy on countering human trafficking in Kenya. Rachel was invited to give expert evidence to the sub-committee on Civilian Crisis Management at the German Parliament and was invited to speak in New York at UN side event on Unarmed Civilian Protection.

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