Dr Charles T. Hunt is Vice-Chancellor's Senior Research Fellow and ARC DECRA Fellow in the Centre for Global Research and the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies.
Charles has a background in political science with specialisation in international relations and critical security studies. His research focuses on peace operations, security and justice in conflict-affected societies, and monitoring and evaluation of peacebuilding programming (see 'Key activities' below for more detail). Awarded a Vice-Chancellor's Research Fellowship in 2015, an ARC Discovery Early Career Research Fellow (DECRA) in 2016, and the RMIT Award for Research Excellence (Early Career Research – Enterprise) in 2017, Charles is based in the Centre for Global Research within the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies.
He has been an Associate Investigator with the Australian Research Council's Centre for Excellence in Policing and Security since 2009. Charles has also worked closely with the Australian government over a number of years assessing their role in peace operations and has served as a Principal Advisor on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's (DFAT) Fragility and Conflict panel. Charles has worked extensively in Africa conducting field research in a number of locations (e.g. South Sudan, Central African Republic, Mali, Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Zimbabwe) and performed consultancy roles with the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States, a range of United Nations entities and a number of international humanitarian non-government organisations (NGO). He is a non-resident fellow at the United Nations University Centre for Policy Research and an Honorary Fellow at the Asia Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect where he was the leader for the protection of civilians program from 2009 to 2015. His previous work for international organisations, think tanks, civil society organisations, NGOs and academic institutions in Africa, Asia and the Pacific has provided him with a global perspective on issues of peace, security and justice.
Charles' research in the field of international relations, peace and conflict studies has four main foci:
The first looks at the changing nature of United Nations (UN) peace operations. In particular, it looks at the implications of trends towards a greater focus on civilian protection, more involvement in post-conflict peacebuilding and an increased willingness to use force as part of mandate implementation. As part of this work, Charles is the recipient of an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Research Fellowship for 2017–2020 that aims to assess the evolving roles and emerging impacts of police peacekeepers, specifically as they relate to implementing protection of civilians mandates. He is also is a Chief Investigator (along with Professor Alex Bellamy, University of Queensland) on an Australian Research Council Discovery Project grant for 2016–2019 that aims to evaluate the impacts of more 'robust' civilian protection and stabilisation-focused missions for UN peacekeeping overall as well as for myriad other actors operating in the same space such as the development and humanitarian communities. He is widely published on these issues, including recent articles in International Affairs, International Peacekeeping, Global Governance, Australian Journal of International Affairs, and Stability.
The second relates to the peacebuilding and governance in conflict-affected societies and regions. This body of work - including as a Chief Investigator on multi-year research projects funded by the Australian government's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Gerda Henkel Stiftung in Germany - examine the empirical realities of social order in the 'differently ordered' states of West Africa (Ghana, Liberia, Mali) and Oceania (Bougainvillle-PNG, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands). This research features theoretical, empirical and applied dimensions and employs a critical lens to dominant and conventional paradigms and practices. It therefore advocates for new approaches to conflict transformation processes based on conceptualisations of development that understand the state as a more holistic and complex political order drawing on insights from theories of hybridity and relationality. As such, it emphasises the connections to everyday experiences of governance and accountability and differences across different contexts according to a range of exclusionary horizontal inequalities. This area of work aims to contribute to more realistic, effective international efforts to support conflict resolution in complex, heterogeneous security contexts. It further focuses on accounts of the intricate inter-relationships between international, regional and national actors as well as those at the local level that constitute sites of both resilience and resistance. Stemming from this work, Dr Hunt is co-editor of: Exploring Peace Formation: Security and Justice in Post-Colonial States (Routledge, 2018) and a number of articles including those published in Conflict and Cooperation, Global Change, Peace and Security.
The third focus relates to issues of monitoring and evaluation, impact assessment and organisational learning in peacebuilding programming. This work emerges from a multi-year research project funded by the Australian Federal Police developing a framework for assessing the impact of police capacity-development initiatives overseas. This research draws on complexity theory and advocates for new epistemological thinking as well as adjustments to practical approaches to assessment in order to enhance the effectiveness of peacebuilding and development. On these issues, Charles is author of recent books including, UN Peace Operations and International Policing: Navigating Complexity, Assessing Impact and Learning to Learn (Routledge, 2015). See also: co-authored with Hughes, B. and Curth-Bibb, J. Forging New Conventional Wisdom Beyond International Policing: Learning from Complex, Political Realities (Martinus Nijhoff, 2013).
The fourth area of research is focused on the normative character and trajectory of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) as well as the policy and practice dimensions of efforts to prevent mass atrocities more generally. Charles is an Honorary Research Fellow at the Asia Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect where he was the leader for the protection of civilians program from 2009 to 2015. Dr Hunt is Editor-in-Chief of the quarterly journal, Global Responsibility to Protect and has published widely on these issues including: Charles T. Hunt and Phil Orchard eds. Constructing the Responsibility to Protect: Consolidation and Contestation (Routledge, 2020) and Charles T. Hunt and Noel M. Morada eds. Regionalism and Human Protection: Reflections from Southeast Asia and Africa (Brill, Forthcoming 2018).
- PhD International Relations
- MA International Studies (International Peacekeeping)
- BSc (Joint Honours) Economics and Political Science
Charles has worked with the Australian government over a number of years assessing their role in peace operations and served as a Principal Advisor on DFAT's Fragility and Conflict panel.
Dr Hunt has performed consultancy roles with the United Nations, the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States, a number of national and international humanitarian NGOs and internationally recognised think tanks including the International Peace Institute in New York. He is a non-resident fellow at the United Nations University Centre for Policy Research and has provided expert advice to a number of countries' on their policy at the UN.
Charles is a member of the International Studies Association and the Australian Institute for International Affairs and serves as a member of the International Advisory Board member, 'Domestic Implications of Peacekeeping' (D-SIP), Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) and Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) and the international steering committee for the 'Effectiveness of Peace Operations Network' (EPON), Norwegian Institute for International Affairs (NUPI).
He is Editor-in-Chief of the quarterly journal, Global Responsibility to Protect, member of the editorial board for the Journal of International Peacekeeping and a regular reviewer for globally renowned publishing houses (e.g. Oxford University Press; Cambridge University Press; Routledge; Palgrave-Macmillan) and prestigious peer-reviewed journals (e.g. International Affairs; Review of International Studies; Global Governance).
- Hunt, C.,Sharland, L. (2020). Implementing R2P through United Nations peacekeeping operations: Opportunities and challenges In: Implementing the Responsibility to Protect, Routledge, Abingdon, United Kingdom
- Hunt, C.,Zimmerman, S. (2020). Twenty years of the Protection of Civilians in UN Peace Operations: Progress, problems and prospects In: Journal of International Peacekeeping, , 1 - 32
- Day, A.,Hunt, C. (2020). Un stabilisation operations and the problem of non-linear change: A relational approach to intervening in governance ecosystems In: Stability, 9, 1 - 23
- Hunt, C.,Orchard, P. (2020). Introduction: Consolidation and Contestation of the Responsibility to Protect In: Constructing the Responsibility to Protect, Routledge, Abingdon, United Kingdom
- Hunt, C. (2020). The Responsibility to Protect and the Protection of Civilians in UN Peace Operations: Interaction, feedback and co-evolution In: Constructing the Responsibility to Protect, Routledge, Abingdon, United Kingdom
- Hunt, C. (2020). Protecting through Policing: The Protective Role of UN Police in Peace Operations In: International Peace Institute New York, USA
- Day, A.,Gorur, A.,Holt, V.,Hunt, C. (2020). The Political Practice of Peacekeeping: How Strategies for Peace Operations are Developed and Implemented In: Foreign Ministry of the Netherlands via UNU-CPR and Stimson Center New York, United States
- Boege, V.,Hunt, C. (2020). On ‘Travelling Traditions’: Emplaced Security in Liberia and Vanuatu In: Cooperation and Conflict, 55, 497 - 517
- Hunt, C. (2020). Complexity theory In: United Nations Peace Operations and International Relations Theory, Manchester University Press, Manchester
- Day, A.,Hunt, C.,Yin, H.,Kumalo, L. (2019). Assessing the Effectiveness of the UN Mission in South Sudan / UNMISS In: Effectiveness of Peace Operations Network [EPON], Norwegian Institute of International Affairs Oslo, Norway
1 PhD Completions8 PhD Current Supervisions
- Mali and Bougainville: new perspectives on international engagement in complex, heterogeneous security environments. Funded by: Gerda Henkel Foundation Grant (COMP- CAT3) from (2019 to 2022)
- International policing and civilian protection in UN peace operations. Funded by: 012-ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) 2017 from (2017 to 2021)
- Civilian protection and use of force in UN peacekeeping operations - Administered by The University of Queensland. Funded by: ARC Discovery Projects via other University Grant 2016 from (2016 to 2020)