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. Mali, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe) and performed consultancy roles with the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States, the UN and a number of international humanitarian non-government organisations (NGO). He is 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.
The second relates to the reform of governance, security and justice systems as a means of building peace in conflict-affected countries and regions. He is a Chief Investigator on a multi-year research project funded by the Australian government's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade examining the empirical realities of social order in the 'differently ordered' states of West Africa. 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 hybrid political order. As such, it emphasises the connections to everyday experiences of governance and accountability and differences across urban and rural locales according to a range of exclusionary horizontal inequalities. 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. He is co-editor of: Exploring Peace Formation: Security and Justice in Post-Colonial States (Routledge, Forthcoming 2018)
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. Charles has published widely on these issues including: Charles T. Hunt and Noel M. Morada eds. Regionalism and Human Protection: Reflections from Southeast Asia and Africa (Brill, Forthcoming 2018). He is also currently co-editing a book: Charles T. Hunt and Phil Orchard eds. The Responsibility to Protect: Consolidation and Contestation (Work in Progress).
- PhD International Relations
- MA International Studies (International Peacekeeping)
- BSc (Joint Honours) Economics and Political Science
Charles has been an Associate Investigator with the Australian Research Council's Centre for Excellence in Policing and Security since 2009. He 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.
Charles has performed consultancy roles with the United Nations, the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States and a number of international humanitarian NGOs. 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 is a member of the International Studies Association and the Australian Institute for International Affairs. He is a regular reviewer for globally renowned publishing houses (e.g. Oxford University Press; Routledge; Palgrave-Macmillan) and prestigious peer-reviewed journals (e.g. International Affairs; Review of International Studies; Global Governance).
- International policing and civilian protection in UN peace operations. Funded by: ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) 2017 from (2017 to 2020)
- 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 2018)
- 2015 Vice-Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellowship (Hunt). Funded by: RMIT Vice-Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellowship CAT0 from (2016 to 2019)
- Hunt, C. (2017). All necessary means to what ends? The unintended consequences of the 'robust turn' in UN peace operations In: International Peacekeeping, 24, 108 - 131
- Hunt, C. (2017). Beyond the binaries: Towards a relational approach to peacebuilding In: Global Change, Peace and Security, 29, 209 - 227
- Hunt, C. (2016). African regionalism and human protection norms: an overview In: Global Responsibility to Protect, 8, 201 - 226
- Hunt, C. (2016). Emerging powers and the responsibility to protect: non-linear norm dynamics in complex international society In: Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 29, 870 - 890
- Hunt, C. (2016). Cote d'Ivoire In: The Oxford Handbook of the Responsibility to Protect, Oxford University Press, Oxford
- Hunt, C. (2016). Avoiding perplexity: complexity-oriented monitoring and evaluation for UN peace operations In: Complexity Thinking for Peacebuilding Practice and Evaluation, Palgrave Macmillan, London, United Kingdom
- Bellamy, A.,Hunt, C. (2015). Twenty-first century UN peace operations: Protection, force and the changing security environment In: International Affairs, 91, 1277 - 1298
- Hunt, C. (2015). UN peace operations and international policing, Routledge, London, United Kingdom
- Hunt, C. (2014). The role of the African Standby Force in implementing Article 4(h) In: Africa and the Responsibility to Protect: Article 4(h) of the African Union Constitutive Act, Routledge, Oxford, United Kingdom
- Hughes, B.,Hunt, C.,Curth-Bibb, J. (2013). Forging new conventional wisdom beyond international policing, Koninklijke Brill NV, Netherlands
3 PhD Current Supervisions