Oliver Walton

Oliver Walton
University of Bath | UB · Department of Social and Policy Sciences

PhD

About

23
Publications
7,054
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201
Citations
Additional affiliations
May 2010 - February 2013
University of Birmingham
Position
  • Research Associate

Publications

Publications (23)
Article
Full-text available
This article examines how and why multi-mandate INGOs represent contemporary armed conflicts in particular ways. Based on empirical analysis of NGO communications and interviews with staff, it finds that these organisations typically adopt a two-track approach to representing conflicts. They use mainstream media to present consequence-oriented acco...
Article
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In post-war transitions, how do centre-periphery relations change, and what is the role of actors at the margins of the state in negotiating these changes? This article explores these questions by examining Nepal’s post-war transition following the 2006 Comprehensive Peace Agreement focusing on three borderland districts (Saptari, Bardiya and Dolpa...
Article
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Conflict prevention has been a long-standing and high-profile international policy goal, and yet in practice international agencies have found it difficult to operationalise, with the structural dimension of conflict prevention proving especially challenging. Drawing on a review of policy documents, parliamentary debates, and key informant intervie...
Article
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Existing research on the relationship between alcohol and conflict has focused on displaced populations and viewed alcohol largely as a driver of post-war social problems such as trauma and violence. We draw on qualitative research in Sri Lanka and Nepal to build a more complex picture of alcohol’s role in post-war societies that is attuned to its...
Article
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This article examines the dynamics of brokerage surrounding two moments of rupture (the tsunami and the end of the war) in Hambantota, a district in southern Sri Lanka and a key site of frontier development. We contrast the two development assemblages that emerged from these moments, examining how structural transformations shape the dynamics of br...
Article
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This paper addresses the question of how service delivery (SD) affects state legitimacy (SL) and conflict (C) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, drawing particularly on frameworks that move beyond a state-centric approach. Focusing on the majority-Arab countries of MENA, the paper aims to: (1) offer a preliminary explanation of the...
Chapter
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Sri Lanka’s long-running separatist war, which began in 1983 and lasted for 26 years, ended with a military victory for the government armed forces in 2009. Although the likelihood of a return to organized armed conflict remains slim and the country has seen its economy expand significantly, grievances from minority groups remain, and new societal...
Article
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http://www.currenthistory.com/Article.php?ID=1401
Research
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These published guidelines are based on findings from a University of Bath Teaching Development Fund (TDF) project conducted in 2016 on 'Learning from Blogs-Evaluating the learning and teaching benefits of using blogs in higher education'. This project sought to evaluate the use of blogs across 3 modules in the Social and Policy (SPS) Department wi...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, INGO legitimacy has been subject to growing scrutiny from analysts and practitioners alike. Critics have highlighted a backlash against INGOs in the Global South, a growing mismatch between INGO capacities and contemporary global challenges, and diminishing support for norms such as democracy and human rights that underpin INGOs’ w...
Article
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The ending of the war in Sri Lanka in 2009 led to significant changes in the political strategies pursued by Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora groups in the UK. One contentious feature of these groups' campaigns has been their use of the ‘genocide’ frame to describe the actions of the Sri Lankan state, which has been predominantly viewed either as a signal...
Article
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This article assesses the potential for evidence-informed policymaking in the field of mediation. It argues that one of the key barriers to evidence-informed policymaking in this area is the disjointed character of the existing literature and finds that methodological and theoretical tensions lie at the heart of policy debates around mediation. Whi...
Conference Paper
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This paper examines how national NGOs operating in conflict-affected or transitional regions generate and maintain legitimacy. It considers the experience of NGOs in three such contexts – Sri Lanka, Nepal and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). The paper argues that existing accounts of NGO legitimacy are unhelpful for understanding the dyn...
Article
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This article examines the reputational management strategies of national nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) involved in peace-building work in Sri Lanka between 2006 and 2007, a transitional period when the cease-fire was unraveling and the NGO sector was facing a “crisis of legitimacy.” It traces the structural and proximate causes of the crisis...
Article
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This article explores the interface between international and local approaches to peacebuilding by analysing the experience of two national NGOs involved in peacebuilding work in Sri Lanka between 2006 and 2008. During this transitional period, Sri Lanka's fragile peace process began to unravel. This analysis uses the lens of NGO legitimacy to refl...
Article
Full-text available
This essay explores international engagement in the Sri Lankan peace process between 2002 and 2008. The internationalization of peacebuilding in Sri Lanka is analysed as part of a broader international shift towards a model of ‘liberal peacebuilding’, which involves the simultaneous pursuit of conflict resolution, liberal democracy and market sover...
Article
Full-text available
This paper explores the growing role of national NGOs in the interventions of western governments in conflict-affected regions. Using three case studies of national NGOs working in Sri Lanka, it focuses on the complex relationships between national NGOs, donors and a range of domestic stakeholders. These relationships involved competing demands, in...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
This project aims to improve understanding of, and policy responses, to post-war transitions in Nepal and Sri Lanka by examining how key local actors from peripheral regions – or ‘borderland brokers’ – help to shape changing relations between centre and peripheral regions. It adopts an innovative analytical and methodological approach to documenting the life histories of these brokers – who include local businessmen, administrators, civil society leaders or politicians – by using literary comic strips to develop narratives that are co-produced by respondents and local artists. As well as providing a novel approach for generating compelling accounts of brokers’ lives and the wider post-war transitions that they shape, the literary comics will also present unique opportunities to engage policy audiences and the general public. The project will therefore help to shape unfolding national and international policy debates relating to post-war transitions in Nepal and Sri Lanka on themes such as transitional justice, devolution, and post-war development.
Project
This project aims to generate a better understanding of contested war to peace transitions in Nepal and Sri Lanka with a view to improving statebuilding and peacebuilding interventions in post-war contexts in South Asia and beyond. Its originality lies in an approach that takes the putative margins of the state as the primary vantage point for understanding and explaining the political and economic dynamics of 'post war' transition. By so doing it inverts the top down, centrist orientation commonly applied to studies of (and policy responses to) post-war statebuilding and reconstruction.