Dr Rebecca Spence

Senior Lecturer - Faculty of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences and Education; School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

Rebecca Spence

Phone: +61 2 6773 5095

Email: rspence1@une.edu.au


 I am a Senior Lecturer in Peace Studies and work at UNE on a part  time basis as I also run a small development consulting business. I work in the areas of professional development and leadership, evaluation and review, conflict analysis and peacebuilding advice with a range of clients including DFAT, ADF,  non government organisations and government staff across the Pacific and South East Asia.
I did my Ph.D on Processes of peacebuilding in Northern Ireland after the cessation of active hostilities, and graduated in 2000. I supervise Ph.d and Masters students, and my main areas of interest are the following: 

Gender, Peace and Security


Working in Conflict affected situations

Dialogue processes

Women in Politics


MA Hons (Edin), M.Litt (NE), PhD (NE)

Teaching Areas

  • PDPS 300/400: Reading Unit in Peace and Conflict
  • PDPS 301/401 Philosophy and Practice of Nonviolence
  • PDPS 351/451 Building Peace in Post Conflict Situations
  • PDPS 353/453 Post Conflict justice & reconciliation processes
  • Supervision of Doctorates and Master Honours students

Research Interests

  • Peacebuilding in post-conflict situations
  • Reconciliation processes in Bougainville, Northern Ireland and South Africa
  • NGO effectiveness in post-conflict situations
  • Making peace keepers more effective

Rebecca's research interests centre around recovery, reconstruction and reconciliation, peace processes, peacekeeping, peacemaking and peacebuilding, nonviolence and nonviolent action, community development and women and peacebuilding.


"The Socio-Economic Impact of St Valentine on the town of Terni", MA Hons thesis, 1988."

Violence in South Africa: Is it inevitable?", Horizons Magazine, Community Aid Abroad, December 1991.

The South African Handbook of Education for Peace, Quaker Peace Centre, Cape Town, 1992. (Contributing author).

"Women leading the Way", Nonviolence Today, No. 41, December 1994.

"Towards Anzania: A socio-political and historical examination of the process and progress of nonviolence as used by the non-white community in South Africa, 1900-1993. M.Litt Peace Studies thesis, 1995.

Edging toward Peace: building peace in Down District, Occasional Paper No 16, 1997, Centre for Peace Studies, UNE.

"Alternatives to Violence", Rita Breaks the Rules, UNE Press, 1999

Promises of Peace: Processes of Community Participation in Building Peace in Down District, PhD Thesis, 1999.

"The Centrality of Community-Led Recovery", in G. Harris, (ed.), 1999, Recovery from Armed Conflict, Routledge, London.

"Which Way Forward? Processes of Reconciliation" in G. Harris, N. Ahai and R. Spence, 1999, Building Peace in Bougainville, UNE Press, and National Research Institute, PNG.

co-editor of G. Harris, N. Ahai and R. Spence, 1999, Building Peace in Bougainville, UNE Press, and National Research Institute, PNG.

Spence, R. and Chantrill, P. 2000, 'The Search for Freedom: Finding legitimacy within the university structure and discovering appropriate research methods and strategies to undertake peace and community development activities' refereed paper presented at the 3rd international Professional Doctorates Conference, UNE Armidale, September.

Spence R and Chantrill P, 2001, Appropriate research strategies for undertaking peace and community development work, ULTIBASE electronic journal, August 2001, http://ultibase.rmit.edu.au

Rebecca Spence, Paul Chantrill and Jo-Anne Reid, 'Towards a Professional Doctorate for Peace and Community Development Studies', in Green, B., Maxwell, T.W. & Shanahan, P. 2001, Doctoral Education and Professional Practice: The Next Generation?, Armidale Kardoorair Press.

Rebecca Spence, Post-conflict peacebuilding: who determines the peace?, in Re-thinking Humanitarianiam conference proceedings, University of Queensland.

Rebecca Spence, Building Peace, Building Hope, Building Relationships: The Process of International Volunteering, refereed Paper for the International Year of the Volunteers Conference,Volunteering: Real Choice, Real Change,21 – 23 October 2001.

Spence R., And O'Sullivan , J., 2001, Violent Hierarchies: Re-negotiating Gender Discourses of Resistance and Agency in the film 'Some Mother's Son". refereed Paper presented at the 8th Interdiciplinary Gender Studies conference, Central Coast Campus, Ourimbah, 28th June 2001.

Rebecca Spence, 2002, Building Peace, Building Hope, Building Relationships: The Process of International Volunteering, Australian Journal of Volunteering no 6 vol 2., 73 – 78.

Rebecca Spence and Paul Chantrill, 2001 Developing Curricular and Appropriate Learning Strategies for Community Development and Peace Studies, Peace and Change, vol 27, no 1, 106 - 117

Rebecca Spence, Jasmin Packer and Emma Beare,2002 Building Community Partnerships: An Australian Case Study of Sustainable Community-based Rural Programmes, Community Development Journal, Oct 2002

Rebecca Spence and Jason McLeod 2002, Building the Road as We Walk it: Peacebuilding as Nonviolent Revolutionary Praxis, Social Alternatives, Vol 21, No 2, Autumn 2002.

Rebecca Spence, 2004. Befriending the neighbours: Creating common security, in G.T. Harris ( ed), Demilitarising Sub-Saharan Africa, Zed Books London

Rebecca Spence and Deanna Iribarnegaray, 2004, The Changing Face of Peacekeeping, in J. Salter and R Gerber ( eds.), Civil Care and Security: A Societal View, Kardoorair press, Armidale (forthcoming).