After graduating with a Masters of Law from Stockholm University, Kristina Simion worked at the Swedish Government Agency for Peace, Security and Development, where she was involved with practical implementation and policy research on rule of law assistance.
The prospect of doing a PhD abroad, rather than in Sweden, saw her move to Canberra in 2013, to take up a thesis on responsive rule of law at The Australian National University.
Her thesis explores the influence of rule of law intermediaries - individual brokers, translators and mediators – that operate in the space between foreign, national and local counterparts and their interests.
“I didn’t want to do a traditional law PhD. I was looking for a more dynamic, socio-legal environment,” she says.
The University’s Regulatory Institutions Network, at ANU College of Asia and the Pacific, offered both opportunities to study Myanmar language, history and culture, work with leading scholars and undertake field work.
“I chose Myanmar partly because it is undergoing significant change, and there is an opportunity to engage with local scholars and policy makers as they work through the challenges of rule of law reform”, she said.
In this video she discusses the challenges and rewards of fieldwork, along with her earlier experiences of living in Romania – which saw her witness firsthand, the consequences of living in a society where governments are not held accountable for their actions.
Production by Belinda Cranston and James Walsh