RegNet PhD scholar receives Best Presenter at Humanities and Social Sciences in the 21st Century Conference

20th September 2019

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Primitivo III joined Regnet as ANU Philippines Project scholar.

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RegNet PhD scholar, Primitivo (Prime) Ragandang received best presentation at the recent UNSW conference: Humanities and Social Sciences in the 21st Century. Over 60 higher degree research students presented as part of this conference which gives PhD scholars an opportunity to showcase their research and its relevance to the world today.

Prime’s presentation, which focuses on young peacebuilders in Mindanao, began with a story from his childhood. His mother would warn him not to go to the river alone because according to her, Muslims would kidnap him and turn his body into canned sardines. It was only when he was at university and when he met Muslim friends that he heard the story from the other side of the river. When they were young too, they were also told not to go to the river or make friends with Christians because Christians are kidnappers and land grabbers. These cultural biases and prejudices augment the century-old conflict in Mindanao which is the second-longest running conflict in the world. Prime’s research seeks an answer as to how we can genuinely engage youth in peacebuilding. Read his abstract below for more on his research.


This paper examines studies on young peacebuilders, the trends on peacebuilding, and how foreign aid shapes peacebuilding sustainability. First, I will focus on youth and talk about youth as victims of conflict, youth as troublemakers, youth as peacebuilders, challenges of young peacebuilders, and their limitations. Second, I explore studies on peacebuilding per se (and the interaction between local and foreign actors). It is divided into four sub-sections, as follows: local-led peacebuilding, foreign peacebuilding interventions, the interaction between local and foreign peacebuilding actors, and prospects for peacebuilding sustainability. The third section of this paper focuses on foreign aid. It first discusses the motivations of foreign aid allocation, followed by a review on critics of foreign aid. Finally, I will review the studies examining the effectiveness of foreign aid. Recommendations culled out from previous studies will be discussed.

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