Lia Kent is a Senior Fellow/Australian Research Council Future Fellow in the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet) in the College of Asia and the Pacific at ANU. An interdisciplinary peace and conflict studies scholar, she completed her PhD in socio-legal studies at the University of Melbourne in 2010. Lia is the author of The Dynamics of Transitional Justice: International Models and Local Realities in East Timor (Routledge 2012).
Lia’s research is concerned with the myriad ways in which individuals and communities make sense of legacies of state violence and protracted conflict. She has examined these themes through long-term ethnographic research in Timor-Leste (since 2004) and more recent research in Aceh (Indonesia) and Sri Lanka. Lia is especially interested in vernacular practices of memory and social repair, including how they intersect with – and potentially reshape – global peacebuilding discourses and states’ regulatory and governance practices. She has pursued these questions through projects and publications on transitional justice, reconciliation, gender justice, the politics of memory, and the role of more-than-human agency – including the dead – in state formation.
Current and recently completed research projects include: an ARC DECRA project on how local memory practices shape imaginings of the nation in Timor-Leste and Aceh; a collaborative ARC Discovery Project on the reconciliatory potential of heritage in settler colonial Australia and New Zealand (led by ANU’s Cressida Fforde); and an ARC Future Fellowship Project examining local responses to missing persons and peacebuilding in Timor-Leste and Sri Lanka.
Research Interests: Transitional justice; memory studies; peacebuilding; remembrance, reconciliation and justice in post-conflict societies; and gender studies, with a geographic focus on Timor-Leste
Research Projects ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award 2015: After Conflict: Local Memories and Nation-building in Timor-Leste and Bougainville. This project examines how community members in Timor-Leste and Bougainville are collectively remembering their respective experiences of conflict and considers what this reveals about the processes of nation formation in those societies.
ARC Discovery Grant 2014 (with Professor Renee Jeffery and Dr Joanne Wallis): Political Reconciliation in the Asia-Pacific. This project examines the politics of reconciliation in the Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste and Bougainville.