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Professor Rachel Julian - Leeds Beckett. Leeds, West Yorkshire, GB

Professor Rachel Julian

Professor | Leeds Beckett University

Leeds, West Yorkshire, UNITED KINGDOM

Professor Rachel Julian is an internationally recognised researcher working on Unarmed Civilian Peacekeeping/Protection.





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Designing participatory research projects Part 1




Professor Rachel Julian is an internationally recognised researcher working on Unarmed Civilian Peacekeeping/Protection and the way we recognise the lives and voices of those affected by violence and crisis. Her work challenges the widespread acceptance of violence in International Relations and the assumption that peacekeeping requires soldiers.

In working with community partners in South East Asia and East Africa, Rachel has explored how civilians protect one another from violence, increase their capacity and agency to act, the voices of survivors in influencing policy and how a nonviolent feminist analysis generates creative approaches in the midst of complex challenges.

Rachel's interdisciplinary research uses arts, creative and technology methods and is widely published and funded through research grants from AHRC-UKRI, Global Challenges Research Fund, British Academy and United States Institute for Peace. She is working in three international networks and regularly presents her research at international conferences. She has been invited as an expert to speak at a UN meeting and German Parliament sub committee and is always interested in new and exciting projects and methods.

Rachel teaches undergraduate and postgraduate in nonviolent resistance, civilian protection and developing and managing projects. She supervises PhD students researching peace, nonviolence, conflict and protection.

Industry Expertise (2)



Areas of Expertise (7)








Education (4)

Leeds Beckett University: Ph.D., Project Management in the non-profit sector 2012

Leeds Metropolitan University: Certificate, Project Management 2006

University of Leeds: B.A., Geography with Qualified Teacher Status 1993

Newcastle College: B.A., Performance Management 2001

Languages (1)

  • English

Media Appearances (2)

Why unarmed civilian protection is the best path to sustainable peace

Waging Nonviolence  online


“Unarmed civilian protection challenges the widespread assumption that ‘where there is violence we need soldiers,’ or that armed actors will only yield to violent threat,” said Rachel Julian, director of the Centre for Applied Social Research at Leeds-Beckett University, during a UN event in May. Hosted by the permanent missions of Uruguay and Australia to the UN, the event offered inspiring success stories and provided persuasive evidence that unarmed civilian protection works.

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Highlighting A Fellow Advocate And NP Supporter, Dr. Rachel Julian

Nonviolent Peaceforce  online


As a teenager, Dr. Rachel Julian campaigned for nuclear disarmament. Now, she is Senior Lecturer in peace studies at Leeds Beckett University in England and on the board of Nonviolent Peaceforce. Like you, she advocates for Unarmed Civilian Protection.

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Event Appearances (3)

Civilian Peacekeeping Today

Gandhi Symposium  Linz, Austria


Competition or collaboration: how stakeholder expectations influence the results demonstrated in areas affected by violent conflict

Building an evidence base for humanitarian action: methodologies and approaches for the collection and analysis of information and evidence in humanitarian action  New York/Online

Who Built the Peace? Comparing evaluation methods in peacebuilding and conflict transformation

Conflict Research Society Annual Conference  Coventry

Articles (5)

Drawing Out Experiential Conflict Knowledge in Myanmar: Arts-Based Methods in Qualitative Research With Conflict-Affected Communities

Journal of Peacebuilding & Development

2021 This article argues that arts-based methods such as drawing are particularly useful as means to explore experiential insights into how violent conflict impacts individuals and communities in specific sociocultural contexts and shapes their views of development and peace. It illustrates this through the discussion of a drawing workshop with members of violence-affected communities in Kachin state, Myanmar.

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Researching with ‘Local’ Associates: Power, Trust and Data in an Interpretive Project on Communities’ Conflict Knowledge in Myanmar

Civil Wars

2020 This article discusses benefits and challenges of qualitative-interpretive research conducted in teams of outside (Northern) researchers and national (Southern) associates, in which the latter have considerable autonomy over research design and data generation.

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From expert to experiential knowledge: exploring the inclusion of local experiences in understanding violence in conflict


2019 Critical peace and conflict scholars argue that to understand fully conflict dynamics and possibilities for peace research should incorporate ‘the local’. Yet this important conceptual shift is bound by western concepts, while empirical explorations of ‘the local’ privilege outside experts over mechanisms for inclusion.

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The Transformative Impact of Unarmed Civilian Peacekeeping

Global Society

2019 Civilians, working together, and using non-violence to protect themselves and others from direct violence, challenges widespread assumptions that peace and protection can only be delivered by the military and with the threat of force. Unarmed Civilian Peacekeeping (UCP), with 35 years of evidence from projects worldwide, demonstrates that the assumption that an armed actor will not yield to anything except a weapon is false, therefore, challenging the exclusive role of military in peacekeeping.

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Soldiers, Civilians and Peacekeeping – Evidence and False Assumptions

International Peacekeeping

2018 The assumption that peacekeeping requires soldiers carrying weapons is widespread; 35 years of successful peacekeeping by unarmed civilians is often overlooked. The original definition of peacekeeping is being confused with peace enforcement and peace operations. Limited interest has led to underfunding of unarmed civilian peacekeeping (UCP) with fewer resources for both study and praxis.

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