Oliver Walton is a Lecturer in International Development at the University of Bath, specialising in NGO politics, conflict and peacebuilding. He is currently a co-investigator in an ESRC-funded project ‘Borderlands, brokers and peacebuilding in Nepal and Sri Lanka: war to peace transitions viewed from the margins’. The project explores how different kinds of borderland regions produce varied institutional arrangements and brokering relations, and examines how these different dynamics shape the patterns of post-war stabilisation and reconstruction. Previous work has explored how NGOs and civil society organisations generate and maintain legitimacy, and the political implications of NGOs’ engagement in peacebuilding. He has also conducted research on liberal peacebuilding, third-party mediation, and conflict prevention, all with an empirical focus on South Asia, especially Sri Lanka. He has published in a number of edited volumes and peer-reviewed journals including International Peacekeeping; Critical Asian Studies; Conflict, Security and Development; Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding; Civil Wars; and Ethnic and Racial Studies.
Local elections in Nepal and Sri Lanka: empowering or undermining the margins? (1 April 2018) - In the aftermath of civil wars, local elections are often viewed as transformative moments when voices from the margins can be heard and where new, more inclusive political settlements can be forged. However, existing academic research has been more cautious about the peacebuilding potential of local government institutions.