Sinclair Dinnen

Dr Sinclair Dinnen was appointed as a Post Doctoral Fellow when SSGM commenced in 1996. He is currently a Senior Fellow. Sinclair has qualifications in law and criminology and has lectured at the Law Faculty of the University of Papua New Guinea and been a researcher at the Papua New Guinea National Research Institute. His doctoral research undertaken in Port Moresby and parts of the Highlands was published as Law and Order in a Weak State: Crime and Politics in Papua New Guinea (2001). He has longstanding research interests in legal pluralism, crime, conflict and peacebuilding  with particular reference to the Melanesian Pacific countries. Sinclair is a contributing author to Pillars and Shadows: Statebuilding as Peacebuilding in Solomon Islands (with John Braithwaite, Matthew Allen, Valerie Braithwaite and Hilary Charlesworth, 2010). His edited books include Reflections on Violence in Melanesia (with Alison Ley, 2000); A Kind of Mending: Restorative Justice in the Pacific Islands (with Anita Jowett and Tess Newton, 2003); Politics and State Building in Solomon Islands (with Stewart Firth, 2008) and Civic Insecurity: Law, Order and HIV in Papua New Guinea (with Vicki Luker, 2010). He recently co-authored (with Doug Porter and Caroline Sage) a background paper on Conflict in Melanesia: Themes and Lessons for the World Development Report 2011. His present research looks at issues of state-building and nation-building, aid policy, informal justice and policing in Melanesia. Sinclair has also engaged in extensive policy work in the areas of law and justice, policing and conflict analysis for a range of non-government, government and international organisations including AusAID, World Bank, UNDP and UNICEF.

orcid https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7323-3222

Hybridity on the Ground in Peacebuilding and Development »

Critical Conversations

Hybridity on the Ground in Peacebuilding and Development engages with the possibilities and pitfalls of the increasingly popular notion of hybridity. The hybridity concept has been embraced by scholars and practitioners in response to the social and institutional complexities of peacebuilding and development practice. In particular, the concept appears well-suited to making sense of the mutually constitutive outcomes of processes of interaction between diverse norms, institutions, actors and discourses in the context of contemporary peacebuilding and development engagements. At the same time, it has been criticised from a variety of perspectives for overlooking critical questions of history, power and scale. The authors in this interdisciplinary collection draw on their in‑depth knowledge of peacebuilding and development contexts in different parts of Asia, the Pacific and Africa to examine the messy and dynamic realities of hybridity ‘on the ground’. By critically exploring the power dynamics, and the diverse actors, ideas, practices and sites that shape hybrid peacebuilding and development across time and space, this book offers fresh insights to hybridity debates that will be of interest to both scholars and practitioners. ‘Hybridity has become an influential idea in peacebuilding and this volume will undoubtedly become the most influential collection on the idea. Nuance and sophistication characterises this engagement with hybridity.’ — Professor John Braithwaite

Civic Insecurity »

Law, Order and HIV in Papua New Guinea

Edited by: Vicki Luker, Sinclair Dinnen
Papua New Guinea has a complex ‘law and order’ problem and an entrenched epidemic of HIV. This book explores their interaction. It also probes their joint challenges and opportunities—most fundamentally for civic security, a condition that could offer some immunity to both. This book is a valuable and timely contribution to a limited but growing body of scholarship in the social and structural contexts of HIV epidemiology in Papua New Guinea. The volume offers a unique collection of interdisciplinary insights on the connections between law and order and the HIV epidemic and is presented in a manner accessible to a wide audience, scholars and lay people alike… Significantly, this is the first volume to critically examine the complex and inexorable links between HIV, gender, violence, and security within a theoretical framework that illuminates the challenges of the epidemic for PNG’s future cohesion and stability as a young nation…The importance of this courageous book cannot be overstated. While it communicates an urgent and potent message about the need for immediate action … it offers insightful reflections on the processes and possibilities of social transformation that undoubtedly will have enduring scholarly and practical value. — Dr Katherine Lepani, Social Foundations of Medicine, The Australian National University.

A Kind of Mending »

Restorative Justice in the Pacific Islands

Edited by: Sinclair Dinnen, Anita Jowitt, Tess Newton
With their rich traditions of conflict resolution and peacemaking, the Pacific Islands provide a fertile environment for developing new approaches to crime and conflict. Interactions between formal justice systems and informal methods of dispute resolution contain useful insights for policy makers and others interested in socially attuned resolutions to the problems of order that are found increasingly in the Pacific Islands as elsewhere. Contributors to this volume include Pacific Islanders from Vanuatu, Fiji, the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea including Bougainville, as well as outsiders with a longstanding interest in the region. They come from a variety of backgrounds and include criminal justice practitioners, scholars, traditional leaders and community activists. The chapters deal with conflict in a variety of contexts, from interpersonal disputes within communities to large-scale conflicts between communities. This is a book not only of stories but also of practical models that combine different traditions in creative ways and that offer the prospect of building more sustainable resolutions to crime and conflict.

Pillars and Shadows »

Statebuilding as peacebuilding in Solomon Islands

This volume of the Peacebuilding Compared Project examines the sources of the armed conflict and coup in the Solomon Islands before and after the turn of the millennium. The Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) has been an intensive peacekeeping operation, concentrating on building ‘core pillars’ of the modern state. It did not take adequate notice of a variety of shadow sources of power in the Solomon Islands, for example logging and business interests, that continue to undermine the state’s democratic foundations. At first RAMSI’s statebuilding was neither very responsive to local voices nor to root causes of the conflict, but it slowly changed tack to a more responsive form of peacebuilding. The craft of peace as learned in the Solomon Islands is about enabling spaces for dialogue that define where the mission should pull back to allow local actors to expand the horizons of their peacebuilding ambition.

Politics and State Building in Solomon Islands »

Politics and State Building in Solomon Islands examines a crisis moment in recent Solomon Islands history. Contributors examine what happened when unrest engulfed the capital of the small Melanesian country in the aftermath of the 2006 national elections, and consider what these events show about the Solomon Islands political system, the influence of Asian interests in business and politics, and why the crisis is best understood in the context of the country’s volatile blend of traditional and modern politics. Until the disturbances of April 2006 and subsequent deterioration in bilateral relations between Australia and Solomon Islands under the Sogavare government, experts had hailed the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) as an unqualified success. Some saw it as a model for ‘cooperative intervention’ in ‘failing states’ worldwide. Following these developments success seems less certain and aspects of the RAMSI model appear flawed. Using the case of Solomon Islands, this book raises fundamental questions about the nature of ‘cooperative intervention’ as a vehicle for state building, asking whether it should be construed as a mainly technical endeavour or whether it is unavoidably a political undertaking with political consequences. Providing a critical but balanced analysis, Politics and State Building in Solomon Islands has important implications for the wider debate about international state-building interventions in ‘failed’ and ‘failing’ states.