Alexandra Phelan

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I am a Postdoctoral Fellow at Monash Uni's GPS. My research focuses on insurgent governance and legitimation activities, political violence and organise crime, and insurgent women
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Monash GPS, Monash University

Research Profile

I am a Postdoctoral Fellow at Monash University's Gender, Peace and Security Centre. My research focuses on insurgent governance and legitimation activities, political violence and organise crime, and insurgent women. My PhD dissertation examined why the Colombian government alternated between counterinsurgency and negotiation with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Based on an extensive examination of negotiation documents and primary FARC material, fieldwork and interviews with former and active FARC, ELN, M-19 and AUC members, I critically examined the role that insurgent legitimation activities had on influencing Colombian government response between 1982-2016. I am also currently working on the Colombian case study for the ARC Linkage Project, hosted by Monash GPS, “Towards Inclusive Peace: Mapping Gender Provisions in Peace Agreements”, which seeks to understand the role that gender provisions in peace agreements play in shaping women's participation in conflict affected sites. I focus on the gender provisions in the 2016 Peace Agreement with the FARC, their ongoing implementation, and their impact on women's participation. I currently serve on the editorial board for the journal, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism.

Latin America, Colombia, Venezuela
English, Spanish

• Phelan, A. (2018), “Engaging insurgency: The Impact of the 2016 Colombian Peace Agreement on FARC’s Political Participation”, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, Vol 0, Iss. Jan,
• International Institute for Strategic Studies (2018) Chapter Eight: Latin America, Armed Conflict Survey, 4:1, 323-348 (Colombia author)

Select Publications for Professional Outlets-
• Phelan, A. (2018), “Human Rights Defenders Assassinated in Colombia”, AIIA’s Australian Outlook, April 17
• Phelan, A. (2017), “The FARC’s Transition to Colombian Democracy”, AIIA’s Australian Outlook, September 12
• Phelan, A. (2017), “Insurgent Feminism and Colombia’s New Peace”, AIIA’s Australian Outlook, July 26
• Phelan, A. (2017), “Mapping the Pursuit of the Combination of All Forms of Struggle: How Colombia’s Peace Agreement Complements FARC’s Political Strategy”, Small Wars Journal, Feb 19
• Phelan, A (2016), “Colombia Votes No: But Is All Really Lost?”, AIIA’s Australian Outlook, Oct 4
• Alvarez, C and Phelan, A (2016), “Peace Talks in Colombia: another U-Turn?”, APSI’s The Strategist, Mar 22
• Phelan, A (2014), “Peace in the Philippines: but what next for the MILF?”, The Conversation, April 10
• Phelan, A (2013), “Pablo Escobar and the Legacy of Drug Warfare in Latin America”, The Conversation, Nov 13
• Phelan, A (2013), “Colombia’s Crunch Time: is the War with the FARC coming to an end?”, The Conversation, Nov 13
• Phelan, A (2013), “Black Widow, White Widow: why do female terrorist perplex us?”, The Conversation, Sep 26