Dr Jeni Whalan

Lecturer in International Security and Development
BA (UNSW), M.Phil (Oxon), D.Phil (Oxon)
School of Social Sciences


+61 (2) 9385 2405
+61 (2) 9662 8991
Room 138, Morven Brown
Kensington Campus
Fields: Public Policy, International Relations, Policy and Administration, Government and Politics of Asia and the Pacific, Economic Development Policy
Tags: Defence and Security Policy, International Organisations, International Aid and Development, International Political Economy (excl. International Trade)


Jeni Whalan is a Lecturer in International Security and Development in the School of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, UNSW and a non-resident Research Associate of the Global Economic Governance Programme at the University of Oxford. Her research focuses on peacekeeping, the United Nations, fragile states, policy evaluation and international security governance. She works at the intersection of international security and development, with a particular interest in how international institutions shape outcomes. Her research aims to improve public policy, particularly the design, implementation and evaluation of foreign, security and development policy. She is a founding member of the Security Council Analysis Network (SCAN), a research network that conducts sustained, rigorous review of the Council's actions to promote international peace and security.

Jeni is the author of How Peace Operations Work: Power, Legitimacy and Effectiveness (OUP, 2013), which analyses the effectiveness of peace operations through a local lens, asking new questions about how they work, and generating new insights about how they might be made to work better. The book reveals  the overriding importance of local legitimacy—the perception among local actors that a peace operation, its personnel, and its objectives are right, fair, and appropriate. The book draws on in-depth case studies of the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) and the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) to propose a new approach to studying the effectiveness of peace operations, and a set of practical recommendations that challenge key elements of prevailing peace operations policy.

Jeni’s research on fragile states asks how aid, technical assistance and investment can be redesigned to meet the needs of conflict-affected developing countries. Its first phase focuses on explaining the emergence of the g7+ group of fragile and conflict-affected countries and assessing its impact on security, development and global governance.

Jeni holds a DPhil and MPhil (with distinction) in International Relations from the University of Oxford, where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar, and held the Wai Seng Senior Research Scholarship and Wingate Scholarship. She has worked as a foreign policy advisor in the Australian Government's Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet and Department of Defence, and as a consultant to the International Peace Institute, the International Forum for the Challenges of Peace Operations, and the UNESCO Education for All Global Monitoring Report.


ARTS2751 - International Development
ARTS2752 - The Local Politics of Development
SOCW7852 - The Politics of International Aid

Affiliations and membership

Founding member, Security Council Analysis Network (SCAN)

Research Associate, Global Economic Governance Programme, University of Oxford.