Department of Social & Policy Sciences

Dr Oliver Walton

Oliver Walton


3 East 3.02A

Tel: +44 (0) 1225 38 6137

Personal website Twitter Twitter

PhD Supervision
  • Andrew Johnstone: 'How is UK fragile states policy made? A case study of the Stabilisation Unit/Conflict Pool’s role in UK policymaking since 2010'
  • Ngoc Anh Vu (2nd supervisor): 'Civil society activism in authoritarian contexts'
  • Hannah West 'Understanding Female Engagement: From Malaya to Afghanistan'


Oliver Walton is a Lecturer in International Development specialising in NGO politics, conflict and peacebuilding.

His research focuses on the ways in which NGOs and civil society organisations generate and maintain legitimacy, and on the political implications of NGOs’ engagement in peacebuilding. He has also conducted research on liberal peacebuilding, third-party mediation, and conflict prevention.

Prior to joining the University of Bath in March 2013, he worked as a Research Fellow at the Governance and Social Development Resource Centre (GSDRC), based at the University of Birmingham.  He completed a PhD at the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London) in 2010, which focused on national NGOs involved in peacebuilding in Sri Lanka. He has experience of working for a range of NGOs in the UK and Sri Lanka, and has worked as a consultant and evaluator for a number of donor agencies (including DFID, UNDP, NORAD, OECD and AusAID). 

Research interests

  • Civil Society and NGO Legitimacy
  • Political Economy of War and Peace
  • Post-War Transitions
  • Mediation and conflict resolution
  • Framing and Organisational Legitimacy
  • Borderlands

Current projects


Book Sections

Walton, O., 2016. Timing and sequencing of post-conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding in Sri Lanka. In: Langer, A. and Brown, G., eds. Building Sustainable Peace. Oxford, U. K.: Oxford University Press.

Walton, O., 2015. Sri Lanka. In: Dubnick, M. J. and Bearfield, D. A., eds. Encyclopedia of Public Administration and Public Policy (3rd ed.).3rd ed. London, U. K.: Routledge.

Walton, O. E., 2014. Dealing with authoritarian regimes. In: Handbook on Humanitarian Action. London, U. K.: Routledge.

Walton, O., 2013. 'Everything is Politics’:understanding the political dimensions of NGO legitimacy in conflict-affected regions. In: Brown, R. A. and Pierce, J., eds. Charities in the Non-Western World. Abingdon, U.K.: Routledge, p. 19. (Routledge Charities Studies Series)

Goodhand, J. and Walton, O., 2011. Public vs private power:Non-Governmental Organizations and international security. In: McKercher, B. J. C., ed. Routledge Handbook of Diplomacy and Statecraft. Oxford, U. K.: Routledge.

Walton, O. and Sarravanmuttu, P., 2010. In the balance:civil society and the peace process 2002-2008. In: Goodhand, J., Korf, B. and Spencer, J., eds. Conflict and peacebuilding in Sri Lanka. Oxford, U. K.: Routledge. (Routledge Contemporary South Asia Series)


Walton, O., 2017. Beyond disaster framing: exploring multi-mandate INGOs’ representations of conflict. Third World Quarterly

Goodhand, J. and Walton, O., 2017. The Tangled Politics of Postwar Justice in Sri Lanka. Current History, 116 (789), pp. 130-135.

Goodhand, J., Klem, B. and Walton, O., 2017. Mediating the margins: the role of brokers and the Eastern Provincial Council in Sri Lanka’s post-war transition. Third World Thematics

Walton, O., Davies, T., Thrandardottir, E. and Keating, V., 2016. Understanding contemporary challenges to INGO legitimacy:integrating top-down and bottom-up perspectives. Voluntas, 27 (6), 2764–2786.

Walton, O., 2015. Framing disputes and organizational legitimation:UK-based Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora groups’ use of the ‘genocide’ frame since 2009. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 38 (6), pp. 959-975.

Walton, O. E., 2014. Learning lessons or unearthing truths?:Using evidence to inform mediation policy. Civil Wars, 16 (1), pp. 46-64.

Walton, O., 2012. Between war and the liberal peace: the politics of NGO peacebuilding in Sri Lanka. International Peacekeeping, 19 (1), pp. 19-34.

Walton, O., 2012. Peace building without using the word “peace”:National NGOs' reputational management strategies during a peace–to–war transition in Sri Lanka. Critical Asian Studies, 44 (3), pp. 363-390.

Walton, O., 2011. Aid, peacebuilding and the resurgence of war:Buying time in Sri Lanka by Sara Holt, Palgrave MacMillan [Book Review]. Commonwealth & Comparative Politics, 49 (4), pp. 547-548.

Goodhand, J. and Walton, O., 2009. The limits of liberal peacebuilding? International engagement in the Sri Lankan peace process. Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, 3 (3), pp. 303-323.

Walton, O., 2008. Conflict, peacebuilding and NGO legitimacy:National NGOs in Sri Lanka1, Analysis. Conflict, Security & Development, 8 (1), pp. 133-167.


Walton, O., 2012. Impact and VFM of capacity building support for conflict parties in negotiation:helpdesk research report. University of Birmingham.

Walton, O., 2012. Incentives to the private sector and early recovery:helpdesk research report. University of Birmingham.

Walton, O., 2012. Why legitimacy matters to NGO peacebuilding.Vol. 5. International Development Department, University of Birmingham.

Walton, O., 2011. Early warning indicators of violent conflict:helpdesk report. University of Birmingham.

Walton, O., 2011. Evidence for the effectiveness of a process approach:helpdesk research report. University of Birmingham.

Walton, O., 2010. Conflict prevention in Indonesia (Aceh) 2005-7:case study for DFID's ' What price peace?' project. DFID.

Walton, O. and Keen, D., 2010. Conflict prevention in Sri Lanka 2002-7:case study for DFID's 'What price peace?' project. DFID.

Walton, O. and Perez-Nino, H., 2010. Contemporary conflict prevention:conflicts and challenges. working paper 2 for 'What price peace?' project. Working Paper. DFID.

Walton, O., 2010. Youth, armed violence and job creation:a rapid mapping study. University of Birmingham and Norssk resurssenter for fredsbygging.


Walton, O., 2010. Negotiating war and the liberal peace:national NGOs' legitimacy and the politics of peacebuilding in Sri Lanka 2006-7. Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

Non-academic press

Ferrero, J., Walton, O. and Kennedy, P., 2016. 2015:the year in elections. The Conversation


Walton, O., 2011. Civil war, intervention and conflict resolution:key trends and implications for the 'Norwegian Model' of peacemaking.

This list was generated on Mon Oct 16 15:13:41 2017 IST.