Intuition and congruence: researching peace in Melanesia


  • Louise Vella


peace, conflict resolution


Researching peace and conflict in the Solomon Islands is a sensitive and nuanced process.

The research must be guided by a methodology that is congruent with the epistemology and ontology of the Melanesian context, the peace studies discipline, as well as the researcher and participants involved. Research that is participatory and orientated towards action for positive social change is both desirable and necessary for effective research in this context. Participatory action research allows the research to capture and explore the affective, intrinsically intertwined nature of contemporary conflict in an indigenous setting. The key tenets of transformative research provide a relevant reference to the values that are inherent to participatory action research, an indigenous epistemology and peace research – that the research be a holistic, ethical, empowering and emancipatory process.

Author Biography

Louise Vella

Louise Vella

University of New England

+677 7489832; +61 417 323 392

Louise Vella is a correspondence Masters student through the Centre for Peace Studies at the University of New England. She is currently working with the Solomon Islands Truth and Reconciliation Commission as a research officer.


Acknowledgements and Disclaimer – Special thanks to Jennifer Borrell for encouragement, inspiration and guidance in the preparation of this paper.  The views expressed in this paper are those of the author, and are not representative of the Solomon Islands Truth and Reconciliation Commission.