Personal details

Dr Helen Berents
Senior Lecturer
Faculty of Law,
School of Justice
Discipline *
Political Science, Sociology
+61 7 3138 7116
+61 7 3138 7123
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Doctor of Philosophy (International Relations) (University of Queensland)

Professional memberships
and associations
  • Australian Political Science Association
  • International Studies Association
  • Latin American Studies Association
  • The Australian Sociology Association
  • International Association for Peace and Conflict Studies

peace and conflict, policy and governance, violence, Latin America, youth, digital media, children, CJSDRC, civil society advocacy

* Field of Research code, Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008


Helen’s research is interested in children and youth, peace and conflict, and local responses to violence and insecurity. She also has developed research projects on the role of popular culture, digital media, and social media in the representation and mediation of understandings of political crises and conflicts. Helen’s work draws on feminist theories, international relations, public policy, and sociology to explore these issues.

Much of Helen’s work is centrally concerned with representations of youth in political events, as well as genuine engagement with the lived experiences of violence-affected young people. More broadly, she is interested in questions of how people are rendered insecure by institutions of authority and power, how young people are politicised but not seen as political, and how feminist and narrative methodologies open space to find the everyday within these explorations.

Helen has a PhD (International Relations) and a BA (Honours, first class) from the University of Queensland. Her dissertation sought to better account for conflict-affected young people’s lived experiences of insecurity and violence and their contributions to peacebuilding in their everyday lives. This work was based on fieldwork conducted in Colombia with internally displaced youth. It has been revised and published as Young People and Everyday Peace in 2018.

Research Interests:

  • youth, peace and security
  • peacebuilding and forced migration
  • digital humanitarianism
  • feminist security studies
  • youth political engagement
  • Latin America, with focus on Colombia
  • research ethics
This information has been contributed by Dr Helen Berents.


Teaching responsibilities include:

  • JSN166 Justice Institutions
  • JSB178 Policy, Governance and Justice
  • JSB285 Political Violence and Terrorism
This information has been contributed by Dr Helen Berents.


For more publications by this staff member, visit QUT ePrints, the University's research repository.


Current supervisions