STREAM: International Security in Africa in the 20th and 21st centuries

STREAM: International Security in Africa in the 20th and 21st centuries


This stream aims to explore the politics of international security in Africa in a multi-disciplinary perspective from the mid-20th to the 21st century. This would incorporate both the history of international approaches to security issues in Africa, and efforts within the continent itself to achieve national and regional security from the early postcolonial era to the present. It aims at a broad concept of “international security”, from more classical state and territorial-centric notions common in the early postcolonial and Cold War era, to its wider sense, which includes a range of transnational or non-state actors and trends today.

Panels in this stream may include:

  • History of formal and informal alliances in Africa
  • Security agendas of regional organisations and of individual states
  • History and development of African armies and security services
  • Military industry and technology
  • Military interventions in Africa
  • Transnational threats and challenges for security
  • Contribution of the African continent to debates and changing norms regarding international security.

Confirmed panels

Post-colonial Security Arrangements

  •  Poppy Cullen, University of Cambridge (United Kingdom), Africanisation, training in Britain, and the development of the Kenya Army
  • Riina Turtio, Harvard University (United States), Building national military capacities in francophone West Africa from 1958 to 197
  • Arthur Banga, University Houphouët-Boigny in Abidjan (Ivory Coast), Le Conseil de l’Entente : a collective security tool in West Africa after Independance
  • Anna Konieczna, Africa and the NPT during the Cold War

Chair: Nathaniel Powell, King’s College London (UK)

Civil wars and conflict dynamics

  • Jon Schubert, Brunel University London (United Kingdom), A Brief Micro-History of UNITA’s Northern Front in the Angolan Conflict.
  • Sabina Appiah-Boateng, University of Cape Coast (Ghana), Factors fueling the tuobodom chieftaincy conflict in Ghana
  • Natalia Bueno, University of Coimbra (Portugal) and University of Notre Dame (United States), The renewal of armed conflict in Mozambique: lack of national reconciliation or discovery of natural resources?
  • Patrycja Stys, London School of Economics (United Kingdom), Same Sh*t Different Day: The Political Manipulation of Repatriation (and Resultant Remobilisation) in the Eastern DRC

Chair: TBC

National Security Challenges

  • John Githigaro, St Paul’s University in Limuru (Kenya), The Old and the New in Counter-Terrorism in Kenya (1998-2018)
  • Charles Khamala, Africa Nazarene University in Nairobi (Kenya), Alleged Terrorists and National Security Challenges: Judicial Interpretation of ‘Non-Refoulement’ Under the Refugee Convention in Kenya
  • Ibrahim Kankara Umaru, Musa Yar’Adua University, Nigeria, Jamilu Shehu, Federal University Dutsin-Ma, Farmers/Herders Conflict in Central Katsina Emirate Northern Nigeria: A Threat to National Security
  • Aimé Raoul Soumo Tayo, University of Yaoundé (Cameroun), The fight against terrorism and the Improvement of Capacities of African Armies: the Case of Cameroon

Chair: Sabina Appiah-Boateng, University of Cape Coast (Ghana)

External interventions and their Impact

  • Nathaniel Powell, King’s College London (United Kingdom), Experts in Decolonization? France’s Wars in Chad, 1969-1982
  • Tony Chafer, University of Portsmouth (United Kingdom); Roel vand der Velde, University of Cardiff (United Kingdom); Gordon Cumming, University of Cardiff (United Kingdom), Muddling Through or a New Model of Military Intervention? French Coalition Building in Africa
  • Walt Kilroy, Institute for International Conflict Resolution, Dublin City University (Ireland), Testing the limits: Difficult relationships between host governments and peacekeeping missions with civilian protection mandates
  • Andrea Purdekova, University of Bath (United Kingdom), Fact-Finding as Conflict Resource? The Political Anatomy of International Investigative Missions for Burundi (1993, 1995, 2015, 2017)

Chair: Arthur Banga, University Houphouët-Boigny in Abidjan (Ivory Coast)

African Solutions to African Problems: Assessing the African Role in Peacebulding on the Continent

  • Azeez Olaniyan, Ekiti State University (Nigeria), Easing the bull out of a China shop: ECOWAS and the resolution of Gambia’s electoral impasse
  • Abiodun Famoye, Adekunle Ajasin University (Nigeria), ECOMOG and the changing politics of international security in west africa, 1990-present
  • Noah Echa Attah, Federal University Kashere (Nigeria), The Expanding Herders and Farmers Conflicts in West Africa: Imperatives of Regional Peacebuilding
  • Giulia Piccolino, Loughborough University (United Kingdom), When the local is national. A critique of local peacebuilding with evidence from Côte d’Ivoire’

Chair: Delmas Tsafack, The Mintu Institute (Cameroun)

To further debates on the politics of international security in Africa, this stream encourages papers presenting case studies as well as more theoretical contributions.

If you have any queries or suggestions please contact Anna Konieczna ( and Nathaniel Powell ( For panel and paper submissions please follow the instructions on the website 

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