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Associate Professor

Egmont Institute for International Relations

Rue des Petits Carmes 15 

1000 Brussels 



Nina Wilén is Director for the Africa Programme at the Egmont Institute for International Relations and Research Leader at IOB Antwerp University, as well as Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science at Lund University. She is also a Global Fellow at the Peace Research Institute in Oslo (PRIO). Previously, she has had positions at Antwerp University and the Royal Military Academy in Belgium. In 2015 she was a Visiting Researcher at Stellenbosch University and in 2017-2018 she was at Lund University. Her research interests include conflict analysis and peace processes and the relation between sovereignty and intervention. More specifically she has been doing research on Security Sector Reform (SSR), the politics of peacekeeping operations and gender and the military. Geographically her research has been concentrated to Sub-Saharan Africa, where she has conducted fieldwork in Niger, Liberia, the DRC, Burundi, Rwanda and South Africa. She has published extensively the challenges of peacebuilding and peace operations in a range of international academic journals such as International Affairs, Gender, Work and Organization, Third World Quarterly and European Journal of International Security. She is also the author of the book: Justifying Interventions in Africa: (De) Stabilizing Sovereignty in Liberia, Burundi and the Congo (Palgrave Macmillan) 2012; and African Peacekeeping, (Cambridge University Press) 2022, with Prof. Jonathan Fisher. Since January 2020, Nina is the Editor-in-Chief for International


Sep 2018 -       Research Director Africa Program 

                         Egmont Institute for International Relations 

May 2022 -       Research Leader

                          IOB Antwerp University

Sep 2018 -       Associate Professor 

                        Lund University, Sweden

Jan – Aug        Visiting Researcher

2017-18            Department of Political Science

                         Lund University, Sweden

Sep 2016 -       Deputy Editor International Peacekeeping

Oct 2015-18     FNRS Post-doctoral Research Fellow

                        Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium

April 2014-       Post-doctoral Research Fellow

Sep 2015         Institute of Development Policy and Management    

                        University of Antwerp, Belgium

Jan - July        Visiting Researcher

2015                Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology

                        University of Stellenbosch, South Africa             

Jan 2014 -       Invited Lecturer in African Security 

                        Sciences Po, Paris, France

Jan 2014 -       Senior Associate

                        Security Governance Group, Waterloo, Canada

2010 - 2014     Post-doctoral Research Fellow 
                         Department of World Politics
                         The Royal Military Academy (RMA), Brussels

2006 - 2010     Research Fellow
                        Department of Political Science, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)

Travaux sélectionnés

Academic peer-reviewed articles and chapters


  • Wilén, Nina, “The Impact of Security Force Assistance in Niger: Meddling with Borders”, International Affairs, July 2022.


  • Wilén, Nina, “Adoption, adaptation or chance? Inter-organisational diffusion of the protection of civilians norm from the UN to the African Union”, Third World Quarterly, July 2022.

  • Wilén, Nina, “From Peacekept to Peacekeeper: Seeking International Status by Narrating New Identities”, Journal of Global Security Studies, 24 May 2022.


  • Wilén, Nina, “Facing a pandemic: African armies and the fight against COVID-19”, co-written with Anne-Laure Mahé, IRSEM/EGMONT Report No. 91, December 2021.

  • Wilén, Nina, “A Versatile Organisation: Mapping the Military’s Core Roles in a Changing Security Environment”, European Journal of International Security, with Lisa Strömbom, December 2021.


  • Wilén, Nina, “(In)Formal Relations and Networks in Security Force Assistance: The case of Niger”, Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, 20 September 2021.


  • Wilén, Nina, “The Military in the time of COVID-19: Versatile, Vulnerable and Vindicating”, PRISM, vol.9, n°2, 2021.


  • Wilén, Nina, “Justifying Interventions: The Case of ECOWAS in Liberia”, in Brock, L., and H.Simon (eds), The Justification of War and International Order. From the Past to the Present, Oxford University Press, March 2021.


  • Wilén, Nina, “Achieving a Feminist Peace by Blurring Boundaries between Private and Public”, in Kustermans, J., Sauer, T., & B. Segaert (eds.) A Requiem for Peacebuilding, Palgrave Macmillan: London, 2021, pp. 207-220.


  • Wilén, Nina, “Female Peacekeepers’ Added Burden”, International Affairs, vol. 96, n°6, 2020, pp.1585-1602.


  • Wilén, Nina, “No Place like Home? Post-Deployment Reintegration Challenges Facing South African Peacekeepers”, co-written with Lindy Heinecken in Armed Forces and Society


  • Wilén, Nina “Romanticizing the Locals and the Externals? Identifying Challenges to a Gendered SSR”, in Lemay-Hebert N. (ed). Handbook on Intervention and Statebuilding, Edward Elgar, December 2019.


  • Wilén, Nina, “Achieving a gendered transformation of the post-conflict military through SSR: Unpacking the private-public dynamics”, International Feminist Journal of Politics, April 2019.


  • Wilén, Nina, “The African Union and coercive diplomacy: the case of Burundi”, co-written with Paul D. Williams, in Journal of Modern African Studies vol.56, n°4, 2018, pp.673-696.


  • Wilén, Nina, “(In)Formal Relations and Networks in Security Force Assistance: The case of Niger”, Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, 20 September 2021. OPEN ACCESS!
  • Wilén, Nina, “Regendering the South African Army: Inclusion, Reversal and Displacement” co-written with Lindy Heinecken, in Gender, Work and Organization published on-line in April 2018,
  • Wilén, Nina, “The Burundian army’s trajectory to professionalization and depoliticization, and back again”, Journal of Eastern African Studies vol.12, n°1, 2018, pp.120-135, (Special Issue – for which Wilén is also Guest Editor), co-written with Gérard Birantamije and David Ambrosetti),
  • Wilén, Nina, “Rwanda’s Military as a People’s Army: Heroes at Home and Abroad”, Journal of Eastern African Studiesvol.12, n°1, 2018, pp. 154-171, (Special Issue – for which Wilén is also Guest Editor), co-written with Josefine Kühnel Larsen.
  • Wilén, Nina, “Examining the links between security sector reform and peacekeeping troop contribution in post-conflict states”, in Special Issue of Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding on Second Generation SSR, vol. 12, n° 1, 2018, pp. 64-79. 
  • Wilén Nina, “Democracy and Political Entrepreneurs in Africa”,Review essay African Studies published on-line April 2018:
  • Wilén, Nina, “AncreMilitarisation of Governance after Conflict: Beyond the Rebel-to-Ruler Frame. The case of Rwanda” co-written with Andrea Purdekova and Filip ReyntjensThird World Quarterlyvol.39, n°1, 2018, pp. 158-174.
  • Wilén, Nina, “Gender and blue helmets”, Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, vol.11, n°3, 2017, pp. 382-388. 
  • Wilén, Nina, “The Future of African peace operations: from the Janjaweed to Boko Haram” (book review), International Affairs, vol.93, n°4, 2017, pp.994-995. 
  • Wilén, Nina, “The Civilized Self and the Barbaric Other. Ex-Rebels Making Sense of Sexual Violence in the DR Congo” co-written with Bert IngelaereJournal of Contemporary African Studies, vol. 35, n°2, 2017, pp.221-239.
  • Wilén, Nina, “Peacekeeping Deployment Abroad and the Self-Perceptions of the Effect on Career Advancement, Status and Reintegration”, co-written with Lindy HeineckenInternational Peacekeeping, vol.24, n°2, 2017, pp. 236-253.
  • Wilén, Nina, Book review: “Legions of Peace: UN Peacekeepers from the Global South” by Cunliffe, P., Peacebuilding, April 2016. 
  • Wilén, Nina, “The Rationales behind the EAC Members Response to the Burundi Crisis”, Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, Winter/Spring 2016. 
  • Wilén, Nina, “From Foe to Friend? Army Integration after Conflict in Burundi, Rwanda and the Congo”, International Peacekeepingvol.23, n°1,November 2015. 
  • Wilén, Nina, Contributor Profile: Burundi (IPI, Providing for Peacekeeping Project, version 25 June 2015) at: with G. Birantamije. 
  • Wilén, Nina, Book review: “Rape as a Weapon of War? Perceptions, Prescriptions, Problems in the Congo and Beyond” by Eriksson-Baaz, M., Stern, M., Cooperation and Conflict,vol.50, n°1, 2015, pp. 166-167. 
  • Wilén, Nina, “Sending Peacekeepers Abroad, Sharing Power at Home: Burundi in Somalia as a New type of Extraversion?”, co-written with D. Ambrosetti, G. Birantamije, Journal of Eastern Africa Studies,March 2015, pp. 1-19. 
  • Wilén, Nina, “Security Sector Reform and Statebuilding”, in Jackson, P. (ed.), Handbook of International Security and Development, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2015.  
  • Wilen, Nina, “A Window of Opportunity for Reforms in the Congo’s Security Sector?” Centre for Security Governance, n°2, November 2014 available at:
  • Wilén, Nina, “Security Sector Reform, Gender and Local Narratives in Burundi”, Journal of Conflict Security and Development, vol.14, n°3, pp.331-354,2014.
  • Wilén Nina “Resisting Ownership: The Paralysis of EU Peacebuilding in the Congo”, co-authored with Antoine Rayroux, African Security, vol.6, n°2,2014. 
  • Wilén Nina, Book review: “Les Organisations Internationales” by Devin, Guillaume and Marie Claude Smouts, Human Figurations,vol.2, n°1, 2013.
  • Wilén Nina, “Identifying the Spoilers in the SSR-DDR Process in Congo”, Defense and Security Analysisvol.29, n°2,2013.
  • Wilén Nina, Book review: “Les Organisations Internationales” by Devin, Guillaume and Marie Claude Smouts,Norbert Elias Newslettern°392013. 
  • Wilén Nina, “A Hybrid Peace through Locally Owned and Externally Financed SSR-DDR in Rwanda?”, Third World Quarterly, vol.33, n°7, July 2012. 
  • Wilén Nina, “Problems of Local Participation and Collaboration with the UN in a Post-conflict Environment: Who Are the Locals?”, co-authored with Chapaux Vincent, Global Society, vol.25, n°4, 2011, pp. 531-548. 
  • Wilén Nina, “Entre souveraineté copartagée et coopération conditionnelle : GEMAP au Liberia ”, Etudes Internationales, vol.42, n°2, 2011. 
  • Wilén Nina, “Capacity-building or Capacity-taking? Legitimizing Concepts in Peace and Development Operations”,International Peacekeeping, 2009, vol.16, n°3, pp.337-351.
  • Wilén Nina, Book review: “Politics of Civil War: Conflict, Intervention and Resolution, by Amalendu Misra”, Politikon, vol. 15, n°2, November 2009. 
  • Wilén Nina, “International Administration of Foreign Territories and Sovereignty: An impossible Equation”, co-authored with Delcourt Barbara, inFinnish Yearbook of International Law,vol.xviii, 2007, Martin Nijhoff Publishers, pp.59-83, 2009.
  • Wilén Nina,“The Creation of a Democratic Caucus within the UN and the Reform of the Human Rights Commission: Towards the Recognition of an Exclusionary Principle in Global Governance?”, co-authored with Delcourt Barbara, in Lesage, Dries (ed.) Contemporary Global Governance, Brussels, Peter Lang, pp. 147-173, 2009.
  • Wilén Nina, “The Creation of a Democratic Caucus within the UN and the Reform of the Human Rights Commission: Towards the Recognition of an Exclusionary Principle in Global Governance?”, co-authored with Delcourt Barbara, Studia Europaea, 2007, vol.52, n°1, pp.57-97.