School of Social and Political Science

Dr Maggie Dwyer

Job Title

Lecturer in African Studies and International Development

Maggie Dwyer's photo

Room number


Building (Address)

Chrystal Macmillan Building

Street (Address)

15a George Square

City (Address)


Country (Address)


Post code (Address)


Research interests

Research interests

African politics, International relations, Peacekeeping, Social media, West Africa, African security, International development, African studies, militaries

Topics interested in supervising

African politics, Peace and conflict, Security and development

If you are interested in being supervised by Maggie Dwyer, please see the links below (open in new windows) for more information:


Dr Maggie Dwyer is a Lecturer in African Studies and International Development. Her research focuses on conflict, security, and politics in Africa. She is particularly interested in African militaries and international security interventions. Related to these interests she has conducted field research in Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, The Gambia, Liberia, Tanzania, and Kenya. Maggie is also a Global Fellow at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO).

From November 2019 to April 2024, Maggie is leading an ESRC funded research project titled 'Return from Peacekeeping: Mission Effects on Veterans, States, and Communities.' The project examines the social and political effects of deployments on veteran peacekeepers, their families, and contributing countries in Africa. It involves comparative analysis through four case study countries: Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Uganda. 

Maggie has also been a researcher on other projects including Security Force Assistance (SFAssist) based at the Peace Research Institute Oslo and the ESRC/DFID funded project Social Media and Security in Africa (SMS: Africa) based at University of Edinburgh. Additional funding for her research on African security issues has come from the Gerda Henkel Foundation, the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, and the UKRI Global Challenges Research Fund.

In the 2022/2023 academic year, Maggie is teaching the MSc course 'Conflict, Security, and Development.' 

Maggie completed her PhD in African Studies at University of Edinburgh. She also holds an MSc from Syracuse University and a BS in political science and psychology from University of Mary Washington. Maggie’s experience researching security issues builds on a previous career working for the U.S. Department of Defense (2004-2010). She has also been involved in projects with various government agencies and international organizations such as the U.S. State Department and the World Bank. From 2013-2018 Maggie served as the Associate Editor for the Journal of Modern African Studies.



Dwyer, M. Soldiers in Revolt: Army Mutinies in Africa, London: Hurst (2017)/New York: Oxford University Press (2018)

Reviewed in Foreign Affairs, Journal of African Military HistoryThe Journal of Modern African Studies; Journal of African History; War in History; African Studies ReviewFeatured in The Washington Post

Edited volume:

Dwyer, M. & Molony, T. (eds.) Social Media and Poltics in Africa: Democracy, Censorship, and Security, London: Zed Books (2019).

Reviewed in Journal of Communication Inquiry

Journal Special Issue Guest Editor

'Security Force Assistance' Special Issue of Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, Volume 15, issue 5, 2021. Edited by Maggie Dwyer, Oystein Rolandsen, and William Reno.


Peer reviewed journal articles and chapters:

Dwyer, M. ‘The Role of Unpredictability in Maintaining Control of the Security Forces in the Gambia.’ African Affairs, 122, 486 (2023): 147-166.

Dwyer, M. ‘The Gambia: Uses and Abuses of State Intelligence Agencies.’ In R. Shaffer, ed. The Handbook of African Intelligence Cultures. Rowman & Littlefield, 2023.

Dwyer, M. & Gbla, O. '"The Home Stress": The Role of Soldiers' Family Life on Peacekeeping Missions, the Case of Sierra Leone.' International Peacekeeping 29, 1 (2022): 139-164.

Rolandsen, O., Dwyer, M. & Reno, W. 'Security Force Assistance to Fragile States: A Framework of Analysis.' Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding 15, 5 (2021): 563-579.

Dwyer, M. 'Security Force Assistance to The Gambia Following the 2017 Political Transition: A Recipe for Further Fragmentation?' Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding 15, 5 (2021): 630-646.

Dwyer, M. & Tansey, O. 'Explaining Divergent Trends in Coups and Mutinies: The End of the Cold War and the Role of Military Agency.' Security Studies 59, 5 (2020): 864-893.

Dwyer, M. 'Reimagining Police Engagement?: Kenya National Police Service on Social Media.' Policing & Society 30, 7 (2020): 760-776.

Dwyer, M. 'The Military in African Politics.' In Oxford Encyclopedia of African Politics. Oxford University Press (2019).

Dwyer, M. & Molony, T. 'Mapping the Study of Politics and Social Media Use in Africa' In Social Media and Poltics in Africa: Democracy, Censorship, and Security, Zed Books (2019): 1-18.

Dwyer, M., Hitchen, J. & Molony, T. 'Between Excitement and Scepticism: The Role of WhatsApp in Sierra Leone's 2018 Elections.' In Social Media and Poltics in Africa: Democracy, Censorship, and Security, Zed Books (2019): 105-128.

Dwyer, M. 'Fragmented Forces: The development of the Gambian military.' African Security Review 26, 4 (2017): 362-377.

Dwyer, M. 'Situating soldiers' demands: mutinies and protests in Burkina Faso.' Third World Quarterly 38, 1 (2017): 219-234. 

Dwyer, M. 'Peacekeeping Abroad, Trouble Making at Home: Peacekeeping-Related Mutinies in West Africa.' African Affairs 144, 455 (2015): 206-225.

Dwyer, M. 'Tactical Communications: Mutiny as a Dialogue in West and Central Africa.' Africa Spectrum 50, 1 (2015): 5-23. 

Dwyer, M. 'Borrowed Scripts: Democratization and Military Mutinies in West and Central Africa.' Conflict, Security, and Development 15, 2 (2015): 97-118.

Dwyer, M. 'Anatomie d'une unité mutine: le coup d'État de 1992 en Sierra Leone.' Politique Africaine 128 (2012): 77-100.

Peer Reviewed Policy-Focused Writing

Dwyer, M. "Au-delà des coups d’État : comprendre les nouveaux modes d’intervention militaires." pp. 5-7. In Marc-André Boisvert (ed) Coups d’État en Afrique: le retour de l’uniforme en politique. Bulletin FrancePaix, Vol. 7, no. 1-2, 2022.

Dwyer, M. & Gbla, O. “Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces and the COVID-19 Response: A Growing Domestic Focus for the Army.” pp. 21-31. In Anne-Laure Mahé and Nina Wilén (eds) Facing a pandemic: African armies and the fight against COVID-19, Report No. 91, IRSEM/EGMONT, December 2021.

Dwyer, M. 'A Stalled Transformation: Gambian Security Forces and the 2017 Democratic Transition.' Texas National Security Review, Policy Roundtable: The Military and Mass Protests in Africa, 2021.

Review articles

Dwyer, M. ‘Review of When peace kills politics: international intervention and unending wars in the Sudans by Sharath Srinivasan.’ Commonwealth & Comparative Politics 60, 4 (2022): 422-423.

Dwyer, M. ‘Review of West African Soldiers in Britain’s Colonial Army, 1860-1960 by Timothy Stapleton.’ Journal of African Military History 6, 2 (2022): 154-156.

Dwyer, M. Review of Babatunde Tolu Afolabi, The Politics of Peacemaking in Africa: non-state actors' role in the Liberian civil war in Africa: Journal of the International African Institute 89, 3 (2019): 612-614.

Selected popular media and guest blogs

(with Clair MacDougall) Serious Troop Rotation Blockages Could Ease Soon for the UN Mission in Mali Pass Blue, July 4, 2022.

(with Erica De Bruin) How this wave of African coups differs from previous ones, Washington Post, Monkey Cage blog, February 25, 2022.

Burkina Faso's coup makers capitalized on wider grievances within the ranks, Washington Post, Monkey Cage blog, January 28, 2022.

(with Ismaila Ceesay) The Gambia's president said he'd step down after three years. Will he?, African Arguments, December 12, 2019

(with Thomas Molony) Analysis across Africa shows how social media is changing politics, The Conversation, August 14, 2019. (also posted on Quartz Africa and Democracy in Africa)

Episode 68 of podcast Ufahamu Africa, May 11, 2019

(with Jamie Hitchen) How Sierra Leone Polices Social Media, Mail & Guardian, May 28, 2018

The Events in Ivory Coast were a Textbook Case of Mutiny, The Washington Post, Monkey Cage Blog, January 10, 2017