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Centre of African Studies: People


Maggie Dwyer

Maggie Dwyer
Dr Maggie Dwyer
Research Fellow
4.12 Chrystal Macmillan Building 15a George Square Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
+44 (0)131 651 5076
Research Interests
African politics, militaries, Security Studies, International Relations, peacekeeping, Social media, West Africa, Elections, African studies


Dr Maggie Dwyer is a Research Fellow for the Social Media and Security in Africa (SMS: Africa) project in the Centre of African Studies at University of Edinburgh. This ESRC/DFID funded project examines the role of social media in documenting and driving (in)security in Africa.  She is also a core member of the research project Security Force Assistance (SFAssist) based at the Peace Research Institute Oslo. Additional funding for her research on African security issues has come from the Gerda Henkel Foundation and the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation.  Maggie is also the Associate Editor of The Journal of Modern African Studies.

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.

Her research focuses on conflict, security, and politics in Africa, with a particular emphasis on African militaries.  She has conducted field research in Burkina Faso, Kenya, Sierra Leone, The Gambia and Tanzania.

Maggie convenes the MSc course Contemporary Debates in Africa. She has  also been a course convenor and lecturer of Politics in Africa at University of St Andrews (2015) and tutor and guest lecturer for African Politics, International Security, Introduction in Politics and IR and Research in Africa at University of Edinburgh (2011-2014).

Maggie’s experience researching security issues builds on a previous career working for the U.S. Department of Defense (2004-2010). In this capacity she regularly presented briefings to policy makers, Commanding Generals, Congressional staffers, and international military units.  She has written and contributed to National Intelligence Estimates, Sense of Community Memorandum, and Presidential Daily Briefings.



Soldiers in Revolt: Army Mutinies in Africa, Hurst (2017)/Oxford University Press (2018)

Reviewed in Foreign AffairsFeatured in The Washington Post

Cover image of Soldiers in Revolt

Peer reviewed Journal Articles:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Popular Media and Guest Blogs

(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

Gambia: Why the army may be the key to getting Jammeh to step down, African Arguments, December 16, 2016.

Gambia's president is under pressure to step down.  Is it time for a change? The Washington Post, Monkey Cage Blog, May 17, 2016

Radio France International interview regarding Burkina Faso coup, September 17, 2015

Moving Beyond Pay Revolts, Democracy in Africa, August 6, 2015

Radio France International interview regarding indictment of President Compaoré, July 17, 2015.

Are African Peacekeepers Prone to Mutiny?, The Washington Post, Monkey Cage Blog, March 25, 2015 

A Failed Coup Attempt (and Forecast) in The Gambia, Dart-Throwing Chimp, January 2, 2015

Radio France International interview regarding Gambian coup attempt, December 31, 2014.

Burkina Faso: Where democracy has always run on protests and coups, The Conversation, November 4, 2014

Radio France International interview regarding Burkina Faso protests, October 22, 2014.