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Centre of African Studies: People


Maggie Dwyer

Maggie Dwyer
Dr Maggie Dwyer
Lecturer in African Studies and International Development
4.14 Chrystal Macmillan Building 15a George Square Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
+44 (0)131 651 5076
Research Interests
African politics, International Relations, peacekeeping, Social media, West Africa, African security, International development, African studies, militaries


Dr Maggie Dwyer is a Lecturer in Africa 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, Tanzania, and Kenya. Maggie is also a Global Fellow at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO).

From November 2019 to April 2023, 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 three case study countries: Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Uganda. The research is conducted in collaboration with Dr Oystein Rolandsen.

Maggie is also a researcher on two other projects. The first is the ESRC/DFID funded project Social Media and Security in Africa (SMS: Africa), which examines the role of social media in documenting and driving (in)security in Africa. The other project is titled Security Force Assistance (SFAssist) based at the Peace Research Institute Oslo. The project explores the impact of foreign military assistance on state fragility. Additional funding for her research on African security issues has come from the Gerda Henkel Foundation and the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation.

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 HistoryFeatured in The Washington Post

Cover image of Soldiers in Revolt

social Media and Politics in Africa

Edited Volume:

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

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles & Chapters:

Dwyer, M. 'Reimagining Police Engagement?: Kenya National Police Service on Social Media.' Policing & Society (2019): 1-17. 

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.

Review Articles

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 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

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

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

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

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 for more information:

PhD In African Studies; PhD in International Development