• Wilén Nina, Justifying Interventions in Africa: (De)Stabilizing Sovereignty in Liberia, Burundi and the Congo, London, New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. Find out more on the Palgrave website.


The book has been reviewed by Björkdahl, Annika, in International Peacekeeping, vol. 19, n°5, 2012

“Wilen’s book is a stringent contribution to the debate about the challenges associated with definitional changes to the concept of sovereignty in IR theory and is a valuable contribution to the growing literature on interventions, peace building and state-building”

and by Christopher R. Cook, in African Studies Quarterly, vol. 13, n°5, 2013.

“This was one of the most exhaustive, well written literature reviews on sovereignty that I have ever read. Wilén’s work is original, creative, and presents a compelling methodology of how to measure discourses and apply them to empirical case studies.”“if you are interested in the theoretical and practical applications of sovereignty then this book comes highly recommended if not essential.”


  • In this book I have analyzed the regional interventions and the UN interventions in the conflicts in Liberia, Burundi and the Congo. My main objective was to answer how once can stabilize a state through external intervention without destabilizing sovereignty. Therefore I examined the justifications for both regional and international interventions through a social constructivist framework. In addition, I conducted over 50 interviews while on field missions to the three states, mainly with international staff, but also with local actors and NGOs. These interviews and the observations made during the field trips provide an important empirical glimpse of the ‘reality’ in the field. It should be noted that the book is, although to a certain extent based on my PhD dissertation, an independent work which contains a new case study and new analyses.

Articles in peer-reviewed International Scientific Journals

  • 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 Section- 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 Studies, vol.12, n°1, 2018, pp. 154-171, (Special Section – 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 Section of Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding on Second Generation SSR, vol.12, n°, 2018.
  • Wilén Nina, “Democracy and Political Entrepreneurs in Africa”, Review essay forthcoming in Journal of African Studies 2018.
  • Wilén, Nina, “Militarisation of Governance after Conflict: Beyond the Rebel-to-Ruler Frame. The case of Rwanda”, Third World Quarterly, vol.39, n°1, 2018, pp. 158-174, co-written with Andrea Purdekova and Filip Reyntjens,
  • 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” Journal of Contemporary African Studies, vol. 35, n°2, 2017, pp.221-239, co-written with Bert Ingelaere, .
  • Wilén, Nina, “Peacekeeping Deployment Abroad and the Self-Perceptions of the Effect on Career Advancement, Status and Reintegration”, co-written with Lindy Heinecken, in International Peacekeeping
  • 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 Peacekeeping, vol.23, n°1,November 2015.
  • Wilén, Nina, Book review: “Legions of Peace: UN Peacekeepers from the Global South” by Cunliffe, P., Peacebuilding, April 2016.
  •  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”, Conflict, Security and Development,  June 2014.
  • Wilén, Nina, “Resisting Ownership: The Paralysis of EU Peacebuilding in the Congo”, co-written with Antoine Rayroux, African Security, vol.7, n°1, 2014.
  • Wilén Nina, “Who are the Spoilers? Identifying the Spoilers in the SSR-DDR Process in Congo”, Defense and Security Analysis, June 2013.
  • 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, “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.
  • Wilén Nina, “Paradoxes or Strategies in International Governance: The Case of Kosovo” REGIMEN on-line Working Paper, November 2007.

Chapters in Edited Books

  • Wilén Nina, “Security Sector Reform and Statebuilding”, in Jackson, P. (ed.) Handbook on Security and Development, Elgar Publishing, 2015.
  • Wilén Nina, “International Administration of Foreign Territories and Sovereignty: An impossible Equation”, co-authored with Delcourt Barbara, in Finnish 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, N., Birantamije, G., L’engagement du Burundi et du Rwanda dans les opérations de maintien de la paix: Quels bénéfices pour les capacités nationales de défense? Etude comparée, French Ministry of Defense. General Directorate for International Relations and Strategy, African Office, France, June 2015, 30 p. Available here.
  • Wilén Nina, Book review: “Les Organisations Internationales” by Devin, Guillaume and Marie Claude Smouts, Human Figurations,  2013.
  • Wilén Nina, Book review: “Politics of Civil War: Conflict, Intervention and Resolution, by Amalendu Misra”, Politikon, vol. 15, n°2, November 2009.
  • Wilén Nina, “Le concept de la sécurité humaine“, Final report, conclusion and recommandations, in the framework of Journées de Réflexion sur la Gouvernance et la Sécurité Humaine, 2007, 92 pages.