Nina Wilén is Director of the Africa Programme at the Egmont Royal Institute for International Relations and Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science at Lund University, as well as a Research Leader at IOB at the University of Antwerp.
Previously, she has held positions at Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), 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 a visiting researcher 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 military interventions, Security Force Assistance, Security Sector Reform (SSR), the politics of peacekeeping operations and military sociology. Geographically her research is concentrated to Sub-Saharan Africa, where she has conducted extensive fieldwork in Niger, Liberia, the DRC, Burundi, Rwanda and South Africa.
She has published extensively on 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 Journal of Eastern African Studies. She is also the author of the book "Justifying Interventions in Africa: (De) Stabilizing Sovereignty in Liberia, Burundi and the Congo." In 2022, her book "African Peacekeeping" was published by Cambridge University Press, and is co-authored with Prof. Jonathan Fisher.
Nina has designed and taught on a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses focused on peace, conflict and security across educational, defence and policy institutions in Europe and Africa. Beyond the world of academia, she is regularly invited to present research on military interventions and peacekeeping by Northern and Southern policy-makers, including at the French Ministry of Defence (Paris), European Security and Defense College, (Brussels), Hague Military Academy, (Hague), Ethiopian International Peacekeeping Training Centre (Addis Ababa), UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (London).
In 2021, Nina Wilén was nominated by the Belgian Minister of Defence to take part in a Strategic Committee composed of 10 experts to advise on the future Belgian Defense Strategy.
Nina is the Editor-in-Chief for the academic journal "International Peacekeeping" since January 2020.
- 13 Nov 2023: NATO Deep Dive Session on "The Sahel and the Gender Perspective" - Subject matter expertise provided by Nina Wilén. Read the recap.
- 27 May 2022: IBEI International Seminar: The Madrid Summit and the future of NATO. Roundtable with Nina Wilén on "NATO today: a perspective from southern Europe". Watch the video.
- Jan-May 2021: Nina Wilén participated as one of ten experts in the Belgian Defence’s Strategic Committee. The report which is the result of this Committee’s work is available here.
- 23 Jun 2021: Wilén, Nina, “Female Peacekeeper’s Extra burden” in the conference: “Women’s Meaningful Participation in Peace Operations”, organised by the Portugese Presidency of the European Council.
- 18 Jun 2021: Wilén, Nina, Participating in Saferworld War pod: Recalibrating external missions to the Sahel.
- 10 Jun 2021: Wilén, Nina, “Women, gender, peace and security” in the framework of Diplomats Training in Niamey, Niger.
- 10 May 2021: Nina Wilén & Sven Biscop, invited speakers on “the National Security Strategy in Belgium”, at ATHENA European Corporate Security Association.
- A quoi servent les élections en RDC? Africa Policy Briefs
- Have African Coups provoked an Identity Crisis for the EU? Africa Policy Briefs
- Values and Interests in Response to Coups Other publications
- The Collapse of Western Influence in West Africa Points to Wider Problems Other publications
- UN Peacekeeping at 75: Achievements, Challenges, and Prospects Other publications
- A Coup like no other: Three Reasons why the Coup in Niger is different from Previous Coups in the Sahel (and why it’s very serious) Other publications
- New wine in old bottles? A New EU Regional Strategy for the Great Lakes Other publications
- The UN Security Council and the Future of MINUSMA Commentaries
- Here are Four Things the West gets Wrong about Africa Africa Policy Briefs
- Le retrait de Barkhane du Mali et ses conséquences pour le Niger Other publications
- What space for women in African peace agreements? Other publications
- Multi-Layered Violence in the DRC: Is History Repeating Itself? Other publications
- Change by Chance? How International Norms Travel Between the United Nations and the African Union Other publications
- Times they are A-changin’: Africa at the Centre Stage of the new (II) Liberal World Order Africa Policy Briefs
- Women, Gender and Peacebuilding in Africa Other publications
- Security Force Assistance in the Sahel is meddling with borders Commentaries
- The impact of security force assistance in Niger: meddling with borders Other publications
- From “Peacekept” to Peacekeeper: Seeking International Status by Narrating New Identities Other publications
- The Intervention Question: Lessons to Learn from Europe’s Military Presence in the Sahel Other publications
- What Are the International Military Options for the Sahel? Other publications
- Who’s Been Making “African Solutions”? Mapping Membership Patterns in the African Union’s Peace and Security Council Africa Policy Briefs
- After War – the Backlash against Women Commentaries
- When things fall apart – France’s withdrawal from Mali Commentaries
- Facing a pandemic: African armies and the fight against Covid-19 Other publications
- African Peacekeeping Books
- Inclusion is not enough to achieve gender and racial equality in global peace and security Other publications
- Belgian Troops for Takuba: What’s at Stake? Africa Policy Briefs
- A versatile organisation: Mapping the military’s core roles in a changing security environment Other publications
- Analysing (In)formal Relations and Networks in Security Force Assistance: The Case of Niger Other publications
- Justifying Interventions— The Case of ECOWAS in Liberia Other publications
- Update of the Strategic Vision 2030: Recommendations Other publications
- The Strategic Committee on Belgian Defence: How to Read the Report Commentaries
- Civil-Military Imbalance in the Sahel Commentaries
- What Belgium Can Do: Proposals for the National Security Strategy Security Policy Briefs
- The Military in the Time of COVID-19: Versatile, Vulnerable, and Vindicating Other publications
- Achieving a Feminist Peace by Blurring Boundaries between Private and Public Other publications
- Expanding the Reach of the Special Forces with a Gender-Mixed Deep Development Capability (DDC): Identifying Challenges and Lessons Learned Security Policy Briefs
- A logic of its own: the external presence in the Sahel Other publications
- When female peacekeepers’ “added value” becomes an “added burden” Commentaries
- Female peacekeepers’ added burden Other publications
- Challenges with security force assistance in Niger: Understanding local context and aligning interests Other publications
- Context matters – Why Africa should tailor its own measures to fight COVID-19 Africa Policy Briefs
- How the indiscriminate virus reinforced our inequalities and the lessons we can draw from this when it is all over Commentaries
- No place like home? Postdeployment reintegration challenges facing South African peacekeepers Other publications
- What’s the ‘Added Value’ of Male Peacekeepers? (Or – Why We Should Stop Instrumentalising Female Peacekeepers’ Participation) Africa Policy Briefs
- Burundi on the brink again? Identifying risks before the 2020 elections Africa Policy Briefs
- EEAS Academic Roundtable on Women Peace and Security. Intervention by Nina Wilen Other publications
- Belgian Special Forces in the Sahel: a minimal footprint with maximal output? Africa Policy Briefs
- Achieving a gendered transformation of the post-conflict military through security sector reform: unpacking the private–public dynamics Other publications
- It’s time to build a Gender-Just Peace: Here is how Africa Policy Briefs
- The African Union and coercive diplomacy: the case of Burundi Other publications
- Peacekeeping: Improving Performance – Dilemmas and Goals Other publications
- Improving peacekeeping performance – Dilemmas and goals Africa Policy Briefs
- Women now make up almost 24 percent of South Africa’s military. Why aren’t they treated equally? Other publications
- Regendering the South African army: Inclusion, reversal and displacement Other publications
- The future of African peace operations: from the Janjaweed to Boko Haram Other publications
- The world turned away from Burundi, but its crisis is getting worse Other publications
- The civilised Self and the barbaric Other: ex-rebels making sense of sexual violence in the DR Congo Other publications
- The Rationales behind the EAC Members’ Response to the Burundi Crisis Other publications
- Peacekeeping deployment abroad and the self-perceptions of the effect on career advancement, status and reintegration Other publications
- African Union Intervention could do more harm than good in Burundi Other publications
- From Foe to Friend? army integration after war in Burundi, Rwanda and the Congo Other publications
- How to unite enemy fighters into a single national army (and what that means for peace) Other publications
- Ongoing violence in Burundi raises prospect of outside intervention Other publications
- Burundi’s crisis could spill over borders as armed rebellion grows Other publications
- Burundi’s military still key to stability amid political crisis Other publications
- Is Burundi still a credible peacekeeper? Other publications
- Sending peacekeepers abroad, sharing power at home: Burundi in Somalia Other publications
- Security Sector Reform and Liberal State Building Other publications