Nina Wilén


+32 (0)2 213 40 26

Security Sector Reform (SSR), the politics of peacekeeping operations and gender and the military


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.