Dr. ’Funmi Olonisakin PDF Print E-mail



Dr OlonisakinEmail:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Tel: +44 (0)20 7848 7268 

Fax: +44 (0)20 7848 2748

Conflict, Security and Development Group
King's College London 
Strand, London

Areas of interest

  • African regional security
  • International peacekeeping
  • Peace building and the politics of post-war reconstruction
  • Women, Peace and Security
  • Youth, security and development
  • Security Sector Governance in Africa

Educational and Professional Background

‘Funmi Olonisakin, BSc (Ife), PhD (London), has been Director of the Conflict, Security and Development Group at King’s College London, since 2003. Prior to this, she worked at the United Nations Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict (OSRSG/ CAAC), as Adviser on Africa. She has held research and visiting positions at the University of Lagos (Nigeria) and the Institute of Strategic Studies, University of Pretoria (South Africa). Funmi Olonisakin is an Associate Fellow of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) and West African Regional Coordinator of the African Security Sector Network (ASSN). She is a member of the International Advisory Board of the Geneva Centre for Democratic Control of Armed Forces, (DCAF) and of the Advisory Board of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Training for Peace (TfP) Programme.  She is also a Trustee of the Centre for Democracy and Development (UK and Nigeria), which she co-founded.

Current Research projects and “knowledge transfer” programmes

’Funmi Olonisakin has developed several research projects and established important linkages between CSDG research and key international and regional institutions including ECOWAS, African Union and the United Nations as key end-users of CSDG research. She recently completed a study of the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone, in collaboration with the International Peacekeeping Academy. She is Lead Investigator (with Professor James Gow) of a research project on Militancy and Violence in West Africa, funded by a grant from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). She also leads the youth vulnerability and exclusion in Africa research project, which is funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID). Funmi Olonisakin initiated the Peace and Security Fellowship Programme for African Women, which was  launched at King’s College London in 2006 with support from the Sigrid Rausing Trust; and established the King’s College London/ ECOWAS Mentoring Fellowships, designed to provide expert support to African regional organisations in 2007 also funded by DFID. Since 2003, ’Funmi Olonisakin has coordinated a CSDG programme on post-conflict reconstruction in Liberia, including a Training Seminar series for the Liberian National Legislature on Security Sector Governance, in partnership with the African Security Sector Network and the Geneva Centre for Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF).


Select Publications:

 Books/ Monographs: 


  • Women and new narratives of security governance in Africa, (co-edited with Awino Okech) Pambazuka Press, 2011

  • Security Sector Transformation in Africa

    (co-edited with Alan Bryden), Lit Verlag, 2010

  • Women and the UN Peace and Security Agenda: Implementing UNSC Resolution 1325 on the ground (co-edited with Karen Barnes and Eka Ikpe), Routledge, 2010
  • The Challenges of Security Sector Governance in West Africa (co-edited with Alan Bryden and Boubacar N’diaye), Geneva Centre for Democratic Control of Armed Forces, 2008.
  • Peacekeeping in Sierra Leone: The Story of UNAMSIL, Lynne Reinner Publishers, 2008
  • Global Development and Human Security, (co-authored with Robert Picciotto and Michael Clarke), Transaction Publishers, 2007
  • A Handbook on Security Sector Governance in Africa (Lagos: Centre for Democracy and Development), 2004 (co-authored with Nicole Ball, Kayode Fayemi and Rocklyn Williams & Edited by Ball and Fayemi.)
  • Reinventing Peacekeeping in Africa: Conceptual and Legal Issues in the ECOMOG Operations, (The Hague: Kluwer Law International), 2000
  • Engaging Sierra Leone, edited with Abdel-Fatau Musah (London: Centre for Democracy and Development), 2000.
  • Peacekeepers, Politicians and Warlords: The Liberian Peace Process (Tokyo: United Nations University Press), 1999 (co-authored with John Mackinlay and Abiodun Alao)



 Book chapters/ Journal Articles


  • “UNICEF and the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict” in Adekeye Adebajo (ed.) The United Nations and Africa, University of Kwazulu Natal Press, 2009.
  • “Children and Armed Conflict: Building a New Constituency of Actors”, in David Nosworthy (ed.), Children in an Insecure World, Lit Verlag, 2008
  • “A World at War? After September 11 and the Iraq War, What Can We Learn?: An African Perspective” in War and Peace in the 21st Century, CIDOB, Barcelona,  2006
  • “Pan-African Approaches to Civilian Control and Defence of Democracy”, in Victor-Yves Ghebali and Alexander Lambert (eds), Democratic Governance of the Security Sector Beyond the OSCE Region, Lit Verlag, 2007
  • “Humanitarians as Diplomats: The Liberian Case”, Hazel Smith and Larry Minear (eds) Humanitarian Diplomacy, United Nations University Press, 2006.
  • ‘Conflict and Conflict Resolution in Africa’ in Pat MacGowan (ed), An International Relations Textbook for Africa (Juta Publishers, 2006, 3rd Edition)
  • “The Roots and Scope of Gender-Based Violence”, in Marie Vlachova (ed.), Women in an Insecure World, Geneva, Centre for Democratic Control of Armed Forces, 2005
  • “Feminist Approaches to Gender Based Violence”, in Marie Vlachova (ed.), Women in an Insecure World, Geneva, Centre for Democratic Control of Armed Forces, 2005
  • “Promoting the Agenda of War-Affected Children in West Africa” in Adekeye Adebajo and Ishmail Rashid (eds), The Challenges of Building Peace  in West Africa, Lynne Reinne
  • “ECOWAS and the United Nations” (with Comfort Ero) in Sidhu and Pugh (eds),  NATO, the UN and Other Regional Organizations, Lynne Reinner, 2004.“The Psychology of African Peacekeepers”, in Amy Adler and Thomas W. Britt (eds), The Psychology of the Peacekeeper: Soldiers Holding Fire, Westport CT: Greenwood Publishers, 2004.
  • ‘Conflict and Conflict Resolution in Africa’ in Pat MacGowan and Philip Nell (eds), An International Relations Textbook for Africa (Juta Publishers, 2002)
  • ‘Economic Fragility and Political Fluidity: Explaining Natural Resources and Conflicts’ in Adekeye Adebajo and Chandra Sriram (eds.), Managing Armed Conflicts in the 21st Century, London: Frank Cass, 2001 (with Abiodun Alao)
  • ‘Arresting the Tide of Mercenaries in Africa: Prospects for Regional Control’, in J.’K. Fayemi and Abdel-Fatau Musah (eds.), Mercenaries and African Conflicts, Pluto Press, 1999
  • ‘Human Rights in Africa: Changing Perspectives in the Post-Cold War Period’, in Amadu Sesay and Olusola Akinrinade (eds.), Africa in the New International System, London: Cassell, 1998.
  • With Thomas Jaye, ‘State Rebuilding after State Collapse: Rethinking Security in Liberia’ in State Rebuilding, Democracy and Security in Liberia, London: Centre for Democracy and Development, 1998.
  • With Abiodun Alao, ‘Ethnicity, Ethnic Conflicts and Security in Post-Cold War Africa’, in Adebayo Oyemade and Abiodun Alao (eds.), The changing Perspective on Security in Africa, Africa World Press, 1998.
  •  ‘Liberia’, (collection of interviews), in Arms to Fight, Arms to Protect: Women Speak Out about Conflict, London: Panos, 1995.



Articles in peer reviewed journals



  • “ECOWAS and Civil Society Movements in West Africa”, in Special Issue on
  • Security and Development in an Unequal World, IDS Bulletin, March 2009
  • “Lead Nation Approaches to Security Sector Reform: The UK in Sierra Leone” (with Adrian Horn and Gordon Peake), in Scheye and Peake (eds), Civil Wars, Frank Cass, 2007
  • “Democratising Security Sector Governance in West Africa: Trends and Challenges”, (with Alan Bryden & Boubacar N’diaye), Conflict, Security & Development, Vol. 5, No. 3, 2005.
  • “Windows of Opportunity for Conflict Prevention: Responding to Regional Conflict in West Africa”, Conflict, Security and Development, Vol. 4, No. 2, 2004, pp. 181-198
  • ‘Peace and Justice in post-Cold War Africa’, International Journal, Spring 2000
  • ‘Will the Military Stay out of Nigerian Politics?’ Africa Insight, Vols. 3&4 1999
  • With Jeremy Levitt, ‘Democracy and Security in Africa’, Cambridge International Review, September 1999
  • ‘Conventional Arms Control in Post-Cold War Sub-Saharan Africa: Problems and Prospects’, Strategic Review for Southern Africa, May 1999, Re-edited and published in Arms Control Bulletin, No. 36, September 1999
  • With Emmanuel Aning, ‘Humanitarian Intervention and Human Rights: The Contradictions in ECOMOG’ International Journal of Human Rights, Vol. 3, No. 1, 1999
  • ‘Rethinking Regional Security in Africa: An Analysis of ECOWAS and SADC’, Strategic Review for Southern Africa, November 1998
  • ‘An International War Crimes Tribunal for Africa: Problems and Prospects’, African Journal of International and Contemporary Law, Vol. 9, No. 4, December 1997, pp.821-835
  • ‘African “Home-Made” Peacekeeping Initiatives’, Armed Forces and Society, Vol. 23, No. 3, Spring 1997, pp. 349-372
  • ‘Limitations of Regional Peacekeeping: The ECOMOG Operation in Liberia’, Oxford International Review, Vol. VIII, No. 2, Spring 1997, pp. 58-64
  • 'UN Co-operation with Regional Organizations in Peacekeeping: The Experience of ECOMOG and UNOMIL in Liberia’, International Peacekeeping, Vol.3, No.3, Autumn 1996, pp. 33-51



Other Articles:


  • Security Sector Reform and the Demand for Small Arms and Light Weapons, Project Ploughshares Briefing Paper, April 2001 (with Dominick Donald)
  • ‘Squaring up to Democracy in Nigeria’, Jane’s Intelligence Review, June 1999
  • ‘Nigerian Foreign Policy: Past Blunders and Present Realities’, ISSUP Bulletin, 5/98
  • ‘Nigeria’s Role in ECOWAS Peace Support Operations: Some Lessons for South Africa’, ISSUP Bulletin, 6/98
  • ‘Beyond Sierra-Leone: Nigeria and Regional Security in West Africa’, Jane’s Intelligence Review, June 1998
  • ‘Mercenaries Fill the Vacuum’ The World Today, June 1998.
  • With Emmanuel Kwesi Aning, ‘ECOMOG Operations & Human Rights Violation in Liberia’, Africa World Review, 1998
  • ‘A Permanent International Tribunal: African Perspectives’, Relief and Rehabilitation Network (RRN) Newsletter, No. 11, May 1998
  • ‘War Crimes Trial: Can it Work in Africa?’ International Security Digest, December 1995.