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Department of Politics and International Studies

Mr Marco Jowell

BA (Manchester), MSc (SOAS)


Marco Jowell
Mr Marco Jowell
Email address:
Thesis title:
An Analysis of Peacekeeping Training Centres in Africa
Internal Supervisors

PhD Research

African peacekeeping has taken on a more proactive role with the creation of the African Union. Several peacekeeping missions have been deployed either by the AU or a sub-regional organization such as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and there are plans to develop a continent wide rapid reaction force based in each region called the African Standby Force (ASF). Most crucially the African Union has developed a concept for an African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) as the system to manage African conflict with components for conflict prevention, conflict management and post-conflict reconstruction. In reality the AU is limited to Conflict Management and mainly peacekeeping. Peacekeeping training centres are part of this architecture and an element of Conflict Management. The centres have been developed to meet a Pan-African functional requirement – the training of African soldiers, civilians and police officers for African led and managed peacekeeping missions under the auspices of the continental body. As regional organisations affiliated to the AU with clear and legal parameters, these Centres provide useful insights into African integration in the security field. The Centres are symptomatic of some of the issues facing the AU more broadly and so provide useful case studies in understanding African integration dynamics.

Regional peacekeeping training centres provide an environment for African elites, predominately military, to interact with each other through shared training and experiences. This process of interaction, or socialisation, aims to improve skills but also to forge cohesion so that future African led missions will be managed by well trained officers comfortable and willing to work within a regional or Pan-African framework.  Thus it can be stated that part of the aim of peacekeeping training centres is to foster a Pan-African ‘outward’ looking ideology or disposition as well as improving technical ability. However, what is less clear is what the experiences and training in these centres actually results in. Elements of elite formation will be tested as will functional integration theory related to elites in order to pin point as accurately as possible what socialisation experiences result in and to determine applicability of functionalist theoretical frameworks. Future research will therefore aim to answer questions such as:

  • Does training lead to effective peacekeepers and African Union-ised military officers?
  • What are the intended and unintended consequences of experiences at the centres?
  • To what extent are placements and the centres themselves contributing to ‘outward’ or ‘inward outlooks, dispositions and actions?
  • What are the motivations for training and how do African states interpret peacekeeping training?
  • What effect do the centres have on students and instructors and vice versa?


African politics, peacekeeping, conflict, elite politics, diplomacy, regional integration, African Union and Regional Mechanisms, security, East and Central Africa, military in Africa.