Call for Papers: Edited collection about African intelligence and security services

Ryan Shaffer's picture
Call for Papers
October 22, 2019
Subject Fields: 
African American History / Studies, British History / Studies, Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, Military History, Political History / Studies

“African Intelligence and Security Services: Colonial Legacies and Post-Colonial Transformations”

Africa is a neglected continent in intelligence and security studies. This interdisciplinary anthology will fill a gap in the existing academic literature by centering on Africa and examining intelligence and security services using historical, ethical, discursive, gender, political and technical perspectives. Each chapter will highlight a specific framework in a key country to investigate how African intelligence and security services have operated and transformed. The chapters will demonstrate how a multitude of factors, including colonial legacies and post-colonial contexts—geopolitics, political systems and effective governance— shaped intelligence priorities, operations and relations with the military and civil society. Specific attention will be paid to domestic debates about intelligence and security service involvement in surveillance, human rights violations and torture. The book focuses on the period of decolonization during the 1960s until the transformations following the Arab Spring in 2010.

The editor is currently in discussion with a major university press about publication, aiming for a 2021 release. Chapters will be approximately 8,000 to 9,000 words (including references).

Potential topics, including but not limited to:

  1. Security services and race relations
  2. Cold War and Soviet training of African intelligence officers
  3. Nuclear, chemical and biological weapons developed by/connected to intelligence services
  4. Intelligence community’s relations with the military
  5. Debates on human rights violations by the intelligence services
  6. The impact of colonialism on post-colonial intelligence operations and foreign alliances
  7. Intelligence and corruption
  8. The role of intelligence in coups
  9. Intelligence oversight and democracy
  10. Women in intelligence and security services
  11. Intelligence in the fight against terrorism
  12. Intelligence aiding terrorism
  13. Arab Spring and intelligence reform
  14. International peacekeeping and intelligence
  15. Outsourcing intelligence to private companies
  16. Technical collection and signals intelligence
  17. Transnational intelligence alliances


  1. Abstract of 150 to 300 words describing the topic, sources, key dates/events and importance of the subject.
  2. A brief CV.
  3. Email the above to Ryan Shaffer at:


  1. Deadline for abstract submission: October 21, 2019.
  2. Acknowledgement of the submission will be sent upon receipt.
  3. Notifications will be sent out the week of November 1, 2019.
  4. Chapters will be due in late spring or early summer 2020.
Contact Info: 

Ryan Shaffer