Revisiting the Civil-Military Conundrum in Africa

Christopher Day, Moses Khisa*, William Reno

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The military is a central component of the state and society with implications for statehood and social stability. Since independence, Africa has grappled with contentious and contradictory roles of armed forces whether they be part of or against the state. Much of the early scholarship on the role of the military tended to paint a positive picture, presenting it as a critical pillar and an agent of modernisation for the newly independent states. This was to change drastically in the era of routine and rampant coups d’états and proliferation of organised rebel activities. But the continent has undergone significant changes sSince the end of the Cold War. This introduction highlights some of the major changes at the centre of transformations in relations between African militaries and civilian authorities and the public. The overall focus of the introduction, and the entire special issue, is to reposition the theoretical and conceptual aperture for analysing civil-military relations in Africa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-173
Number of pages18
JournalCivil Wars
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Jul 2 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Political Science and International Relations


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