Paul D. Williams is Associate Professor in the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University, USA. Dr. Williams is also a Non-Resident Senior Adviser at the International Peace Institute in New York where helps manage the “Providing for Peacekeeping Project.” Dr. Williams previously taught at the Universities of Aberystwyth, Birmingham, and Warwick in the United Kingdom and has been a Visiting Scholar at Georgetown University and the University of Queensland, Australia. Between 2011-2014 he served as a Visiting Professor at the Institute for Peace and Security Studies at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. In 2014-15 Dr Williams was a Senior Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center working on a project on the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).


His books include, War and Conflict in Africa (Polity, 2011), British Foreign Policy under New Labour, 1997-2005 (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2005); Understanding Peacekeeping (Polity, 2nd ed., 2010); Security and Development in Global Politics: A Critical Comparison (Georgetown University Press, 2012); Security Studies: An Introduction (Routledge, 2008); and The International Politics of Mass Atrocities: The Case of Darfur (Routledge, 2010).

Professor Williams currently serves on the editorial boards of two journals, African Affairs and Global Responsibility to Protect.

Project Summary

This project assesses the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) (2007-14). In recent years AMISOM has been widely hailed as a success story because of its counter-insurgency efforts and its inter-institutional collaboration involving the African Union, United Nations, European Union and multiple bilateral donors. Subsequent talk of an “AMISOM model” saw practitioners attempting to replicate this approach in several other crises, including Mali, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Central African Republic. However, while AMISOM has achieved notable successes, the developing orthodoxy about the mission has drawn the wrong lessons and has ignored its major problems and ongoing challenges.

Major Publications

Understanding Peacekeeping (Polity, 2nd edn 2010)

War and Conflict in Africa (Polity, 2011)

Providing Peacekeepers: The Politics, Challenges and Future of UN Peacekeeping Contributions (Oxford University Press, 2013)

Enhancing U.S. Support for Peace Operations in Africa (Council on Foreign Relations Special Report No.73, May 2015)

ed. The Oxford Handbook of United Nations Peacekeeping Operations (Oxford University Press, 2015)

Previous Terms

Fellow, Sep. 15-2014-May 31, 2015: "Fighting for Peace in Somalia: A Critical Analysis of the African Union Mission, 2007-2014"