Anders Themnér (formerly Nilsson)

Assistant Professor

Research | Teaching | Publications | Other

Research Areas

Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR); ex-combatant violence; informal military networks in post-conflict societies, conflict resolution, and peacebuilding.

Current Research

Violence in Post-Conflict Societies – Remarginalization, Remobilizers and Relationships

The project explores which combination of post-conflict factors trigger ex-combatants to re-engage in organized violence. In the study, special attention is given to the DDR processes in the Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone.

The Informal Realities of Peacebuilding – Military Networks and Former Mid-Level Commanders in Post-War Liberia

The purpose of the project is to examine how former mid-level commanders are able to retain influence over their ex-fighters even after demobilization is complete. The resilience of such informal military networks constitutes a serious challenge to peacebuilding, as they can be used for war-making, organized crime, the illicit exploitation of natural resources (diamonds, gold, rubber, etc.) or electoral violence. The project is done in cooperation with Mats Utas and Mariam Persson.


Course co-convenor and lecturer, “International Conflict Resolution”, (15 ECTS credits), within the Master Program in Peace and Conflict Studies.

Course convenor, “Internship I”/”Internship II”, (15 ECTS credits each), within the Master Program in Peace and Conflict Studies.

Responsible for the Minor Field Study (MFS) program at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research.

Thesis supervisor on the undergraduate and master-levels.


Peer Reviewed Monographs

Themnér, Anders (2011), Violence in Post-Conflict Societies: Remarginalization, Remobilizers and Relationships, London & New York: Routledge.

Nilsson, Anders (2008), Dangerous Liaisons: Why Ex-Combatants Return to Violence: Cases from the Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone, Uppsala: Uppsala University.

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles and Book Chapters

Themnér, Anders and Mats Utas (2016), “Governance through Brokerage: Informal Governance in Post-Civil War Societies” Civil Wars, Vol. 18, No. 3, pp. 255-280.

Themnér, Anders (2015), "Former Military Networks and the Micro-Politics of Violence and Statebuilding in Liberia," Journal of Comparative Politics Vol. 47, No. 3.

Themnér, Anders, and Thomas Ohlson (2014), "Legitimate Peace in Post-Civil War States: Towards Attaining the Unattainable," Concflict, Security & Development, Vol. 14, No. 1, pp. 61-87.

Themnér, A., 2013 A Leap of Faith: When and How Ex-Combatants Resort to Violence, Security Studies, 22 (2): 295-329.

Themnér, Anders (2012),“A Disempowering Peace: Explaining Why Ex-Combatants Reengage in Organized Violence”, in Thomas Ohlson (ed.), Conflict and Resolution in Africa since the End of the Cold War. Dordrecht: Republic of Letters Publishing.

Themnér, Anders (2012), “Former Mid-Level Commanders in Big Man Networks”, in Mats Utas (ed.), African Conflicts and Informal Power: Big Men and Networks. London: Zed Publishing.

Themnér, Anders (2012), "Demobilisering och säkerhetsreform", in Karin Aggestam and Kristine Höglund (eds.) Om krig och fred. En introduktion tilld freds- och konfliktstudier. Lund: Studentlitteratur.

Other Publications

Swain, Ashok, Ranjula Bali Swain, Anders Themnér and Florian Krampe (2012), “Zambezi River Basin: A Risk Zone of Climate Change and Vulnerability”, New Routes 17 (3): 17-20.

Swain, Ashok, Ranjula Bali Swain, Anders Themnér and Florian Krampe (2011), Climate Change and the Risk of Violent Conflicts in Southern Africa, Pretoria: Global Crisis Solutions.

Nilsson, Anders (2009), Informal Military Structures and Mid-Level Commanders: An African Outlook, Stockholm: Swedish National Defence College.

Nilsson, Anders (2005), Reintegrating Ex-Combatants in Post-War Societies (2005), Stockholm: Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).

Nilsson, Anders (2003), “Another Brick in the Wall: The Israeli Wall”, in Jenny Alge (ed.), About a Culture of Peace. Stockholm: Christian Council of Churches.

Nilsson, Anders (2002), Making Peace with Islamists: Lebanon in Focus (2002), Uppsala: Department of Peace and Conflict Research.

Working Papers

Themnér, Anders (working paper), “The Importance of Brokerage: The Remobilization of Informal Military Networks in Post-War Liberia”. With Mats Utas.

Themnér, Anders (working paper), “’Legitimate Peace’ in Post-Civil War Societies: Towards Attaining the Unattainable”. With Thomas Ohlson.

Themnér, Anders (working paper), “Who Leads and Who Fights? Disaggregating Civil War Recurrence”. With Joakim Kreutz. 

Anders Themnér (formerly Nilsson)
Assistant Professor

Phone: +46 (0)18 471 71 75
Fax: +46-(0)18 69 51 02
P.O. Box 514
SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden