Desireé Nilsson

Deputy Director of Studies of the PhD Program, Associate Professor

Research | Teaching | Publications | Other

Research Areas 

Conflict termination, peace agreements, power sharing, multiparty conflicts, civil society actors in peace processes, and spoiler management. 

Current Research

An Impediment or Inducement to Peace? The Inclusion of Civil Society Actors in Peace Processes

Conflicts, Connections, Complexities: Towards a Multi-layered Understanding of Civil War


Co-convenor, “International Conflict Resolution”, within the Master Program in Peace and Conflict Studies.

Convenor, C-course in Peace and Conflict Studies.

Principal Supervisor to PhD student Mathilda Lindgren and David Larsson, and Assistant Supervisor to PhD student Sara Lindberg and Nynke Salverda. 



Nilsson, Desirée. 2006. “In the Shadow of Settlement: Multiple Rebel Groups and Precarious Peace”, Dissertation, Report No. 73, Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University. (Order)

Peer Reviewed Articles  

Nilsson, Desirée and Mimmi Söderberg Kovacs. 2013. Different Paths of Reconstruction: Military Reform in Post-war Sierra Leone and Liberia, International Peacekeeping 20(1):2-16. 

Nilsson, Desirée. 2012. "Anchoring the Peace: Civil Society Actors in Peace Accords and Durable Peace", International Interactions 38(2):243-266.

Fjelde, Hanne and Desirée Nilsson. 2012. "Rebels Against Rebels: Explaining Violence Between Rebel Groups", Journal of Conflict Resolution 56(4):604-628.

Nilsson, Desirée and Mimmi Söderberg Kovacs. 2011. "Revisiting an Elusive Concept: A Review of the Debate on Spoilers in Peace Processes", International Studies Review 13(4):606–626.

Nilsson, Desirée. 2010. “Turning Weakness into Strength: Military Capabilities, Multiple Rebel Groups and Negotiated Settlements”, Conflict Management and Peace Science 27(3):253–271.

Nilsson, Desirée. 2008. “Partial Peace: Rebel Groups Inside and Outside of Civil War Settlements”, Journal of Peace Research 45(4):479-495. *Also published as Policy Research Working Paper No. 4572, World Bank, March 2008.

Jarstad, Anna and Desirée Nilsson. 2008. “From Words to Deeds: The Implementation of Power-Sharing Pacts in Peace Accords”, Conflict Management and Peace Science 25(3):206–223.

Nilsson, Desirée and Mimmi Söderberg Kovacs. 2005. “Breaking the Cycle of Violence: Promises and Pitfalls of the Liberian Peace Process”, Civil Wars 7(4):396–414. 

Other Publications

Nilsson, Desirée. 2012. “Inclusive Peace Agreements – A Path to Durable Peace in Africa?” From Intra-State War to Durable Peace: Conflict and its Resolution in Africa after the Cold War, Edited by Thomas Ohlson. Dordrecht: Republic of Letters Publishers.

Nilsson, Desirée. 2010. “Peace Agreements and their Sustainability”. In The International Encyclopedia of Peace. Edited by Nigel Young. New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Nilsson, Desirée. 2009. “Crafting a Secure Peace: Evaluating the Liberia Comprehensive Peace Accord”, Uppsala & New York: Uppsala University & the Mediation Support Unit, Department of Political Affairs, the United Nations.

Nilsson, Desirée. 2008. “Rebels on the Outside: Signatories Signaling Commitment to Durable Peace”. Chapter in Resources, Governance and Civil Conflict, Magnus Öberg & Kaare Strom (eds). London & New York: Routledge.

Nilsson, Desirée and Mimmi Söderberg. 2003. “På väg mot fred i Liberia?” (Towards Peace in Liberia?), Utrikespolitiska Institutet, Stockholm.

Nilsson, Desirée. 2003. Liberia - The Eye of the Storm: A Review of the Literature on Internally Displaced, Refugees and Returnees, Studies on Emergencies and Disaster Relief, Nordiska afrikainstitutet, Uppsala.

Nilsson, Desirée. 2000. Internally Displaced, Refugees and Returnees from and in the Sudan: A Review, Studies on Emergencies and Disaster Relief, Nordiska afrikainstitutet, Uppsala. 


Associate Editor, Journal of Peace Research.

Associate Editor, Conflict Management and Peace Science.

Previous member of the steering committee of the Network of European Peace Scientists.

Visting Fellow with the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (NCPCS), University of Otago, April 2014.

Visiting Fellow with the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame, Fall 2008.

Visiting Fellow with the International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO), September 2007.

Predoctoral Visiting Fellow with the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) at Stanford University, January –June 2003.

Desiree Nilsson

Desireé Nilsson
Deputy Director of Studies of the PhD Program, Associate Professor

Phone: +46(0)18 471 23 55
Fax: +46(0)18 69 51 02
P.O. Box 514
SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden