Dr Danielle Beswick

Dr Danielle Beswick

International Development Department
Senior Lecturer

Contact details

International Development Department
School of Government and Society
Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham,
B15 2TT, United Kingdom

Danielle's research is situated at the interface of security and development, currently focusing on how states rebuild political identity after conflict and the strategies developing states use to increase their agency in relationships with aid donors.


  • PhD Politics (Manchester)
  • MRes International Relations (Lancaster)
  • BA (Hons) International Relations and Strategic Studies


Danielle joined IDD as a Lecturer in 2008. Previously, she lectured on Africa and Global Politics in the Department of Politics at Lancaster University and contributed to a module on the Politics of Development at Manchester University. She completed her PhD at Manchester, researching the relationship between aid and statehood in post genocide Rwanda and how the country came to be considered a ‘donor darling’.

Conceptually, Danielle’s research is situated at the interface of security and development, and has focused on how fragile and conflict affected states seek to improve their security through relationships with donors. This has led to research on the relationship between international aid and national security policy in Rwanda. Geographically, she has focused primarily on the Great Lakes region but is also interested in how the themes above play out across the central African region and across sub Saharan Africa more broadly.

Her current research, funded by the British Academy, explores the creation of post conflict, and particularly 'post-ethnic' identity in Rwanda and Sri Lanka. This research involves periods of fieldwork in both states and will be completed by the end of 2012.


Danielle convenes a core module for the MSc in International Development (Conflict, Security and Development), Conflict in Developing Countries. She convenes both the on campus and distance learning versions of the module.  

Danielle also co-convenes, with Dr Edward Newman (POLSIS), a unique 20 credit module taught as an intensive block in Delhi, India. The module is part of a Universitas 21 partnership, comprising teaching staff and students from the Universities of Birmingham, Melbourne and Delhi as well as security practitioners. In 2011 the module focused on 'Traditional and New Security Challenges' and in 2012 on 'Globalisation and Security in South Asia.' The module has limited places due to the intensive 1 week format and takes place during Spring Term. Further details on timing, funding and application process for 2013 will be confirmed during Autumn Term 2012. 

At Undergraduate level, Danielle convenes a 3rd year module in POLSIS on War Torn States and Post Conflict Reconstruction in the South.

Postgraduate supervision

Danielle is currently supervising PhD researchers working on the ownership of security and justice sector reform in Jamaica (Commonwealth funded) and the prospects for Sadrism as a model for the reconstruction of post-war Iraq. 

Danielle welcomes new PhD applications in the areas of security and development broadly, including from those interested in researching security in developing countries, post-conflict identity policy and particularly in Rwanda, sub Saharan Africa or Sri Lanka. 

PhD opportunities


Research interests

  • Management of political space and debate in a post-conflict society
  • Constructions of identity after conflict (See British Academy project below)
  • Relations between donors and post conflict states, particularly in terms of their impacts on security and statebuilding in the recipient state
  • Rwandan foreign and security policy in Africa, including contributions to peacekeeping
  • Impacts of post-conflict national identity policies on minorities, especially Rwandan Batwa 
  • The UK-Rwanda relationship post-genocide

Current and recent projects

  • British Academy Small Grant, 2011-2012: 'Beyond Ethnicity? The politics of building national identity after conflict in Rwanda and Sri Lanka.'
  • Convened one-day workshop 'Somalia: Negotiating the balance between African solutions and international responses' 11 July 2012.
  • Convenor of Seminar on 'African Agency in Peace Conflict and Intervention' (April 2011), part of an ESRC Funded Seminar Series (RES-451-26-0810) on 'African Agency in International Politics', with the BISA Africa and International Studies Working Group. 
  • Part of a team comprising Dr Philip Amis (IDD), Dr Heather Marquette (IDD) and Dr Karuti Kanyinga (University of Nairobi, Kenya) to produce a Strategic Governance and Corruption Analysis of Kenya for the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2008)
  • PhD research at University of Manchester ‘Aid and statehood in post-genocide Rwanda: The politics of a donor darling’, funded by an Economic and Social Research Council Studentship (Award Number: PTA-030-2004-00069).

Selected Impact and Research Dissemination Activities

  • Delivered briefing by invitation for a donor roundtable at the British High Commission, Colombo, Sri Lanka, November 2011: 'Building post-ethnic identity in Rwanda: Implications for stability, relevance for Sri Lanka?'
    Delivered lecture by invitation at think tank, International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Colombo, Sri Lanka, November 2011: Building post-ethnic identity in Rwanda: Relevance for Sri Lanka'
  • Convened one-day workshop at University of Birmingham: 'Somalia: Negotiating the balance between African solutions and international responses' 11 July 2012.
  • Keynote Speaker for BEACONS Sixth Form Conference on 'Aftermath', Hereford Sixth Form College, July 2012. Also a speaker at this conference in 2009 on the theme of Peace and Justice in Rwanda. 
  • Delivered session on 'Development and Security' for Advocates for International Development (A4ID) Annual Law and International Development Training Programme, January 2012.
  • Provided expertise on the Batwa, a Rwandan minority group, cited by the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation in their submission to the UN Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, 2011.
  • Invited guest speaker at Eichstaett University (Germany) June 2011, on ‘Rwanda’s role in African Peace and Security’
  • Invited guest speaker on UK Ministry of Defence Course, April 2011, on ‘Post Conflict Reconstruction and Stabilisation’ Programme, University of Bradford.
  • Invited research seminar, Leeds University Centre for African Studies, March 2011, on ‘Donors and Political Development in Post Genocide Rwanda.’
  • Interviewed for al-Jazeera Television's ‘Inside Story’, July 2010, on the war crimes trial of former Congolese Vice President Jean-Pierre Bemba.
  • Delivered ‘Development and Security’ component of the Postgraduate Diploma in the Field of Security by the Graduate School of Public and Development Management (P&DM) at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa (June 2009)
  • Invited guest speaker, UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office Chevening Course, 2009 and 2010 on State Failure for  ‘Democracy, Rule of Law & Security’ Programme, University of Birmingham. 
  • Adviser for curriculum on climate change and global poverty for sixth form students in the West Midlands as part of the ‘Twin Challenges’ project (2008-ongoing)

Other activities

Administrative responsibilities

Since March 2011, Danielle has been Head of Academic Innovation for the School of Government and Society. This role includes designing and supporting activities to enhance student experience across the School through a programme of events and activities, including overseas Model UN and Model NATO activities as well as trips to UK Parliament and on campus events. 

Within IDD, Danielle has previously taken up roles as Welfare Tutor and Study Skills Programme Co-ordinator (2008-10)

Danielle is currently a member of the IDD Research Committee and co-ordinator of the Department research seminar series which takes place in Autumn and Spring terms. She also co-ordinates the IDD Induction programme and annual Fieldwork Methods workshop for students undertaking  fieldwork for their dissertation (2008-present).

Other professional appointments

  • Research Associate of the UK All Party Parliamentary Group on the Great Lakes Region of Africa
  • Associate Director of the Centre for Studies in Security and Diplomacy
  • Member of British International Studies Association working group on Africa and International Studies. 
  • Member of Women in International Security
  • Member of Royal African Society and African Studies Association of the UK



Beswick, D (2012) ‘The role of the Military in Contemporary Rwanda’ in Campioni, M and Noack, P (eds.) 'Rwanda Fast Forward: Social, Economic, Military and Reconciliation Prospects' London: Palgrave Macmillan

Beswick, D & H Marquette (2011) ‘State-building, Security & Development: State-building as a new development paradigm?’ Guest Editors, Third World Quarterly 32(10)

Beswick, D (2011) ‘Aiding Statebuilding but Sacrificing Peacebuilding? UK-Rwanda Relations 1994-2011’ Third World Quarterly 32(10)

Beswick D & Jackson P (2011) Conflict Security & Development London, Routledge.

Beswick, D  ‘Genocide and the politics of exclusion: the case of the Batwa in Rwanda’ Democratisation Special Issue, 18(2): 490-511

Beswick, D (2010) ‘Peacekeeping, regime security and ‘African Solutions to African Problems’: Exploring Rwanda’s involvement in Darfur’ Third World Quarterly 31(5):739-754

Beswick, D (2010) ‘Managing dissent in a post genocide environment: the challenge of political space in Rwanda’ Development and Change 41(2): 225-251.

Beswick, D (2009) 'The challenge of warlordism to post-conflict state-building: The case of Laurent Nkunda in Eastern Congo' The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, 98(402) pp. 333-346.

Beswick, D (2007) Intervention, ideology and altruism: Rwandan involvement in Darfur, Centre for International Politics Working Paper No 30 (April) Manchester University (published online)

Beswick, D (2007) ‘Review: The political economy of the Great Lakes region in Africa: the pitfalls of enforced democracy and globalization’, S Marysse and F Reyntjens (eds) Journal of Modern African Studies 45(4), Hampshire and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005

Wilkin, P. and Beswick, D (2006) ‘The revolution will now be televised – strategies of communication and class conflict in Brazil’, in Wilkin P and M Lacy (eds) Global Politics in the Information Age Manchester, Manchester University Press


Selected conference contributions:

2011: 'The Return of Omnibalancing? Rwanda's Strategies for Securing Agency', ESRC-BISA  Seminar Series, session on African Agency and IR Theory, University of Kent (currently redrafting paper for inclusion in a 2013 edited collection under contract with Routledge)

2010: ‘Aid and agency after Genocide: A multi-level analysis of Rwanda's strategies for securing agency’ African Studies Association of the UK, Oxford University

2010: ‘Between peacebuilding and statebuilding in post genocide Rwanda’ PSA Conference, Edinburgh (part of a series of 5 linked panels, convened by D. Beswick and H.Marquette, resulting in our guest edited 2011 volume of Third World Quarterly Special Issue above)

2009: ‘Genocide and the politics of exclusion:  the case of the Batwa in Rwanda’ Democratisation in Africa Conference, Leeds University (redrafted for 2011 Democratisation Special Issue publication above)

2007: ‘Intervention, ideology and altruism: Rwandan involvement in Darfur’ European Conference on African Studies, Leiden, Netherlands. (early draft of 2010 Third World Quarterly article above)

2007: ‘Development, security, and the relationship between the United Kingdom and post-genocide Rwanda’, CANE Conference, Newcastle University (updated and revised for 2011 Third World Quarterly article above)

2006: ‘Putting all our eggs in one basket? Rwanda at the forefront of ‘African renaissance’, Women in International Security Summer Symposium, Georgetown University, Washington DC


The relationship between security and development, specifically focusing on UK security relationships with African states and the UK’s relationship with Rwanda since the 1994 genocide; Rwandan politics since 1994, especially limitations of Rwandan democracy; Great Lakes security

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