PhD position on "Security Implications of United Nations Peacekeeping in Ghana"

3 PhD Scholarships Available – Call for Applications

Deadline for application: 15 October 2018 at noon

University of Ghana, Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS), and Danish Institute Against Torture (DIGNITY) are undertaking a collaborative research project on the Domestic Security Implications of United Nations Peacekeeping (D-SIP) in Ghana. D-SIP’s objective is to understand the linkages between peacekeeping contributions, domestic security provision and drivers of stability in Ghana. By producing knowledge on how participation in international peacekeeping shapes the legitimacy and effectiveness of security institutions and practices in troop contributing countries, D-SIP offers insight into broader dynamics of peace and state-building. 3 Scholarships are available for this project.

D-SIP is funded by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Since the early 2000s, UN peacekeeping has increased in scope and complexity. The global spend in 2016 was $7.87 billion with 118,792 personnel deployed to 16 operations. The sustainability of UN operations depends on countries from the global South that constitute the top ten troop contributors. Their motivations to provide peacekeepers are economic, political, institutional and normative. However, knowledge is lacking on how peacekeeping participation impact on domestic security and stability in troop contributing countries, both at national and local levels.

Ghana is a privileged space to explore this issue in. The country has engaged in more than 30 UN peacekeeping operations since the 1960s and is among the world’s largest troop contributors. Despite changing governments and regimes, Ghana has been committed to contribute to international peacekeeping, and continues to play a vital role as a peacekeeping pioneer. It is a country characterized by rapid economic growth and democratic consolidation – a stable country in an unstable region faced with long-term and emerging security threats, including the effects of refugee flows and insurgent groups. Ghana’s sustained contribution to peacekeeping missions and conflict prevention depends on maintaining this status. Therefore, Ghana provides insight into linkages between contributing peacekeepers, building legitimate security institutions, and drivers of national and regional stability.


D-SIP calls for PhD applications that explore how the exposure to international peacekeeping training and deployments abroad impacts on discourses and practices of security within Ghana. The empirical focus is on the national level as well as local level in two urban localities – Accra and Tamale – as well as rural Ghana.

D-SIP applies a multidisciplinary approach with an emphasis on ethnographic fieldwork methods. Overall, the aim is to show how the global is productive of the local, and how institutions, actors, practices, norms and discourse mix to produce novel forms of security governance and global-local linkages.

While undertaking qualitative fieldwork in Accra, Tamale and/or another location in rural or urban Ghana, the three successful PhD candidates will each adopt a specific thematic focus, for example:

  1. National level organisation of security and how it has been influenced by Ghana’s peacekeeping experience;
  2. How security is provided in Accra, and trace how Ghana’s experience of peacekeeping has shaped local-level policing;
  3. How security is provided in Tamale, and trace how Ghana’s experience of peacekeeping has shaped local-level policing.
  4. Any other theme related to security provision and peace-keeping in rural or urban Ghana.

The candidates are expected to conduct up to 8 months of ethnographic fieldwork, and to participate in teaching at the University of Ghana.

Organization of Programme

Start Date: 1 February 2019

Duration: Four Years (Full Time Applicants)

Course Location: The candidates will spend their experiential learning attachments at DIIS and KAIPTC, including study stays and thesis writing time at both institutions, in Accra and Copenhagen, respectively. The candidates will be fully integrated members of the D-SIP research team. The successful candidates will receive a stipend throughout the 4-year period of their studies, and all costs for fieldwork, PhD training-related travel, and conferences abroad will be covered by D-SIP.

Entry Requirements

Successful candidates are required to:

  • Hold a master’s degree in the social sciences, political science, law or inter-disciplinary studies.
  • Possess and demonstrate good scientific writing skills.
  • Have a strong methodological and conceptual background in the relevant scientific disciplines or areas.
  • Ideally have ethnographic fieldwork experience.
  • Ideally have worked with security related issues in Accra, Tamale or elsewhere.
  • Be a constructive and engaged team worker.

    In addition, candidates are required to submit a thesis proposal along with the completed application form to qualify for admission.  Previous experience in security-related issues as well as working in peace and security environment is an advantage for admission.

  • How to Apply

    Potential applicants are invited to prepare a 4-5-page concept note (maximum 2,000 words) which, with reference to the selected PhD focus (please select from above), outlines a detailed focus for the proposed PhD project as well as research assumptions and questions. Applicants, who wish to apply for the PhD position under two or more thematic areas, should develop a separate concept note for each of the focus areas. The following details must be included in the concept note:

    1. Statement of the research problem and how it will be investigated through more specific research questions.
    2. Discussion of the analytical framework of the research problem in light of relevant theory.
    3. Description of the geographical and socio-political context of the study (Accra/Tamale).
    4. Presentation of the research design and the methods that will be employed to generate the data.
    5. Practical considerations.
    6. Ethical considerations.
    7. Time plan.

    Please make sure to clearly indicate which of the PhD positions you apply for. (see : Aims)

    In addition to this concept note, the application should be accompanied by a CV, including a list of publications as well as names and contact details of a 2-3 academic references.

    Deadline for application is 15 October 2018, at noon.

    The application should be submitted online to Dr Richard Asante via href=""> and href=""> , with copy to Dr Kwesi Aning (href="">, Professor Dzodzi Tsikata (href="">, Dr Peter Albrecht (href="">, and Professor Raymond Atuguba (href="">

    All five can be contacted for more information on D-SIP.

    The applications will be evaluated by an assessment committee consisting of researchers from University of Ghana, KAIPTC, DIIS and DIGNITY. All candidates will be notified. Interviews with shortlisted candidates will be conducted by the assessment committee at the University of Ghana between 5 and 6 November 2018. The final selection will be undertaken soon thereafter.