Eboe Hutchful

Eboe Hutchful




Department of African American Studies,

Wayne State University
Maccabees Building
5057 Woodward Avenue, Ste 11002
Detroit, MI 48201


Curriculum vitae



Eboe Hutchful

Eboe Hutchful is Professor of African America Studies at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, USA. He has taught at several other universities in Africa and North America, including the University of Toronto, Trent and Waterloo Universities in Ontario, Canada, the University of Ghana and the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria. He is a long-time researcher on civil-military relations, security sector reform, and international development issues and author among other works of Ghana's Adjustment Experience: The Paradox of Reform (James Currey, 2002), co-editor (with Wuyi Omitoogun) of Budgeting for the Military Sector in Africa: the Processes and Mechanisms of Control (Oxford University Press, 2006), and co-editor (with Abdoulaye Bathily) of The Military and Militarism in Africa (Codesria Books, 1998). He is presently Project Leader for a research network on ‘Hybrid Security Governance in Africa’, funded by the IDRC and a contributor to the ‘Global Reflection Group on the Future of the State Monopoly of Force 2.0’, established by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation.

Dr. Hutchful has combined his academic career with energetic policy advocacy and expert outreach and high-level training and capacity-building on Security Sector Reform and Governance (SSR/G) issues, and has been a major influence and internationally recognized African voice in the development of the global policy discourse on SSR, both in his personal capacity and in the context of his NGO work. As co-founder, first Chair and currently Executive Secretary of the African Security Sector Network (ASSN), he has been responsible for managing a pan-African network of senior SSR experts and forging a high-level technical partnership between the ASSN and the AU, UN, and EU to build the African Union’s SSR capabilities. In that role he was responsible for orchestrating the drafting of the African Union’s SSR Policy Framework (AUSSR-PF) and the accompanying Operational Guidance Notes (OGNs).

Dr. Hutchful is currently a member of the UN Secretary General's Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters (ABDM), the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), the International Advisory Board of the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) and the UN SSR Expert Roster, as well as a member at various times of the UN International Policing Advisory Council (IPAC); the Advisory Group of the UK Government’s Global Facilitation Network for Security Sector Reform (GFN-SSR); the Governing Board of the Global Consortium on Security Transformation; and the Critical Review Panel that oversaw the development of the OECD/DAC Handbook on Security System Reform: Supporting Security and Justice (2007); and finally a key resource person in the development of the “Civil-Military Relations and Democracy‘ series of the Global Coalition for Africa; and the Senior Leader Seminar’ and ‘Next Generation of African Military Leaders Program’ of the Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS), based at the National Defense University, Fort McNair, Washington DC.


Research interest(s)/area of expertise

  • National security

  • International security

  • Civil-military relations

  • Security sector reform and governance

  • International development


Current Research

Dr Hutchful is Project Leader for a regional academic and policy research network on ‘Hybrid Security Governance in Africa’, based at the African Security Sector Network (ASSN) in Accra, Ghana. In March 2014 Dr. Hutchful successfully obtained 3-year funding (2014-17) of C$700,000 from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada to support this network.

Description of the Research

Prevailing approaches to peacebuilding and SSR (and the associated policy literature) have tended to stress Westphalian notions of the state characterized by legal-rational norms and institutions. This project argues that such approaches are fundamentally at variance with the underlying realities of the African context, where many political and social transactions (not least in the security sector) take place in the context of informal norms and systems, and where a wide array of institutions operate alongside or within nominally formal political institutions.This may well account for many of the limitations (if not failure) of efforts to reform the security sector and its governance systems. The core hypothesis of this research project is that formal and informal systems overlap, interrelate, and interpenetrate at complex levels and that states and informal networks are not mutually exclusive but should rather be seen as embedded in each other. There is consequently a need to identify those informal networks, actors and processes which, alongside legally established structures, influence decision-making as well as policy implementation in the security sector.

The term ‘hybridity’ is used in this context to capture these intersections of formality and informality, illuminate the complex nature of security governance in Africa, and provide a more informed and realistic understanding of decision-making processes and power distribution in the African security sector, where a variety of actors draw on varying sources of authority and legitimacy. In many African states, the security sector and its governance mechanisms reflect a complex amalgam of statutory and non-statutory actors and institutions; however, the concept of ‘hybridity’ is particularly appropriate for understanding security systems in countries emerging from conflict, where customary, clan and non-formal institutions are often the only ones left standing after conflict, are thus widely implicated in delivery of security and provide resiliency to the community and (arguably) a basis for reconstructing the state.

There are five objectives to the research project:
First, to identify and analyse the networks and processes that span the divide between ‘formality’ and ‘informality’, and, as a result, provide a better and more realistic understanding of decision-making processes and power distribution in the African security sector;

Second, to clarify the role of nonstate/nonformal/customary security institutions (community security organs, militias, vigilante groups, etc), and the interactions and interface between these and the formal security institutions of the state;

Third, to better understand the ‘real economy’ of security provisioning in hybrid systems, and the patterns of inclusion and exclusion associated with such systems (in particular the role of gender and sexual orientation, where the notion of ‘double jeopardy’ may well apply);

Fourth, to establish if ‘hybridity’ in its broadest sense can furnish a strategy for building effective security systems, and the extent to which these ‘crossover’ networks (or the values motivating them) can be mobilized (or not) as checks and balances to inform and reinforce African security governance;

Finally, contribute to strengthening the research and evidence base of SSR, address the many ‘research gaps’ in the discipline, and at the same time build the research capacity of civil society groups and research institutions involved in the project, and thereby their ability to engage issues of security sector reform and governance in their respective countries.

Field research is currently being conducted in 6 African countries belonging to different regional areas or associations: Liberia and Sierra Leone (Mano River Union), Côte d’Ivoire (Francophone Africa), Somaliland (Horn of Africa), South Africa (Southern Africa) and Nigeria (West Africa).


  • Baccalaureate: University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana, 1968
  • University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada: M.A., 1969), PhD, 1973

Awards and grants

  • 1. Research Network on Hybrid Security Governance in Africa’ 2014-2017 (funding by the IDRC)(CAD$700,00); Project Leader for the African Security Sector Network (ASSN);

    2. Chair, Working Group on ‘Security and the Marketplace: Privatization of Security and Insecurity’, the Global Consortium on Security Transformation (funded by the Ford Foundation and IDRC) ($100,000);

    3. Project Coordinator, ‘Security Sector Reform (SSR) Provisions in Peace Agreements’, Designed the project and wrote the main report. Involved coordination of an international network, with case studies were drawn from East Timor, Central America (El Salvador and Guatemala), and 6 African countries (South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, the DRC, Burundi, and the Sudan). $160,000 in funding by the UK Department for International Development (DFID). 2006-2007;

    4. Principal Investigator and coordinator of an African network conducting research, seminars and workshops on ‘Security Sector Governance in Africa’. $187,000 in funding from the UK Government’s Global Conflict Prevention Pool. 2003-6

    5. Funding to Disseminate the Results of a Research Project on African Military Expenditures. This was a joint project of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and my NGO African Security Dialogue and Research (ASDR), based in Ghana, West Africa. US$375,000 from IDRC and SIDA. 2004-5

    6. Funding for Research Project on African Military Expenditures. This was a joint project of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and my NGO, African Security Dialogue and Research (ASDR), based in Ghana, West Africa. US$300,000 from IDRC and SIDA. 2001-3

    7. Funding for Research Network on Security Sector Reform and Democratization in Africa, MacArthur Foundation, 1999-2001, US$100,000. Second grant 2001-3 US$200,000.

    8. Chaired multinational Research Network on ‘The Militarism and Militarism in Africa’, Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA), 1991-5 (US$150,000)

    9. Undertook study of the process of restoring civil control over the military in democratic transitions in Africa, with a case study of Ghana, 1994-96. United States Institute of Peace ($35,000.00)

    10. Conducted research into the implications of structural adjustment for state-society dynamics in Africa. Research Grant, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), 1990-1992. (C$24,000.00)

    11. Research Grant, Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), 1987-1988. Purpose: To study environmental policy in the petroleum sector in Nigeria. (C$18,000.00)

    12. Research Grant, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), 1980. Purpose: To study development planning and balance of payment crises in Ghana, West Africa. (C$8,000)

Selected publications

  • “The United Nations, SSR and Peacebuilding’, in Heine Hangi and Adedeji Ebo (eds), The United Nations at 70: Crisis and Transformation in the International System (forthcoming: VERLAG)
  • Co-author (with Niagale Bagayoko and Robin Luckham), "Hybrid security governance in Africa: rethinking the foundations of security, justice and legitimate public authority", Journal of Conflict, Security and Development, vol. 16, 1, Jan 2016 http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14678802.2016.1136137.
  • ‘Role of Security Sector Governance in Peacebuilding’, in Devon Curtis and Gwinyayi Dzinesa, eds, Peacebuilding in Africa (Ohio University Press, 2012)
  • Co-author (with Robin Luckham) ‘Democratic and War-to-Peace Transitions and Security
  • Transformation in Africa’, DCAF Yearbook 2010, Geneva: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (2011)

Currently teaching

  • AFS 2600: Race and Racism in America, 3 credits, Winter 2017

  • SOC 2600: Race and Racism in America, 3 credits, Winter 2017

  • AFS 2210:  Black Social and Political Thought, 3 credits, Winter 2017

Courses taught


  • AFS-SOC 2600: Race and Racism in America
  • AFS 2210: Black Social and Political Thought
  • AFS 2210: Black Social and Political Thought (online)
  • AFS 3420/POL3820: Pan-Africanism
  • AFS 6990: Directed Studies


  • DR 6120: Human Diversity and Conflict
  • DR 7990: Directed Studies (Masters in Dispute Resolution)