Research Director, Area Studies and International Law; Head, Africa Programme
Alex Vines
Contact information
+44 20 7957 5713


Alex Vines has been head of the Africa Programme at Chatham House since 2002 and in 2008 became director for Regional Studies and International Security. In 2012 Alex was appointed director for Area Studies and International Law.

He chaired the UN Panel of Experts on Côte d’Ivoire from 2005 to 2007, and was a member of the UN Panel of Experts on Liberia from 2001 to 2003. He was also a member of the Commonwealth Observer Group to Ghana in 2016.

He has also been a UN election officer in Mozambique and Angola, and served as a consultant for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

He worked at Human Rights Watch as a senior researcher on business and human rights. He is also a senior lecturer at Coventry University.

He was awarded an OBE in 2008 in recognition of his work including founding and developing Chatham House’s Africa programme.


  • Political risk in sub-Saharan Africa
  • Emerging powers in sub-Saharan Africa
  • UK and EU policy toward Africa
  • Extractive industries and investment in Africa


2012 - Research Director, Area Studies and International Law, Chatham House
2002 - Head, Africa Programme, Chatham House
2013 -Fellow (Hon.), Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Lagos
2012-2013Visiting Lecturer, Peace Studies, University of Bradford
2009 -Senior Lecturer (previously Lecturer), Department of International Studies and Social Science; and Director of the African Studies Centre, Coventry University (2014-16)
2008-2012Director of Regional and Security Studies, Chatham House
2005-2007Member, later Chair, UN Panel of Experts on Côte d'Ivoire
2001-2003Member, UN Panel of Experts on Liberia
2002-2010Senior Researcher, Business and Human Rights, Human Rights Watch (part-time)
1999-2002Associate Fellow, British-Angola Forum, Chatham House
1993 - 2002Researcher/Senior Researcher, Arms and Africa Divisions, Human Rights Watch
1997MacArthur NGO Fellow, Department of War Studies, King's College, University of London
1994-2000Research Associate, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford
1994Electoral officer, UNOMOZ, Mozambique
1992Electoral officer, UNAVEM II, Angola
1990-1993Africa Analyst, Control Risks
1990Consultant, Centre for Southern African Studies, University of York
1989Research Assistant, National Museums and Monuments, Masvingo, Zimbabwe

Graduate Scholar, British Institute in Eastern Africa, Nairobi, Kenya

Journal Editorial and Advisory Boards

South African Journal of International Affairs; Africa Review (journal of the African Studies Association of India) and Journal of Southern African Studies

Broadcast experience



  • Portuguese (broadcast standard), French, Spanish (not for broadcast)
  • ‘Afonso Dhlakama and RENAMO’s return to armed conflict since 2013:  the politics of reintegration in Mozambique’  in A Themnér (Eds), Warlord Democracts in Africa: ex-military leaders and electoral politics, Zed Books, 2017, pp.121-156.

  • 'Angolan agency and Chinese and US oil politics, 1975-2014’, in D Zweig and Y Hao (Eds), Sino-US Energy Triangles: Resource diplomacy under hegemony, Routledge, 2015, pp.129-148
  • ‘United Nations Angola Verification Mission 1’; ‘UNAVEM II and III’ and ‘United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA)’, with Caroline Guyot, in J Koops, T Tardy, N MacQueen, and P Williams (Eds), The Oxford Handbook of UN Peacekeeping Operations, Oxford University Press, 2015, pp283-294; 338-351; 563-572
  • The Horn of Africa: Transnational and Trans-Regional Dynamics in Europe’s Broader Neighbourhood with Ahmed Soliman, in S Gstöhl and E Lannon (Eds), The Neighbours of the European Union’s Neighbours: Diplomatic and Geopolitical Dimensions beyond the European Neighbourhood Policy, Ashgate, 2014 
  • Renamo's Rise and Decline: The Politics of Reintegration in Mozambique International Peacekeeping, Vol 20, No 3, 2013, pp 375-393
  • Has US Learned from Past Counter-terrorism Mistakes in Africa?, October 2013
  • Angola Matters to the US. So What's the Problem?, May 2013
  • The EU Strategic Framework for the Horn of Africa: a critical assessment of impact and opportunities Report for the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs, with Ahmed Soliman and Jason Mosley, September 2012 
  • China's Angolan Oil Deals 2003–11, with Markus Weimer, in M. Power and A.C. Alves (Eds.), China and Angola: A Marriage of Convenience?, Pambazuka Press, 2012
  • Portugal, the EU, and Africa, in Adekeye Adebajo and Kaye Whiteman (eds), The EU and Africa: from Eurafrique to Afro-Europa, Hurst & Co, 2012, pp.365-385.
  • Protecting Civilians: The Politics of Intervention and Non-Intervention in Africa in Eva Gross, Daniel Hamilton, Claudia Major, Henning Rieke (eds), Preventing Conflict. Managing Crisis: European and American Perspectives, Center for Transatlantic Relations, Johns Hopkins University, 2011, pp.55-60
  • Ten Years of CSDP Experimentation in Africa: Prospects for the Joint Africa EU Strategy Action Plan 2011-2013, in Ludovica Marchi Balossi-Restelli (ed), An EU Innovative External Action?, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011, pp.269-293
  • Africa and the United Kingdom: Labour's Legacy, May 1997-May 2010, in Tony Chafer and Gordon Cumming (eds), From Rivalry to Partnership? New Approaches to the Challenges of Africa, Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2011, pp.25-41
  • Why the Surge of Renewed Interest in Africa? Options for New Zealand, in Brian Lynch (ed), Africa: A Continent on the Move, New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, 2011, pp.63-75
  • India's Security Concerns in the Western Indian Ocean, in Emma Mawdsley and Gerard McCann, India in Africa: Changing Geographies of Power, pp.187-203, Pambazuka Press, 2011
  • Angola: Clearing the Killing Fields Public Service Review, Issue 22, May 2011
  • Spain, the EU and West Africa: Challenges and Opportunities with Manuel López Blanco and Luis Simón, Fundación Alternativas, April 2011
  • West African Blood Diamonds Recognise no Borders in Alexander Ramsbotham and I William Zartman (eds), Paix sans Frontiers: Building Peace across Borders, Accord, Issue 22, 2011, pp. 90-93
  • An Uncertain Future: Oil Contracts and Stalled Reform in São Tomé e Príncipe Human Rights Watch, August 2010
  • G8 and EU Support to African Efforts in Peace and Security: a European Perspective, in Nicoletta Pirozzi (ed) Ensuring Peace and Security in Africa: Implementing the New Africa-EU Partnership Quarderni IAI (Instituto Affari Internazionali), May 2010
  • South Africa's Politics of Peace and Security, in Africa South African Journal of International Affairs, vol. 17, no.1, April 2010
  • The Impact of UN Sanctions and their Panel of Experts: Sierra Leone and Liberia, with Tom Cargill, International Journal, vol. 64, issue 1, Winter 2009-2010
  • 'China and India in Angola' (with Indira Campos), in Fantu Cheru and Cyril Obi (eds), The Rise of China and India in Africa, Zed Press, 2010
  • Thirst for African Oil in Resurgent Continent? Africa and the World, LSE Ideas Strategic Update, March 2010
  • China's Place in Angola's Foreign Policy, in Sharon T. Freeman (ed.), China, Africa, and the African Diaspora, All American Small Business Exporters Association Inc., 2009
  • Obama's Sub-Saharan Africa Policy: Implications for Europe (with Tom Cargill), in Alvaro Vasconcelos and Marcin Zaborowski (eds), The Obama Moment: European and American Perspectives The European Institute for Security Studies, 2009
  • India's Strategy in Africa: Looking Beyond the India-Africa Forum, South African Yearbook of International Affairs 2008/9, SAIIA, 2009
  • Well Oiled: Oil and Human Rights in Equatorial Guinea (with Arvind Ganesan and Carly Tubbs), Human Rights Watch, 2009
  • Angola: Thirty Years of Dos Santos (with Markus Weimer), Review of African Political Economy, no. 120, vol. 36, June 2009
  • Angola and the Global Economic Downturn (with Markus Weimer), Portuguese Journal of International Affairs, Spring 2009
  • Beyond Bullets and Ballots: The Reintegration of UNITA in Angola (with Bereni Oruitemeka), in M Berdal and D Ucko (eds), Reintegrating Armed Groups After Conflict: Politics, Violence and Transition, Routledge, 2009
  • Au-DeLà Du Pétro-militarisme: La Strategie Exterieure Angolaise D'Après-Guerre (with Phillipe Le Billion et al), Politique Africaine, no.110, June 2008
  • Bullets to Ballots: The Reintegration of UNITA in Angola (with Bereni Oruitemeka), Conflict, Security & Development, vol.8, no. 2, June 2008
  • Engagement with the African Indian Ocean Rim States (with Bereni Oruitemeka), in India in Africa, South African Journal of International Affairs, vol.14, no.2, April 2008
  • Angola and China: A Pragmatic Partnership (with Indira Campos), CSIS Working Paper, March 2008
  • Can UN Arms Embargoes in Africa Be Effective? International Affairs, vol.83, no.6, November 2007
  • China in Africa: A Mixed Blessing? Current History, vol. 106, no. 700, May 2007
  • Estudo de caso: UK Policy Toward Angola and Mozambique, in Fernando Cardoso (ed) Diplomacia, Cooperação e Negócios: o Papel dos Actores Externos em Angola e Moçambique, Instituto de Estudos Estratégicos e Internacionais, 2007
  • Dousing the Flames of Resource Wars, in The Politics of Africa's Resources, South African Journal of International Affairs vol.13, no.2, December 2006
  • Sanctions and Enforcement (with Holger Anders), in UNIDIR etal ed, Developing a Mechanism to Prevent Illicit Brokering in Small Arms and Light Weapons: Scope and Implications, United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, 2006
  • The Scramble for Resources: African Case Studies, in China in Africa, South African Journal of International Affairs, vol.13, Summer/Autumn 2006
  • 'Le Monde Doit Nous Jugar Sur L'Afrique': L'Heritage Africaine De Tony Blair (with Tom Cargill), in Politique Africaine, no.101, March-April 2006
  • Combating Light Weapons Proliferation in West Africa International Affairs, vol.81, no.2, March 2005
  • Angola: Forty Years of War, P. Batchelor, P & K Kingma (eds) Demilitarisation and Peace-Building in Southern Africa, vol. 2, Ashgate, 2004
  • Engine of War: Resources, Greed and the Predatory State (with Arvind Ganesan), in Human Rights and Armed Conflict: Human Rights Watch World Report 2004, Human Rights Watch, 2004
  • Monitoring UN Sanctions in Africa: The Role of Panels of Experts, in Trevor Findlay (ed) Verification Yearbook 2003, London Vertic, 2004
  • Angola: New Hopes for Civil Society? (with Steve Kibble), Review of African Political Economy, vol. 28, no. 90, 2001
  • Mercenaries, Human Rights and Legality, in A-F Musah and J Kayode Fayemi (eds.), Mercenaries: An African Security Dilemma, Pluto Press, 2000
  • Angola Unravels: The Rise and Fall of the Lusaka Peace Process, Human Rights Watch, 1999