Dr Marco Wyss

Contact details

Dr Marco Wyss
Position/Fellowship type:
Associate Fellow
Fellowship term:
17-Nov-2015 to 31-Jul-2020
Institute of Commonwealth Studies
Home institution:
University of Lancaster
Department of History Bowland College Lancaster University Lancaster LA1 4YT United Kingdom
Email address:

Research Summary and Profile

Research interests:
Contemporary History, International Relations
Africa, Europe, United Kingdom
Summary of research interests and expertise:

Marco Wyss is Senior Lecturer in Politics and Contemporary History in the Department of History and Politics, and a Senior Researcher at the Institut d’études politiques, historiques et internationales, University of Lausanne. He holds an MA in History and Philosophy (University of Neuchâtel), an MA in International History and Politics (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva), and a PhD in Politics (University of Nottingham) and a Dr ès lettres in History (University of Neuchâtel).

Prior to joining the University of Chichester, I was a Senior Researcher at the Center for Security Studies at ETH Zurich, where I worked on European security issues and developed a keen interest in the transformation of European armed forces, as well as France’s current security role and peacekeeping in Africa. This has led, among other things, to two co-edited volumes – a book (Routledge, 2014) and a journal special issue (Journal of International Peacekeeping) – on peacekeeping in Africa. I have an on-going research interest in both African and European security studies. Currently, I am co-editing a journal special issue on West African security and, especially, a more than fifty chapters long Handbook of European Armed Forces for Oxford University Press.

The bulk of my research so far has been in Cold War history. In addition to various articles, I have published a book on Arms Transfers, Neutrality and Britain’s Role in the Cold War (Brill, 2013), and three co-edited volumes – a book (Routledge, 2016) and two journal special issues (The International History Review and Relations Internationales) on neutrality and neutralism/non-alignment in the Global Cold War. My earlier historical research has been on the Second World War. This has led, among other publications, to a book on the man behind the recruitment and the policies of the SS and the Waffen-SS outside the Third Reich’s borders (Alphil-Presses universitaires suisses, 2010).

At a more practical level, I have advised and authored studies for government ministries in Britain and abroad, notably the British Foreign Office, the Swiss Federal Intelligence Service, and the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. Furthermore, I have also given talks at and worked with think tanks, such as the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House), and the International Peace Institute.

Project summary relevant to Fellowship:

Currently, my major research project examines and compares the postcolonial security roles of Britain and France in West Africa within the framework of decolonisation and the Cold War (1958-1965). The aim is to analyse how the imperial powers negotiated with Nigeria and Côte d’Ivoire the transfer of power to maintain influence against the pressures from the Cold War and its superpowers, African nationalism, Pan-Africanism, and non-alignment. This allows us to assess whether West Africa was part of individual or common British and French post-imperial or, rather, Cold War grand strategic designs. The project intentionally avoids a Eurocentric perspective by drawing on multi-archival research in Africa, Europe, and the United States, the recent historiography of imperial history and decolonisation, Africa, the Cold War, and post-colonial theory. Ultimately, it aims to contribute to and advance the study of the Global Cold War.

Publication Details

Related publications/articles:

Date Details
(co-edited with Tardy, Thierry), Peacekeeping in Africa: The Evolving Security Architecture, Abingdon, Oxon, and New York: Routledge, 2014, 280 p.

Edited Book

Arms Transfers, Neutrality and Britain’s Role in the Cold War: Anglo-Swiss Relations 1945-1958, History of Warfare, Vol. 79, Leiden & Boston: Brill, 2013, xvii + 404 p.


(with Bott, Sandra; Hanhimäki, Jussi M.; and Schaufelbuehl, Janick Marina), « Suisse et Guerre froide dans le tiers-monde », Special Issue of Relations Internationales, No. 163, 2015/3.

Edited Book

(with Bott, Sandra; Hanhimäki, Jussi M.; and Schaufelbuehl, Janick Marina), “Beyond and Between the Cold War Blocs”, Special Issue of The International History Review, Vol. 37, No. 5, 2015.

Edited Book

(with Tardy, Thierry), “Alternative Perspectives on African Peacekeeping”, Special Issue of Journal of International Peacekeeping, Vol. 17, Nos. 3-4, 2013.

Edited Book

Additional Publications

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