Rebels in a Rotten State: Understanding Atrocity in Sierra Leone
Published by Hurst and Oxford University Press (US) – Amazon UK US FR DE

rebelsinarottenstate‘Kieran Mitton has done a splendid job in his excellent volume on Sierra Leone. He has remained cool and dispassionate in discussing what terrible actions humans may accept, sustain and even defend. Mitton has synthesised the literature on the civil war in Sierra Leone, analysed the various theories that purport to explain human behaviour in atrocities, interviewed former bloody combatants, and come to daring and controversial conclusions about the role of psychology in such inhumane behaviour …
The author has added a new dimension to our understanding of atrocious brutality in war. While assessing the theories and factors that allow ordinary people wantonly to kill, maim and rape, Mitton, himself, remains humane and just.’ 
– Robert Jackson (2016), The Round Table, June 2016


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ACADEMIC Publications

Opinion Pieces & Blog Posts

Better understanding street gangs is key to supporting urban development in Africa 
King’s College London – 19 October 2020
Co-authored with Dr Ibrahim Abdullah (Fourah Bay College, Sierra Leone) on the thinking behind several of our collaborative research projects on urban insecurity and street gangs in Africa.

Building peace in the pandemic: prospects and pitfalls
T.note n.89 – Human Security Vol. 89, Issue 14 – 19 October 2020
 On the impact of Covid-19 on conflict and peace around the world. (download)

South Africa’s strict pandemic response could give criminal gangs an unexpected boost: Deploying the army to enforce lockdown rules may have deepened local grievances. Monkey Cage Blog, The Washington Post – 29 May 2020
On how Cape Town’s gangs and host communities have been effected by Covid-19, lockdowns and the deployment of soldiers and police during the pandemic. 

Sierra Leone est un petit pays avec de gros problèmes
Libération, Africa4 – 22 April 2018
On Sierra Leone’s new president Bio and the challenges his government and the country faces (in French and English).

War by Another Name? The ‘Urban Turn’ in 21st Century Violence
T.note Vol. 59, Human Security Issue 7 – 23 April 2018
On urban violence, arguments over definitions of war, and challenges facing urban development and (in)security in the 21st century. (download)

Guerra con un altro nome? La violenza urbana nel XXI secolo
Human Security N. 6 – March 2018
On urban violence, arguments over definitions of war, and challenges facing urban development and (in)security in the 21st century (in Italian).

And what for future generations in Sierra Leone?
Africa is a Country – 26 March 2018
Co-auothored with Jamie Hitchen ahead of Sierra Leone’s 31st March 2018 run-off vote, on youth, politics, violence and hope in Sierra Leone.

Generation Terrorists: The Politics of Youth and the Gangs of Freetown
Mats Utas Blog – 26 February 2018Extended piece about Sierra Leone’s elections, sharing initial findings on the emerging (and drastically under-researched) gang-scene in the country.