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Dr Simon Taylor

Teaching Fellow

MSocSc, PhD

Teaching Fellow in the School of Government and International Affairs 


Dr Simon D Taylor is the Teaching Fellow in International Relations & Security at Durham Univeristy, England, and an Extraordinary Researcher at North-West University, South Afirca. In his previous roles he was a Senior Foreign Service Officer for the South African Department of International Relations and Co-operation, and guest lecturer at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, where is was also an Assistant Warden in University Hall.

He holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of St Andrews, Scotland, and a Master of Social Science from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. 

Dr Taylor researchers political violence and diplomacy, with a particular focus on Africa. 



Combatants in African Conflicts: Professionals, Praetorians, Insurgents, Militias and Mercenaries, Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge (2022) 

Peer-Review Journals: 

“Status Quo Terrorism: State-Terrorism in South Africa During Apartheid.” Terrorism and Political Violence 35, no. 2 (2023): 304-320.

(with Seegers, Annette) “Transformation in the South African Military: A Study of the Gender-Representivity Component in the South African Navy.” Politikon South African Journal of Political Studies 35, no. 3 (2008): 357-378.


Daase, Christopher, and James W. Davis. “Clausewitz on Small War.” E-International Relations (2015): 

Cubitt, Christine. “Local and Global Dynamics of Peacebuilding: Post-Conflict reconstruction in Sierra Leone.” E-International Relations (2014): 

Alden, Chris, Monica Thakur, and Matthew Arnold. "Militias and the challenges of post‐conflict peace: Silencing the guns." Journal of International Relations Research (2012): 100.

Other Publications:

“'Bonapartism' infects, leads to military coups in Africa” Responsible Statecraft, 20 September 2023,

"Let’s be realistic when discussing arresting Vladimir Putin” Business Day, 19 May 2023

“Apartheid nostalgia forgets the cruel inhumanity of the past” Mail and Guardian, 17-23 March 2023

“Brics, naval exercises and the chance to pierce autocrats’ bubbles”, Mail and Guardian, 27 February 2023,

“The Woman King delivers a brilliant African story unfettered by many tired tropes”, Mail and Guardian, 5 October 2022, 

“South Africa, as a Brics member, must make its voice heard on Putin’s nuclear weapons sabre-rattling”, Mail and Guardian, 25 September 2022,

“Living in a democracy is far more than just having a vote”, Business Day, 22 March 2022,  

“Brics’ stance on unilateral action has been violated by invasion of Ukraine”, Business Day, 11 March 2022, p 7.

“Neat hair at school is a colonial mess.” Mail and Guardian, 11-17 February 2022.

“When Putsch Comes to Shove: A Historical Take on Trump’s Attack at the Capitol.” Global Politics (January 2021):

“Time to Ditch Denel.” Daily Maverick (3 September 2019):

“Real civilian rule in Zimbabwe is not possible as long as the military pulls the strings.” Daily Maverick (25 July 2019):

“Sierra Leone’s Pre-colonial and Colonial era military and security forces.” South African History Online (2017):

Research interests

  • Political Violence, Terrorism, State Terrorism, Combatants, Diplomacy, African Politics