Aidan Russell


Associate Professor, International History
Spoken languages
Dutch, English, French, Kirundi
Areas of expertise
  • Armed conflicts, violence
  • Boundary and territorial disputes
  • Immigrants, refugees, diasporas
  • Regional integration
Geographical Region of Expertise
  • Subsaharan Africa



PhD, Oxford University

Aidan Russell completed his DPhil in History at Oxford University in 2013. His thesis explored the history of Burundi's northern border with Rwanda across its first postcolonial decade, up to the 'selective genocide' of 1972. Prior to his arrival in Geneva he was elected to a Title A research fellowship at Trinity College, Cambridge. His current research focusses on the emergence of the Great Lakes region of Africa through the tumult of the 1960s and 1970s. A matter of ambiguous regional integration prompted by internal crises, border conflicts, the movement of vast numbers of refugees and the cooperation of transnational rebel groups, this understudied period of history holds much of vital importance for the understanding of subsequent developments in the region today.


Selected publications


  • 'Talking Politics and Watching the Border in Northern Burundi, c. 1960-1972'. DPhil thesis in History, Oxford University. 2013.
  • 'Home, Music and Memory for the Congolese in Kampala', Journal of Eastern African Studies 5(2), 2011: 294-312
Aidan Russell

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