A-Z Index

Dr. Brian Hesse



61 Valk


660.562.1241 (fax)

Joined Northwest in 2002

Professor of Political Science


  • Ph.D., International Relations; London School of Economics and Political Science
    • Marshall Scholar: One of forty American undergraduates selected to study for an advanced degree in Great Britain
    • Ph.D. Advisor: Professor James Mayall, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England
  • B.A., Political Science; Kansas State University (Honors Program)
  • B.A., History; Kansas State University (Honors Program)
    • Honors Program Thesis: "The Banana Will Return: A Traveler's Journal"

Courses Taught

  • African World
  • Africa in Modern Media
  • International Relations
  • International Conflict Resolution
  • Global Events and Trends
  • Political Economy
  • Economic Development
  • Public Policy
  • Intro to American Government
  • Honors Introduction to American Government
  • Research Seminar in Political Science

Academic Interest

  • Africa, the Middle East and Islam
  • International Affairs
  • Political Economy

Scholarly Activity

Select Peer-Reviewed Publications

  • Hesse, Brian. "Why Deploy To Somalia?  Understanding Six African Countries’ Reasons for Sending Soldiers to one of the World’s Most-Failed States,” Journal of Middle East and Africa, Fall 2015.
  • Hesse, Brian. "Africa’s Intoxicating Beer Markets,” African Studies Review, Spring 2015.
  • Hesse, Brian. "Two Generations, Two Interventions in One of the World’s Most-Failed States:  The United States, Kenya and Ethiopia in Somalia," Journal of Asian and African Studies, Fall 2014.
  • Hesse, Brian.  “Somalia.”  2,500-word entry in the Oxford Companion to American Politics (Oxford:  Oxford University Press, 2012).
  • Hesse, Brian. "The Myth of Somalia," The Journal of Contemporary African Studies, Vol. 28, No. 3, July 2010, pp. 247-259. A special issue of the JCAS entitled Somalia - State Collapse, Terrorism and Piracy.
  • Hesse, Brian. "Where Somalia Works," The Journal of Contemporary African Studies, Vol. 28, No. 3, July 2010, pp. 343-362. A special issue of the JCAS entitled Somalia - State Collapse, Terrorism and Piracy.
  • Hesse, Brian. "Celebrate of Hold Suspect? Bill Clinton and George W. Bush in Africa," Journal of Contemporary African Studies, Vol. 23, Number 3, September 2005.
  • Hesse, Brian. "The Peugeot and the Baobab: Islam, Structural Adjustment and Liberalism in Senegal," Journal of Contemporary African Studies, Vol. 22, Number 1, January 2004.
  • Hesse, Brian. "The World in Three Spheres: Mere Coexistence with a Nuclear North Korea,"Journal of Asia-Pacific Affairs, Volume 5, Number 2, 2004.
  • Hesse, Brian. "The Rise of Liberal Economics in South Africa," International Journal, Volume LVI, Number 2, Spring 2001.


  • SOMALIA: State Collapse, Terrorism and Piracy (Edited by Brian Hesse)
    (Oxford, England; New York, USA; Routledge, April 2011. 176 pages. $125.00. Hardback. ISBN978-0-415-59463-9.)
  • The United States, South Africa and Africa: OF GRAND FOREIGN POLICY AIMS AND MODEST MEANS
    (Aldershot, England; Burlington, USA; Singapore; Sydney: Ashgate Publishers, August 2001. xvi + 238 pp. Figures. Illustrations. Notes. Select Bibliography. Index. $63.50. Hardback. ISBN 0-7546-1739-4.)

Student Group Advisement

  • Senior Mentor for Northwest’s Emergency and Disaster Management program.  Member of the Consortium for Humanitarian Service and Education with an emphasis on international deployments in response to overseas crises and disasters (see

Other Professional Experiences

  • Owner and guide for Cowabunga Safaris conducting safaris all over the African continent.


Dr. Brian Hesse is a Professor of Political Science at Northwest Missouri State University. Books of his include the edited Somalia: State Collapse, Terrorism and Piracy and The United States, South Africa and Africa: Of Grand Foreign Policy Aims and Modest Means. Articles of his have appeared in African Studies Review, the Journal of Contemporary African StudiesThe Journal of Asian and African Studies, Current History, International Journal, Journal of Asia-Pacific Affairs, and other publications. Research of his has been featured on National Public Radio, on the nationally-syndicated segment “The Academic Minute.”  Since 1998, Dr. Hesse has served as a guide for, and owner of, the company Cowabunga Safaris.