Richardson Institute, Lancaster university

Richardson Institute
Department of Politics Philosophy and Religion, County South, Lancaster University, Bailrigg, Lancaster LA1 4YL, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1524 594262 Fax: +44 (0) 1524 594238 E-mail:
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The aim of the Richardson Institute is to act as a centre for bringing together students and research experts in the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion, Lancaster University, and the wider university environment with key external actors who are engaged in peace and conflict resolution activities.


Dr Simon Mabon

Director of the Richardson Institute

Simon is a Lecturer in International Relations. His research is particularly concerned with international relations in the Middle East, and is driven by the themes of: Religion and Legitimacy, Contested Sovereignty and Political Violence. He is currently working on a monograph exploring the fragmentation of state-society relations in the post-Arab-Uprisings Middle East, and regularly contributes briefing documents to the Foreign Policy Centre.



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Dr Anderson Jeremiah

Member of the Institute Management Committee

Anderson JeremiahGrowing up in India surrounded by the plurality of religious expressions and the conflicts it generates, impressed upon me a fascination and curiosity to study religion and its place in our society. Moreover, the growing presence of multiculturalism and multi-faith communities in our globalised world calls for a better understanding of ourselves and our neighbours. It is in this context I am drawn towards Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution.



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Dr Roger Haydon Mitchell

Institute External Partnerships Co-ordinator.

Roger directs a charitable trust that advises the church on negotiating social change. After thirty years of working on community cohesion in British cities and reconciliation issues ensuing from European colonialism, most recently in Africa, he has spent much of the last seven years researching the origins of western sovereignty. His findings are presented in his book Church, Gospel & Empire (Wipf and Stock 2011).

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Dr Kunal Mukherjee

Member of the Institute Management Committee

Kunal MukherjeeI am currently working on conflicts in Asia with a special focus on India and China's contested borderland regions. I am especially interested in conflicts in Indian Kashmir, the Indian northeast, Chinese Xinjiang and Tibet. With regard to these conflicts, I am looking at the historical background, the nature of the conflict and how these conflicts have changed with time. I am also interested in methods of peace building and conflict management, especially in moving away from traditional top-down approaches towards peace building, and taking a more bottom-up approach, which I think is more effective in bringing about long-lasting peace.

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Dr Mark Garnett

Member of the Institute

Mark GarnettDr Mark Garnett is a Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at Lancaster. He has written numerous books and articles on contemporary British politics, and is currently writing a book on British Foreign Policy (with Simon Mabon and Robert Smith), to be published by Routledge in 2017

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Professor Kim Knott

Member of the Institute

Kim KnottKim has developed a spatial methodology for contextualising religion, examining its engagement with other social and cultural institutions and issues, and for "breaking open the secular". She has used it to examine religious and secular beliefs and values in diverse locations. She is currently a Global Uncertainties Leadership Fellow researching the role of ideologies, beliefs and commitments in people's motivations and justifications for violent and non-violent action at times of risk and uncertainty. Her research interests include the theorization of space and place; the interrogation of religious and political spaces; spatial metaphors in religious and political discourse; the relationship between religion and non-religion; the 'secular sacred'; media representations of religion; and religion and its intersections with migration, diasporas, diversity and ethnicity.

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Professor Ian Reader

Member of the Institute

Ian ReaderIan is a Professor of Religious Studies who teaches the final year undergraduate course Religion and Violence (PPR362).  A specialist on religious affairs in Japan, he has conducted  research on Aum Shinrikyo, the movement that carried out the 1995 Tokyo subway sarin attack, and published extensively on the links between religion and violence. He has focused particularly on why some religious groups and activists turn to violence and on what mechanisms, beliefs and situations play a role in this process. He is also interested in public responses to such issues,  looking  in particular at  the ways in which Aum's violence has altered Japanese public perceptions of religion and examining the implications of such acts for wider concepts of democracy and of freedom of religion in general. 

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Dr Sossie Kasbarian

Member of the Institute


Sossie’s research interests span Diaspora Studies, contemporary politics and society in the Middle East, nationalism, identity and ethnicity and minority communities in the Middle East. Her current research project brings together her interests in Middle East politics and Diaspora Studies, focusing on how political activism in the diasporic space – in self- or state-imposed exile – functions, creating momentum in the host state, the transnational realm and the place of origin.

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Professor Chris Partridge

Member of the Institute

Chris’s research interests cover popular music and Religious Studies, countercultures and subcultures in the West and alternative spiritualties, esotericism and paranormal cultures. Much of his work examines the social and cultural significance of ‘rejected knowledge’. He is also interested in ideas developed within alternative spiritual discourses, the significance of belief in the occult or paranormal and in countercultures. He is particularly interested in the role and importance of popular music in helping to explain the persistence of these beliefs and ideas.

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Steve Royle

Fellow of the Richardson Institute

Steve RoyleStephen’s research focuses on the Middle East and the political economy of Islam. He completed his PhD in the Department of Politics, Philosophy and International Relations and has recently returned to Lancaster after working in the Middle East for a time.





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Nigel Young

Honorary Fellow of the Richardson Institute

N Young

Nigel Young Editor in Chief Oxford International Encyclopedia of Peace, PhD in International Studies, University of California at Berkeley USA,MA in Modern History, Magdalen College, Oxford University, UK, Dayton Peace Prize 2012 Professor Colgate University, Founder Member Peace Studies Bradford University (1973)


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Lucia Ardovini

Co-ordinator of the Richardson Institute Internship Programme

Lucia ArdoviniLucia is a PhD candidate in the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religious Studies. Her main research interests include Political Islam in North Africa and the Arab World, Revolutionary Movements and International Relations of the Middle East.


Gareth Bowden

Co-ordinator of the Richardson Institute Internship Programme

Gareth is a PhD candidate in the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion. His research focuses on the role of the non-governmental sector in developing states, using the Ugandan DoStaNGO (Donor-State-NGO system) as a case study, with additional focus on semi-authoritarian governance systems. Gareth has been working as an internship coordinator for the Richardson Institute since January 2015.


Grant Helm

Co-ordinator of the Richardson Institute Internship Programme

Grant HelmGrant is a PhD candidate in the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion. His Research focuses on radicalization and countering violent extremism, an area in which he works as a data analytics and research specialist for Moonshot CVE.





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