Dr Simon Mabon

Director of the Richardson Institute

Simon is Senior Lecturer in International Relations. His research falls somewhere in the intersection between International Political Theory and Middle East Studies, but is particularly driven by a focus on the importance of agency and the human implications of contested sovereignties. In 2016-17 he served as academic advisor to the House of Lords International Relations Committee inquiry on UK relations with the Middle East. He is a fellow of the Foreign Policy Centre and tweets @drmabon

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Dr Anderson Jeremiah

Deputy Director of the Richardson Institute

Growing 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 Hayden 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


I 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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 Mark Garnett

Dr Mark Garnett


Dr 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


Kim 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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Nigel Young

Honorary Fellow

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)




Jo Warin


Jo is a senior lecturer in the Department of Educational Research at Lancaster University and Co-Director of the Centre for Social Justice and Wellbeing in Education. Her research interests lie in two related areas: emotional aspects of children’s school lives with an emphasis on identity; gender in education, with an emphasis on men, masculinities and teaching/caring roles in early childhood. Her current research, funded by the Sir Halley Stewart Foundation, evaluates the use of Restorative Practice to manage conflicts in NW schools. Recent funding has been from the Nurture Group Network and Childbase Partnership. Recent books include ‘Stories of Self: Tracking Children’s Identity and Wellbeing Through School’ and ‘Men, Masculinities and Teaching in Early Childhood Education’




Lindsey Moore


I am based in the Department of English and Creative Writing at Lancaster. My research is primarily on post-1948 literature of the Arab world (including North Africa) within postcolonial literary studies. I focus particularly on narrative configurations of national and transnational community, with an emphasis on gender and sexuality, and with an interest in other minoritarian definitions of community. I work with material in English, French and in translation from Arabic. I’m currently completing Postcolonial Arab Literary Nations: Temporalities, Communities, Affiliations, for Routledge, which will have chapters on Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon and Palestine. I have wider research and teaching interests in Middle Eastern literatures and visual media and in South Asian and migration literatures. Islamism and Cultural Expression in the Arab World, co-edited with Abir Hamdar, was published by Routledge in 2015. My first book, Arab, Muslim, Woman: Voice and Vision in Postcolonial Literature and Film came out in 2008, also with Routledge. I was the Principal Investigator of the AHRC-funded project ‘Islamism in Arab Fiction and Film, 1947 to the Present’ (with Abir Hamdar), 2009-2010. and am currently developing a network project with research partners at Lancaster and An-Najah University in the West Bank.


Dr Lucia Ardovini


Dr. Lucia Ardovini is a Research Fellow in the MENA Programme at Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI). Her research focuses on the politics of contested spaces and on shifting notions of citizenship and belonging in the post-Arab Uprisings Middle East. In particular, she is looking at contemporary challenges to the Nation State and to pre-conceived notions of sovereignty. Her research interests include Political Islam, regime-society relations, interaction of formal and informal structures, environmental degradation, mass movements, and social transformations with unclear ends.

Lucia received her Ph.D in International Relations from Lancaster University in 2017. Her thesis was funded by the ESRC), and explored the Muslim Brotherhood¹s political evolution and year-long rule in Egypt.

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Steve Royle


Dr Stephen Royle is a researcher and analyst of security, politics and socioeconomics in the Middle East. He has spent a number of years living and working in the Levant and has previously served as an advisor to the Palestinian Prime Minister.
Since January 2015, Stephen has sought to utilise his expertise of local dynamics in the region to inform a deeper understanding of the security environment in Iraq, advising foreign ministries, international organisations and private sector clients. He has several publications and is the co-author of the book The Origin of ISIS: The Collapse of Nations and Revolution in the Middle East and the author of Islamic Development in the Palestinian Territories: A Comparative Study. Stephen obtained his PhD from the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion, at the University of Lancaster, and his Master of Letters in Middle East and Central Asian Security Studies from the University of St. Andrews.


Saloni Kapur


Saloni Kapur is a PhD Candidate in International Relations at Lancaster University. Her research interests include International Security Studies, the English School, the Copenhagen School, and South Asia. Her MA in International Relations is from the University of Warwick. She has previously worked as a News Editor for International SOS and Control Risks in London; a Senior Analyst for International SOS and Control Risks in New Delhi; and an Intern for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Vienna.

Elias Ghazal


Elias is working towards his PhD in International Relations at Lancaster University. His dissertation explores the impact of ideology on a state’s response to threats, with a special focus on Iran’s doctrine of resistance. His areas of interest include religion and politics, religious violence, political theology and Middle Eastern studies. In parallel, Elias works as Programs Manager at the Centre on Religion and Global Affairs.


Meysam Tayebipour


Meysam Tayebipour is PhD Candidate in the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion. His Research focuses on the role of religious langue in Iran’s foreign policy. His main research interests includes Iran’s domestic and foreign policy, Critical Discourse Analysis and Metaphor Analysis.

Thanoss Trappelides

Thanoss is a PhD candidate in the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religious Studies at the University of Lancaster. His research focuses on the development of nationalism in the Middle East, using the post-2003 development of Kurdish nationalism in Iraq as a case study, and employs a critical realist approach to depict a dialectical relation to the structure-agency problem.

Bekir Varoglu


Bekir Varoglu is a PhD candidate in department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion. His research focuses on Turkish politics, religion and secularism, particularly processes of reconciliation between Islam and democracy.

Samira Nasirzadeh


Samira Nasirzadeh is a PhD candidate in International Relations. Her Research interest is concerned with international relations in the Middle East, particularly Post-Arab Uprisings, Securitization of Sectarianism, and ideological rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Ana Maria Kumarasamy


Ana Maria Kumarasamy finished her master’s degree in international relations in 2017 with a distinction from Lancaster University. She was awarded the Richardson Institute Award for the Best Dissertation in Peace and Conflict Studies and aims to start her PhD in October. Her current research interests focus on sovereign power, political instability, and geopolitics with a focus on issues such as forced displacement, environmental degradation, and violence in the Levant and the Greater Horn of Africa.

Joshua Hughes


Josh is a PhD candidate at Lancaster Law School, and is funded by the NWCDTP. His research looks at legal and accountability frameworks for autonomous weapon systems. His research interests are in law, armed conflict, counterterrorism, artificial intelligence and technology.

Adel Ruished


Adel Ruished is PhD student at the PPR department Lancaster university. He holds a Master’s Degree in Global Politics from the Department of Government at the London School of Economics and Political Sciences (LSE). Last year he presented his academic research at the Critical Legal Conference at Warwick University in Coventry, and recently at the BRISMES Conference in London King’s College.

He held a number of positions within 20 years of his work at Al-Quds University. His last job was the Administrative Director of the campus in Jerusalem, where he was required to coordinate with different Israeli and Palestinian municipal and governmental departments to implement the University’s developmental projects in the city. He was also charged before the Israeli Council for Higher Education for pursuing the recognition of the university’s degrees and graduates. He participated in many Israeli-Palestinian peace meetings and was active in peace initiatives especially the “People’s Voice for Peace and Democracy Campaign” and “popular peace campaign. Currently, he is board member of the Palestinian Middle East Nonviolence and Democracy (MEND) NGO.


Ali Seyedrazaghi


Ali is a researcher in the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religious Studies at Lancaster University. His main research interest is Modern Middle East history, Nationalism and Intellectual History. He is currently working on the nationalist understanding of intellectual history in the Islamic era of Iran.


Rashed Ahmed Rashed Alrasheed


My research interests include: political sociology in the Middle East with a focus on Shiism; sectarianism; security; legitimacy; and sovereignty. I am also interested broadly interested in Political Islam and the relationship between religion, society and state.

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.