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Prof Oliver Richmond - research

Research interests

He has long been interested in how critical approaches to international theory impact upon debates about conflict and peace, as well as in concepts of peace and their implicit usages in IR theory and the practices of the international system (see his book, Peace in International Relations, Routledge 2008). His well-known book, The Transformation of Peace was published in 2005/7, funded by a Leverhulme Fellowship, and examined the construction of the 'liberal peace', in post-conflict zones.  A follow-up volume, Liberal Peace Transitions: Between Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (Edinburgh University Press) extended this analysis. A further study, Post-Liberal Peace Transitions (Edinburgh University Press, 2016), focused on the interaction of peace formation dynamics with intervention in the same case studies, He has also published, with colleagues, several handbooks and critical collections of essays on peace and conflict issues, the latest being a Handbook of Regional and Disciplinary Approaches to Peace (Palgrave 2016).


Oliver Richmond's primary area of expertise is in peace and conflict theory, and in particular its inter-linkages with IR theory. He is currently working on a book on Peace and Intervention in the 21st Century. His most recent work has been on peace formation and its relation to state formation, statebuilding, and peacebuilding (Failed Statebuilding and Peace Formation, Yale University Press 2014 & Peace Formation and Political Order, Oxford University Press,  2016). This area of interest has grown out of his work on local forms of critical agency and resistance, and their role in constructing hybrid or post-liberal forms of peace and states (see A Post-Liberal Peace, Routledge, 2011), as well as earlier conflict resolution and conflict management debates in IR, including international mediation, peacekeeping, and state formation debates.  He has also recently published a Very Short Introduction to Peace (Oxford University Press,  2014), which offers an overview of the development of related concepts, theory and practices.

Editorial Roles and Memberships

He edits a Palgrave Book Series called Rethinking Peace and Conflict Studies, which seeks to provide a forum for the development of new and alternative approaches for understanding the dynamics of conflict and of the construction of peace:

He is co-editor of the journal "Peacebuilding":

He is also a member of the editorial boards of several key journals, and is a fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts, International  Professor at the School of Global Studies, Kyung Hee University, Korea, and Visiting Professor at the Centre for Peace Studies, University of Tromso, Norway.

Grants and Fieldwork

He is has run and been involved in several major research projects, funded by a range of research councils and donors. He is currently Work Package Leader for a H2020 grant called ‘Good intentions, mixed results – a conflict sensitive unpacking of the EU comprehensive approach to conflict and crisis mechanisms’. Earlier awards include grants from the Leverhulme Trust (mentioned above); two EUFP7 grants (Work Package Leader, ‘Just and Durable Peace’ and Scientific Coordinator, ‘Cultures of Governance and Conflict Resolution in the EU and India’); an EU Marie Curie for post-doctoral support on EU peacebuilding in DRC and other cases; three grants from the British Academy for work on terrorism and peacebuilding in Sri Lanka, Northern Ireland, and other cases, as well as fieldwork in Timor, Cyprus, and on peace/state formation in the MENA region; as well as UNU grants for work on spoilers and on liberal peacebuilding; and from the Carnegie and Nuffield Trusts for fieldwork in Timor, the Solomon Islands and Sri Lanka, as well as the Balkans, and for post-doctoral support.