Dr Adrian Gallagher

Dr Adrian Gallagher


I am a Professor in Global Security and Mass Atrocity Prevention in the School of Politics and International Studies, University of Leeds.

I gained a PhD from the Department of Politics, University of Sheffield, in 2010 (funded by the ESRC). I then spent a year at the University of Leicester prior to moving to the University of Leeds. 

My research focuses on mass atrocity prevention (genocide, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing, and war crimes) under the Responsibility to Protect. The research is interdisciplinary in nature as I work at the interface between IR theory (English School and Constructivism), Security Studies, and Genocide Studies. I recently finished a large project looking at armed groups and mass atrocities and going forward, I am writing a monograph on mass atrocity prevention in the Central African Republic. 


  • Co-Director for the European Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Editor of Global Responsibility to Protect

Research interests

I am internationally recognised for research excellence on the Responsibility to Protect which sets out to prevent four crimes: genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing. I have published one monograph, over a dozen peer reviewed journal articles, one book chapter, guest edited two special issue journals (international Politics 2016 and Global Responsibility to Protect 2015) and one special issue roundtable (Ethics and International Affairs 2021). In 2020 I became Editor of the journal Global Responsibility to Protect and I am also on the Advisory Board of the Routledge Studies in Intervention and Statebuilding. In 2012, I co-founded the British International Studies Association (BISA) Working Group on Intervention and the Responsibility to Protect which I convened until 2016. In 2016, I co-founded the European Centre for the Responsibility to Protect in POLIS which has an international reputation for research excellence. I have given expert oral evidence to the House of Lords, the UK Defence Committee, and the UK All Party Parliamentary Group on the Prevention of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity. My research was praised for playing a ‘key role in shaping the [Defence] Committee’s understanding of this topic’ and my research impact formed part of the ECR2P’s impact case study for REF 2021. My research has been funded by the ESRC, Leverhulme, and the White Rose.

In June 2023 I finished a a 2.5 year project ‘Explaining Non-State Armed Groups Perpetrating Mass Atrocities’ with Helena Hinkkainen (University of Leeds) which is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (£500,000). It focused on six cases: Syria, Iraq, Nigeria, the Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia. 

I have also supervised thirteen PhD students (six to completion) and one ESRC post-doc. I am happy to discuss PhD supervision that advances cutting-edge research on mass atrocity prevention and/or IR theory (English School and Constructivism). 

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD, University of Sheffield
  • MA, University of Sheffield
  • BA, Kingston University

Professional memberships

  • International Studies Association
  • British International Studies Association
  • European International Studies Association
  • The International Political Science Association

Student education

I became a university lecturer to teach and inspire students of all ages and from all backgrounds. I encourages students to become active independent learners that engage with timely and important debates in International Relations. My teaching is heavily informed by my research on International Relations Theory and the Responsibility to Protect. I launched PIED2501 Thories of International Relations in 2013 and co-launched PIED3502 (now 3504) on the Responsibility to Protect in 2014. I have won two teaching awards, Inspirational Teaching Award (2016) and Best Feedback Award (2017) and was nominated for the University of Leeds Partnership Award for ‘Inspirational Teaching’ (2020). I think that these reflect the passion and commitment that I have to teaching students and intergrating them into a cutting edge research-led teaching environment. I hold a University of Leeds Teaching Award, Professional Standard 2, ULTA 2 (pass with Merit). 

Research groups and institutes

  • European Centre for Responsibility to Protect

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>The school welcomes enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>