Dr Adam Richardson

Dr Adam Richardson


After graduating with a BA in English and History from the University of Leeds in 2010, I went on to complete an MA by Research and PhD at the same institution. I joined the staff in the School of History in September 2016 as a Teaching Fellow in International History at Leeds before becoming a Lecturer in 2018



  • Tutor for International History and Politics Admissions

Research interests

I specialise in British foreign policy towards Europe between 1918 and 1950, with a particular focus on the British Foreign Office, decision-makers and questions of influence, and the ways in which these intersect to shape British foreign policy. In straddling three distinct periods - the inter-war period, the Second World War, and early Cold War - I explore the role of Foreign Office officials in the foreign policy decision-making process.

I am currently revising my PhD thesis on Sir Orme Sargent, a senior Foreign Office official who was involved in policy debates surrounding Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia and Fascist Italy, for publication as a monograph. Sargent was one of the most distinguished Foreign Office officials of the twentieth century, and developing trends in historiography are exploring the role of the individual in the foreign policy decision-making process. Sir Orme Sargent thus offers an invaluable and unique perspective through which to view British policy.

My work also looks at the role and reports of British Ambassadors overseas. I am particularly interested in the tenures of the British Ambassadors in Berlin in the 1930s (particularly Sir Eric Phipps) and in Rome (particularly Sir Percy Loraine). I am particularly interested in the extent to which the reports and advice offered by the 'man on the spot' was acceetped, endorsed and followed. The relationships these men had with their counterparts in Whitehall forms a large part of my research into them.

More broadly, I am interested in Anglo-German and Anglo-Italian relations during the inter-war period.

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

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of The Higher Education Academy
  • British International History Group

Student education

I convene and contribute to a range of modules on the the International History and Politics degree programme that reflect my research interests and expertise in British foreign policy, decision-making and twentieth-century international history.

I deliver modules focussed on Foreign Office thinking towards Europe during the inter-war period and Second World War, Western Military Intervention since 1945 and diplomatic crises (such as the outbreak of the First World War and appeasement of the 1930s).

I have supervised students taking IHP Long Essays and have been an examiner for the PhD transfer process.

Beyond this, I am interested in the transition of students to University study and how we can facilitate that process, and have experimented with using Lego in the classroom!