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 initially as a Teaching Fellow in International History (2016-2018) before becoming a Lecturer in 2018. I remained a Lecturer in the School until July 2020.

I am currently the Academic Practice Manager in the Digital Education Service at the University of Leeds.


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 for publication as a monograph. The thesis was based on the career of Sir Orme Sargent, one of the most important and distinguished Foreign Office officials of the twentieth century, and the advice he gave on British policy towards Europe betweem 1926 and 1949. It speaks to issues such as Anglo-German relations, appeasement and the origins of the Cold War, as well as developing trends in the historiography 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. The monograph is contracted to Routledge.

Alongside my work on Sargent, my research explores 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), examining the extent to which the reports and advice offered by the 'man on the spot' was accepted, endorsed and followed. The relationships these men had with their counterparts in Whitehall also forms a large part of my research as I move to consider the networks between actors in the British foreign policy sphere.

<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>


  • PhD, History, University of Leeds
  • MA by Research, History, University of Leeds
  • BA (Hons), English & History, University of Leeds

Professional memberships

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