Dr Richard Davis

Senior Research Fellow; Founding Fellow, Centre for the Resolution of Intractable Conflict

Richard Davis is a Senior Research Fellow at Harris Manchester College. He is also a Founding Fellow of the Centre for the Resolution of Intractable Conflict (CRIC), which is based at the College and recognized as a Centre in the Department of Politics and International Relations. He serves as Chair of the Research Committee for CRIC.

In addition to his roles at College and Centre, he is the Managing Senior Fellow at Artis International, an interdisciplinary field-based scientific research and development institution working with various governments, NGOs, universities and private sector entities in risk management and conflict resolution and mitigation.

Richard is a Professor of Practice at Arizona State University and serves as a director on three corporate boards.

Prior to his current roles, Richard served as a Policy Director at The White House.


Richard has run many large research programs in conflict zones on five continents. He has authored or co-authored a book and articles and publications on energy, international security, political violence and terrorism.

Selected Research Projects

  • Principal Investigator.  “Middle East Nuclear Motivations and Framework”
  • Principal Investigator. “Civil Society in Conflict Areas”.
  • Principal Investigator.  “Cognitive Structure of Moral Decision Making in Conflict Areas”.
  • Principal Investigator.  “Barriers to the Development of Alternative Fuels to Oil – A Field Study of Risk.”
  • Co-Principal Investigator & Project Director.  “Alternatives to Nuclear Weaponization in the Middle East”.
  • Co-Principal Investigator & Project Director.  “Dynamics of Sacred Values and Social Responsibilities in Governance & Conflict Management: The Interplay between Leaders, Devoted Actor Networks, General Populations and Time”.
  • Co-Principal Investigator & Project Director. “Motivation, Ideological and Social Processes in Political Violence”.
  • Co-Principal Investigator & Project Director.  “Case Based Influence in Conflict Management”.
  • Co-Principal Investigator & Project Director.  “Mutual Influence of Moral Values, Mental Models and Social Dynamics on Intergroup Conflict”.

Select Publications

Davis, Richard. 2016.  Hamas, Popular Support and War in the Middle East: Insurgency in the Holy Land.  Routledge. New York and London.

Sheikh, Hammad, Richard Davis et al.  2014. ‘The Devoted Actor as Parochial Altruist: Sectarian Morality, Identity Fusion, and Support for Costly Sacrifices’. Cliodynamics: The Journal of Theoretical and Mathematical History 5(1)

Atran, Scott and Richard Davis et al.  2014. ‘The Devoted Actor, Sacred Values and Willingness to Fight: Preliminary Studies with ISIL Volunteers and Kurdish Frontline Fighters.’ White Paper commissioned by The White House.

Davis, Richard and Vik Rao.  2012.  Shale Gas: European Perspective. World Energy Council. http://www.worldenergy.org/publications/3802.asp.

Davis, Richard.  2010.  Barriers to Alternatives to Oil: A Field Study of Risk. US Department of Energy.

Davis, R. Rao, V. & Bauer, C.  2010.  Survey of Energy Resources: Focus on Shale Gas. World Energy Council. http://www.worldenergy.org/publications/2843.asp.

Davis, Richard et al., 2010.  Biofuels: Markets, Finance, Policy & Regulation. World Energy Council.  http://www.worldenergy.org/publications/2837.asp.

Davis, Richard (Contributing Author and Editor).  2009.  Theoretical Frames on Pathways to Violent Radicalization. ARTIS Research. http://www.artisresearch.com/articles/ARTIS_Theoretical_Frames_August_2009.pdf

Atran, S., Axelrod, R. & Davis, R. 2007.  Sacred barriers to conflict resolution: Devoted versus rational actors. Science, 317, 1039-1040.