Lord Alderdice

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

John Alderdice is a psychiatrist by profession, but as Leader of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland, he played a significant role in the Talks on Northern Ireland including the negotiation of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. He was the first Speaker of the new Northern Ireland Assembly and has held many international positions including as President of Liberal International, the global network of more than 100 liberal political parties. Since 1996 he has sat as a Liberal Democrat life member of the House of Lords, and is currently Director of the Centre for the Resolution of Intractable Conflict at Harris Manchester College, Chairman of the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building in Belfast, and Presidente d’Honneur of Liberal International.


Lord Alderdice runs seminars and conferences at the College and provides teaching and supervision for post-graduates and professionals in conflict resolution, and senior trainees in psychiatry. He is also happy to meet and chat with interested individuals. In addition to his associations with the Department of Politics and International Relations and the School of Anthropology and Ethnography at the University of Oxford, he is a Clinical Professor in the School of Medicine at the University of Maryland.


Lord Alderdice’s areas of special interest are the individual and group psychology of terrorism and violent political conflict, the psychology of religious fundamentalism and the study of relations between groups of indigenous people and settler communities. He remains directly involved in analysis and interventions in violent political conflicts in various parts of the world and is President of ARTIS (Europe) Ltd – a research and risk analysis company –    and Vice-President of the International Dialogue Initiative.

Selected Publications (a full list can be found on Lord Alderdice’s personal website)

Alderdice, Lord (2005) ‘Understanding Terrorism – The Inner World and the Wider World’ Brit.J.Psychotherapy, 21, 4, June 2005

Alderdice, The Lord (2006) ‘Killing for a Cause – the Frightening Phenomenon of Terrorism’ Werkstattschriften Forensische Psychiatrie and Psychotherapie, 13, Jg 2006, Supplement II, 7 – 22.

Alderdice, The Lord (2007) ‘The individual, the group and the psychology of terrorism’ International Review of Psychiatry, June 2007, 19, 3, 201-20

Alderdice, The Lord (2008) ‘Creating a Shared Parliament in a Divided Society: Lessons from the Northern Ireland Experience’ Chap 5 in ‘Parliaments in Conflict-affected Countries’(2008) ed. Johnston AN, O’Brien M, and Staplehurst R, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and World Bank Institute, London and New York

Alderdice, John Thomas (2009) Sacred Values: Psychological and Anthropological Perspectives on Fairness, Fundamentaliam and Terrorism Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1167, 158-17

Alderdice, John, Lord (2010) ‘Post Conflict Justice Mechanisms – Northern Ireland’ in The Pursuit of International Criminal Justice: A World Study on Conflicts, Victimization and Post-Conflict Justice Vol 2 (2010), ed. M Cherif Bassouni, 957 – 983, Intersentia, Antwerp – Oxford – Portland.

Alderdice, John, Lord (2010) ‘On the Psychology of Religious Fundamentalism’ Chap 3.6, 305-317, in Religion and Psychiatry – beyond boundaries, Verhagen, PJ et al, World Psychiatric Association, Wiley-Blackwell, UK

Alderdice, John, Lord (2010) ‘Off the couch and round the conference table’ Chap 1, 15 – 32, in Off the Couch – Contemporary Psychoanalytic Applications, ed Alessandra Lemma and Matthew Patrick, Routledge, London and New York.

Alderdice, John, Lord (2014) ‘Group Identity and the Roots of Terrorism (Chap 3) & Leadership’ (Chap 12) in Responses to Terrorism: can psychosocial approaches help to break the cycle? ed Colin Murray Parkes, Routledge, London and New York.

Alderdice, John, Lord (2014) ‘The Nightmare for Aboriginal People and its Relation to Dreamtime’  Int. J. Appl. Psychoanal. Studies, 11(3), 217 – 229

Alderdice, John, Lord (2015) ‘Reconciliation and psychosocial understanding’ Brit.J.Psych.Int, 12 (3), 55 – 58


Contact Details
Postal Address
Harris Manchester College
Mansfield Road
United Kingdom