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Conflict, development and disaster

We bring together scholars across a range of disciplines including area studies, sociology, cultural studies and history, interested in interrogating topics around conflict, development and disaster.

We define these theme areas in the broadest sense ranging from the local/ regional to the national/international/ global. ‘Conflict’ may refer to class-based conflicts as, for example, those between unions and companies, while we also explore issues around large scale conflicts such as European and colonial wars; ‘development’ is conceived of holistically and our research includes considerations of why ‘development’ is absent as well as how it has been achieved and what its impact has been. When looking at ‘disaster’ our interests range from high impact to low probability events including both those which are typically referred to as ‘natural’ and those which we think of as ‘man-made’.

We use a variety of methodologies and sources for our research including archival documents, visual materials (photographs and films), and interviews.


  • Create forums for discussion and exchange between research-active colleagues and PhD students both within the School and across the College.
  • Develop opportunities for collaboration with external scholars and elaborate joint research projects with a view to attracting external funding.
  • Explore the diversity of methodological approaches and source materials we mobilise to develop our interdisciplinary practice.
  • Contribute to the body of internationally excellent scholarly research in these and related areas.
  • Develop knowledge exchange partnerships with non-academic stakeholders (including trade unions, war museums and NGOs), and collaborate with them to inform the wider public about our research and impact society more broadly.

Our interests

  • Human experience
  • Legacy and memory
  • Cultural representations (literary, graphic novels, visual)
  • Sociological and theoretical understandings of conflict, development and disaster

Theme leader

Dr Andrew Dowling

Dr Andrew Dowling

Reader in Hispanic Studies

+44 (0)29 2087 5608