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Dr Rhys Kelly

PositionLecturer in Conflict Resolution
DepartmentPeace Studies and International Development
Telephone+44 (0)1274 236579

Research Interests (key words only)

Peace, ecology, resilience, adaptation to climate change, re-localisation, peace education, social learning, conflict resolution

Teaching and Supervisory Responsibilities

Current module teaching:
Conflict Resolution Theory (MA), Conflict, War and Political Violence, Culture and Conflict Resolution, Competencies for Professional Peace and Development Practice, Introduction to Peace Studies.

Previous teaching:
Conflict and Cooperation, Concepts and Practices of Peacemaking, Applied Conflict Resolution Skills, Ethics in Humanitarian and Peace Practice, Sustainability in Practice.

I supervise on a range of dissertation and PhD topics related to Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding, Education for Peace and Sustainability.

Administrative Responsibilities

I am currently Programme Leader for Conflict Resolution degrees, and Coordinator of the International Exchange/Internships Programme

Study History

  • BA in Peace Studies, University of Bradford, 1996. (First Class)
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Research Methods, University of Bradford, 1999. (Distinction)
  • PhD in Peace Studies, University of Bradford, 2003. Thesis: Liberating Memory: What Does Coming to Terms with the Past Mean in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education Practice, University of Bradford, 2006. (Distinction)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Research Areas

My background is in Conflict Resolution, with specific interests in memory and reconciliation in post-war societies, and peace education. Over the last few years the focus of my work has shifted to take account of the pressing challenges posed by ecological crises (including climate change) and resource depletion (including ‘peak oil’). Retaining a long-standing interest in (peace) education, my work is now broadly concerned with investigating what kinds of individual and social learning are needed and possible in the context of increasing global insecurity, which might support just and peaceful transitions to more resilient, ‘sustainable’ communities. The capacity of individuals and communities to adapt positively to change and adversity is closely related to their knowledge, skills and dispositions; learning is central to adaptation. Under what conditions, and through which (formal or informal) processes, can learning for adaptation or transition occur?

Current Projects

AHRC Connected Communities: “Connection, Participation and Empowerment in Community-Based Research: the Case of the Transition Movement”. 2012-13.


Member of the Transition Research Network


  • Kelly, Rhys and Ute Kelly (2017) Resilience, Solidarity, Agency – Grounded reflections on challenges and synergies‘, Resilience: International Policies, Practices and Discourses (Special Issue: Resilience, Political Action and Solidarity). Forthcoming
  • Kelly, Rhys (2016) Nurturing Social and Ecological Relationships: The Role of Conflict Resolution Education; Chapter in: Kenneth Winograd (Ed) Environmental Education in Times of Crisis: Children as Agents of Change in Nature and in Community, Routledge.
  • Rhys Kelly and Ute Kelly (2013), ‘An Education in Homecoming: Peace Education as the pursuit of Appropriate Knowledge’. Journal of Peace Education, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp. 283-302.
  • Rhys Kelly and Ute Kelly (2013) ‘Towards Peaceful Adaptation? Reflections on the purpose, scope, and practice of peace studies in the 21st Century’. Peace Studies Journal. Volume 6, Issue 3, pp. 85-106.
  • Ute Kelly, Rhys Kelly, Steve Smith (2009) 'What Kind of Talk Does Resilience Need?', C-SAP Report.
  • Rhys Kelly and Betts Fetherston (2008) "Productive Contradictions: Dissonance, Resistance and Change in an Experiment with Cooperative Learning", Journal of Peace Education, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp. 97-111.
  • Rhys Kelly (2008) 'Testimony, Witnessing and Digital Activism', Southern Review: Communication, Politics and Culture, 40:3, pp. 7-22.
  • Rhys Kelly (2007) 'Memory and Reconciliation in Post-Conflict Societies', Quaderni di Relazioni Internazionali, Number 4, pp.66-79. Special Issue on Memory and Conflict.
  • Betts Fetherston and Rhys Kelly (2007) 'Conflict Resolution and Transformative Pedagogy:  A Grounded Theory Research Project on Learning in Higher Education', Journal of Transformative Learning, Volume 5, Issue 4.

Public/Academic/Stakeholder Engagement

Conference Presentations (selected):

  • "Theorising 'Memory Work' as Conflict Resolution Practice" paper presented at the conference Analysing Conflict and its Resolution, Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, Oxford, 30th June 2004
  • "The Politics of Healing,", Paper presented at the conference Post War Conflict and Violence: Latin America in Comparative Perspective, University of Liverpool, Institute of Latin American Studies, 9-10 September, 2004.
  • All Our Futures 1 - Mapping Conversations on Resilience and Vulnerability in the Context of Future Uncertainty, September 2008, Centre for Sustainable Futures, Plymouth.
  • All Our Futures2 - Beyond Current Horizons: New Challenges and Opportunities for Education,  September 2009, Centre for Sustainable Futures, Plymouth.

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