Photo of Dr John Heathershaw

Dr John Heathershaw

PhD, London School of Economics


Extension: 4185

Telephone: 01392 724185

Associate Professor

My research addresses conflict and security in authoritarian political environments, especially in post-Soviet Central Asia.  My research considers how and how effectively conflict is managed in authoritarian states.  Within Central Asia, my work has focused on Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.  My PhD at the London School of Economics considered Tajikistan’s peacebuilding process from 2000-05 was published by as the book Post-Conflict Tajikistan in 2009.  From 2012-16, I was principle investigator of the ESRC project Rising Powers and Conflict Management in Central Asia.

Around the guiding theme of conflict management in authoritarian settings there are several sub-topics of my work.  I have long researched state strength and have a forthcoming University of Pittsburgh edited volume, Paradox of Power, with Ed Schatz of the University of Toronto in 2017.  I also work on religion and conflict, including studies of post-Soviet Muslim radicalization and a much-cited Chatham House paper and British Council project with David Montgomery of the US Department of Defense in 2014-15 and several follow-up articles.  For several years I have conducted research on offshore finance and conflict much of which is published in Dictators Without Borders, a monograph co-authored with Alex Cooley of Columbia University and published by Yale University Press in 2017.  Finally, I have become increasingly interested in extra-territorial politics and diaspora communities, with the Central Asian Political Exiles Project and database, launch at the Houses of Parliament in 2016.  


I am an internationally recognised researcher in the field of Central Asian Studies.  I was elected to the board of directors of the Central Eurasian Studies Society for the period 2011-2014 and chaired its book prize committee in 2012-14, as well as chairing its Taskforce on Risk and Safety in Fieldwork, 2015-16.  I am a member of the board of the European Society for Central Asian Studiesfor the period 2015-19; we will host the biennial conference at Exeter in 2019. My work has been influential in Geography and Anthropology as well as IR/Political Science, as measured by invitation to conferences and book projects.

Links to pre- and post-print versions of my other publications can be found on my Academia.Edu homepage

Office: Amory Building, room 229

Office hours (2016-17): Wednesdays 11-12; Thursdays 11-12