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Professor Michael Kerr

Professor Michael Kerr

  • Supervisors

Professor of Conflict Studies

Research subject areas

  • Conflict
  • Security

Contact details


Michael Kerr is a historian and political scientist who is currently working on British Government policy towards Northern Ireland in the 1980s. He is Professor of Conflict Studies and runs the MA Conflict Resolution in Divided Societies. Michael is the author and co-editor of six books on ethnic conflict, civil war and consociational democracy, and most of his research focuses on the cases of Northern Ireland, Lebanon, and Syria.

He is a graduate of Essex University (BA Hons Political Science), and the London School of Economics and Political Science (MSc Government; PhD International History) where he was Leverhulme Research Fellow in 2007-08. Since joining King’s in 2008 until 2021, he was the Director of the Centre for the Study of Divided Societies, he has also been Head of the Institute of Middle Eastern Studies. He has extensive experience in working with governments on power-sharing arrangements, democratisation, and conflict resolution.

Research Interests

  • Conflict Resolution
  • Consociational Democracy
  • Northern Ireland
  • Middle East
  • Lebanon
  • Syria

Michael Kerr is currently writing a history of the Northern Ireland hunger strikes and working on a wider project which examines Margaret Thatcher’s handling of the Northern Ireland troubles. He is interested in receiving proposals from prospective PhD students on Northern Ireland, Anglo-Irish relations, and civil war in Lebanon and Syria.


  • The Sound and the Fury: The History of Northern Ireland’s Hunger Strikes (Oxford University Press, 2023). 
  • The Alawi of Syria: War, Faith and Politics in the Levant, (C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd 2015 & Oxford University Press) with Craig Larkin
  • The Destructors: The Story of Northern Ireland’s Lost Peace Process, (Irish Academic Press, 2011)
  • Imposing Power Sharing: Conflict and Coexistence in Northern Ireland and Lebanon, (Irish Academic Press, 2006)

For a full list of publications see Professor Kerr's PURE Profile



  • MA programme convener: Conflict Resolution in Divided Societies
  • 7SSWM156 Conflict and Coexistence in Divided Societies
  • 7SSWM130 Power-Sharing Agreements in Deeply Divided Societies


  • 6SSW2041 Conflict and Security in the Middle East and North Africa