Dr Paul Richardson MA, PhD

Dr Paul Richardson

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Associate Professor in Human Geography

Contact details

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Paul Richardson’s research and teaching is at the intersection of political and historical geography, with regional interests in Russia and Eurasia. His research activities focus on national identity, nationalism, borders, sovereignty, and territory, which have been supported by funding from the ESRC, AHRC, British Academy, and Leverhulme Trust. He is author of At the Edge of the Nation: The Southern Kurils and the Search for Russia’s National Identity, which was nominated for the Royal Geographical Society-Institute of British Geographer’s Political Geography Research Group Book Prize and has been reviewed to critical acclaim in: The Russian Review, Inner Asia, Journal of Asian Studies, The Historian, Pacific Affairs, and Japanese Studies. His research has also been published in leading journals across disciplines, including Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, Annals of the American Association of Geographers, Geopolitics, Politics, and Eurasian Geography and Economics.


  • PhD Geography - University of Birmingham, 2011
  • MA Geography - University of California Los Angeles, 2003
  • BA Geography - University College London, 2000


Dr Richardson is module lead for the final year course “Russia in a Global Context” and the MSci module “Geopolitics and Globalization”

Postgraduate supervision

Dr Richardson would be happy to hear from potential graduate students with research proposals around the following areas:

International borders / Territorial disputes
Political geography / geopolitics
Identity politics
Nationalism and national identity

Other activities

  • School Internationalisation Lead (Education)
  • Academic Appeals Committee Panel Member
  • Research Theme Lead: Geopolitics and Carceral
  • Fellow, Higher Education Academy
  • HEFi Award for Education Enhancement and Innovation (2019)
  • Vice-Chair, Political Geography Research Group of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)
  • Board Member, Association for Borderlands Studies
  • Editor, Eurasia Border Review (Japan)
  • International Referee Panel: Janus – Journal of International Relations (Portugal); Novus Orbis: Journal of Politics and International Relations (Turkey)
  • Referee: Estonian Research Council; European Research Foundation Flanders
  • International Programme Committee: Annual and World Conferences of the Association for Borderlands Studies; International Conference on Eurasian Politics and Society (IEPAS); and Border Regions in Transition XII
  • Visiting researcher: University of Eastern Finland; University of Kyushu, Japan   

Peer reviewer for:

Environment and Planning D: Society and Space; Geopolitics; GeoJournal; Nationalities Papers; Europe-Asia Studies; Territory, Politics and Governance; Eurasia Border Review; Journal of Borderlands Studies; Romanian Journal of Political Science, Journal of Eurasian Studies; Cambridge University Press; Rowman & Littlefield; Lexington Books; Sage

I have also given invited talks at the University of Cambridge, University of California Berkeley, Kyushu University, Hokkaido University, Akita International University, Södertörn University, Autonomous University of Nayarit, Ludwig Maximilian University, University of Manchester, University of London (Royal Holloway; King’s College), the Swedish Institute for International Affairs, and the German Historical Foundation, Moscow.


Recent publications


Richardson, P 2018, At the edge of the nation: the Southern Kurils and the search for Russia’s national identity. Perspective of the Global Past, University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu .


Richardson, P 2023, ''Remember Tsushima!' Polyphonic and peripheral memories of the Russo-Japanese War in Putin’s Russia', Europe - Asia Studies.

Richardson, PB 2022, 'Insecurity, incoherence, and imagined geographies in Central Europe', Eurasian Geography and Economics, vol. 63, no. 6, pp. 779-786. https://doi.org/10.1080/15387216.2022.2138485

Richardson, PB 2021, 'Geopolitical encounters and entanglements along the belt and road initiative', Geography Compass, vol. 15, no. 8, e12583. https://doi.org/10.1111/gec3.12583

Richardson, P 2019, 'Sovereignty, the hyperreal, and "taking back control"', Annals of the Association of American Geographers, vol. 109, no. 6, pp. 1999-2015. https://doi.org/10.1080/24694452.2019.1587283

Richardson, P 2018, 'Geopolitical cultures, pragmatic patriotism, and Russia’s disputed islands', Eurasian Geography and Economics, vol. 59, no. 1, pp. 7-27 . https://doi.org/10.1080/15387216.2017.1421474

Bassin, M, Richardson, P, Kolosov, V, Clowes, EW, Agnew, J & Plokhy, S 2017, '1917–2017: The Geopolitical Legacy of the Russian Revolution', Geopolitics, vol. 22, pp. 665-692. https://doi.org/10.1080/14650045.2017.1308107

Richardson, PB 2017, 'Geopolitical Visions, Globalisation, and the Remaking of Russia’s Eurasian Borders', Journal of Borderlands Studies, vol. 32, no. 1, pp. 7-21. https://doi.org/10.1080/08865655.2016.1222874

Smith, J & Richardson, P 2017, 'The Myth of Eurasia - A Mess of Regions', Journal of Borderlands Studies, vol. 32, no. 1, pp. 1-6. https://doi.org/10.1080/08865655.2016.1266276

Richardson, P 2016, 'Beyond the nation and into the state: identity, belonging, and the ‘hyper-border’', Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, vol. 41, no. 2, pp. 201-215. https://doi.org/10.1111/tran.12116

Richardson, P & Tripathi, D 2016, 'Brexit Debates', Economic and Political Weekly, vol. 51, no. 17, pp. 27-28. <https://www.epw.in/journal/2016/17/commentary/brexit-debates.html>

Richardson, P 2015, ''Blue national soil' and the unwelcome return of 'classical' geopolitics', Global Change, Peace and Security, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 229-236. https://doi.org/10.1080/14781158.2015.989199

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Richardson, P 2015, Putin’s Eurasian Dialectic. in D Lane & V Samokhvalov (eds), The Eurasian Project and Europe. Palgrave Macmillan Ltd., pp. 89-101. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137472960_6


Richardson, P 2023, Russia’s Pacific: The End and the Beginning of Russia. in S Dahlke, A Renner & B Beuerle (eds), Russia's North Pacific: Centres and Peripheries. Russia and the Asia-Pacific, Heidelberg University Publishing, pp. 7-20. https://doi.org/10.17885/heiup.1114.c16372

Richardson, P 2020, Rescaling the border: national populism, sovereignty, and civilizationism. in A Research Agenda for Border Studies. Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd., pp. 43-54. https://doi.org/10.4337/9781788972741.00010

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