Dr Richard Lock-Pullan

Dr Richard Lock-Pullan

Department of Political Science and International Studies
Senior Lecturer in International Politics

Contact details

Department of Political Science and International Studies
School of Government
Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham,
B15 2TT, United Kingdom

Richard is interested in twentieth century international history and teaches and researches on traditional security and strategic issues. He is currently working on issues of religion and politics.

Feedback and office hours

Office hours:

  • Tuesday 13:30-14:30
  • Thursday 14:30-16:30

Office: Room 327, 3rd Floor Muirhead Tower.


PhD     International Studies       University of Birmingham 2000

MTh     Applied Theology            University of Oxford  2013

MIS     International Studies       University of Birmingham  1997

PGCE    Education                    S.Martin's College, Lancaster   1991

BA       Religious Studies and English   CNAA  1988


For four years Richard taught at the UK’s Defence Academy teaching strategic studies and international relations to mid-career officers from 50 nations. He has been at Birmingham for nine years teaching strategic studies and international history in POLSIS and training diplomats in CSSD. He is a qualified teacher.

Richard’s main research focus has been on traditional security issues, particularly strategic matters. He worked on military innovation and strategic culture especially in regard to the US Army after the Vietnam War and how their changes influenced national intervention policy.

His current research project looks at the role of religion in politics. An especial concern is with the role of Christianity in US foreign policy. He is also analyzing the politics of political/applied theology, aiming to develop a dialogue between the two academic disciplines. A particular concern is with the relationship between the decline of public religion and the rise of the modern state, and how this relates to religion being perceived as a source of violence and what role it should have in a western state. He is currently focusing on the work of the American theologian William T Cavanaugh.

Richard is a keen collector and reader of  twentieth century fiction and contemporary poetry. A proud Wiltshireman he is a member of the Richard Jefferies Society.


  • Strategic Studies (G91)
  • Diplomatic History of the Twentieth Century (G9)
  • Diplomatic History Post 1945 (POLS 206)

Postgraduate supervision

Richard is keen to supervise postgraduate research in the areas of:

Strategic studies, especially in the areas of: Strategic theory, Military innovation, Strategic culture, conventional warfare, Counter insurgency, US military, US defence policy, the Vietnam War.

International history, especially US foreign policy


Research Group: Security Studies

Research and academic interests

  • Strategic Studies
  • US Foreign and Security Policy
  • Christianity and Politics.
  • Modern international history

Current and recent projects

  • Religion and the Rise of the Modern State - book project bringing together Christian political theology and international relations
  • The influence of religion on US foreign policy
  • Politics, history and theology in the work of William Cavanaugh
  • The politics of political theology
  • Religious pacifism
  • The US Army during the Cold War


  • Monograph

Lock-Pullan, R. (2006.) US Intervention Policy and Army Innovation: From Vietnam to Iraq. (London: Routledge,) ISBN 0-714-65719-0. 

  • Journal articles and book chapters

Lock-Pullan, R.  (2010) “Challenging the Political theology of America’s ‘War on Terror,” in David Fisher and Brian Wicker (eds) Just War on Terror?  A Muslim and Christian Response (Ashgate, Farnham,), pp 37-52

Lock-Pullan, R. (2008) “Diplomacy, USStrategy and The Vietnam War,” in Andrew Dorman and Greg Kennedy (eds) War and Diplomacy: From World War One to the War on Terrorism (Dulles,VN:Potomac, 2008), pp 103-130.

Lock-Pullan, R. (2008) Religion and Tolerance in US Politics, Journal of American Studies 42(2): 341-346.

Lock-Pullan, R. (2008) The Church and the War on Terror.  In T. Blewitt, A. Hyde-Price & W. Rees (eds) British Foreign Policy and the Anglican Church: Christian Engagement with the Contemporary World (London: Ashgate): 89-104

Lock-Pullan, R. (2008) "US Strategic Culture and The War on Terror." In John Owens and John Dumbrell (eds) America's 'War' on Terrorism and Contemporary US Foreign Policy (Lanham, MD: Lexington): 159-183

Lock-Pullan, R. (2007) "Iraq and Vietnam – Military Lessons and Legacies. in John Dumbrell and David Ryan (eds) Vietnam in Iraq: Tactics, Lessons, Legacies and Ghosts (London: Routledge): 66- 85.

Lock-Pullan, R. (2006)The US Way of War and The War on Terror. Politics and Policy, 34(2 ): 374-399.

Lock-Pullan, R. (2006) “Civilian Ideas and Military Innovation: Manoeuvre Warfare and Organisational Change in the USArmy.”  in Jeffery Charlston (ed) United States Military History 1865 to the Present Day (Aldershot: Ashgate), 225-247.

Lock-Pullan, R. (2005) How to Rethink War: Conceptual Innovation and AirLand Battle Doctrine. The Journal of Strategic Studies. 28 (4): 679-702.

Lock-Pullan, R. (2005) “The Roots of Modern Manoeuvre Doctrine.” British Army Review. 137 (Summer),11-18.

Lock-Pullan, R. (2003) Learning the Limits of Virtue: Clinton, the Army and the Criteria for the Use of Military Force.  Contemporary Security Policy. 24(2):133-156.

Lock-Pullan, R. (2003) An Inward Looking Time; The US Army 1973-76. Journal of Military History. 67(2):483-511.

Lock-Pullan, R. (2002), Civilian Ideas and Military Innovation: Manoeuvre Warfare and Organisational Change in the US Army. War and Society.  20(1):125-147

View all publications in research portal