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Richardson, Louise 1957-

Richardson, Louise 1957-


Born 1957, in Ireland; immigrated to the United States, naturalized citizen. Education: Trinity College, Dublin, B.A., M.A. (history); University of California, Los Angeles, M.A. (political science); Harvard University, M.A. (political science), Ph.D.


Office—Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, 10 Garden St., Cambridge, MA 02138.


Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, 1989-2001, began as assistant professor, became associate professor of government and senior lecturer in government and lecturer on law; Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Cambridge, executive dean, 2001—.


Levenson Teaching Prize, Harvard University; teaching awards from American Political Science Association and Pi Sigma Alpha; Abramson Award for "excellence and sensitivity in teaching undergraduates"; awards from Bok Center for Teaching Excellence; Sumner Prize for the best doctoral dissertation; additional awards from Ford Foundation, Milton Fund, Sloan Foundation, Center for European Studies, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, and United States Institute of Peace.


When Allies Differ: Anglo-American Relations during the Suez and Falklands Crises, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1996.

(With J. Bryan Hehir, Michael Walzer, Shibley Telhami, Charles Krauthammer, and James Lindsay) Liberty and Power: A Dialogue on Religion & U.S. Foreign Policy in an Unjust World, Brookings Institute (Washington, DC), 2004.

What Terrorists Want: Understanding the Enemy, Containing the Threat, Random House (New York, NY), 2006.

(Editor) The Roots of Terrorism, Routledge (New York, NY), 2006.

(Editor, with Robert J. Art) Democracy and Counter-terrorism: Lessons from the Past, United States Institute of Peace (Washington, DC), 2007.

Coeditor of the State University of New York Press series on terrorism. Also author of journal articles, book chapters, and book reviews. Member of editorial board of Security Studies and Democracy and Security.


Noted political scientist Louise Richardson is the executive dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and a senior lecturer at Harvard University. She is also the author and editor of a number of books that focus on international terrorism, European foreign and defense policy, security institutions, and international relations, including When Allies Differ: Anglo-American Relations during the Suez and Falklands Crises and What Terrorists Want: Understanding the Enemy, Containing the Threat.

When Allies Differ "is a splendid contribution to understanding the difficulties of alliance management, especially between states with uneven power and allies whose very closeness may breed misunderstandings," remarked Foreign Affairs contributor Stanley Hoffman. In the work, Richardson examines the successes and failures of diplomatic and military efforts during the 1956 Suez Crisis and the 1982 Falklands War. "As Richardson's scholarly and extremely well-written reconstruction of the historical record shows, alliance politics involves a set of dynamically interconnected political processes," noted Alan C. Lamborn in the American Political Science Review The critic added: "Whether or not bureaucratic politics or transnational relations figure prominently depended on the preferences and the resolve of the executive." According to Michael Hopkins, writing in the Contemporary Review: "During both the Suez and Falklands crises there were members of the American government who opposed British actions and those who wished to help." Hopkins continued: "In 1956 [U.S. President Dwight] Eisenhower was determined not to be pressed into supporting something he did not approve, while in 1982 Ronald Reagan finally came down on the British side despite the American need for good relations with Argentina. So the networks of co-operation between the officials of the two allies were utilised during the Falklands War but not during the Suez affair." "Richardson's major conclusion—that London learned from the failures of 1956 and applied those lessons to the more successful diplomacy of 1982—supposes a rather extraordinary corporate memory," commented Robert W. Love, Jr., in the Historian. "Nonetheless, this is a worthwhile, thoughtful contribution to the study of Cold War alliance relations."

In What Terrorists Want, Richardson examines the motives and ideologies of terrorist groups, finding their members to be motivated by a sense of injustice and a hunger for recognition. She also explores U.S. policy on terrorism in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Richardson contends that terrorism "can be contained by measures that appreciate the factors driving terrorists and aim to deprive them of what they want," observed Booklist reviewer Brendan Driscoll. A critic in Kirkus Reviews similarly noted Richardson's belief "that only when authorities make efforts to get inside the minds of their terrorist enemies do they succeed in defeating them, as with the leadership of the Shining Path movement in Peru." Though a Publishers Weekly contributor called What Terrorists Want "an evaluation that leans more on theory than practice," the critic also stated that "Richardson's policy prescriptions, which mirror her criticisms of current policy, deserve a hearing."



American Political Science Review, September, 1997, Alan C. Lamborn, review of When Allies Differ: Anglo-American Relations during the Suez and Falklands Crises, p. 784.

Booklist, October 1, 2006, Brendan Driscoll, review of What Terrorists Want: Understanding the Enemy, Containing the Threat, p. 10.

Communication Research Trends, June, 2005, Claire H. Badaracco, review of Liberty and Power: A Dialogue on Religion & U.S. Foreign Policy in an Unjust World, p. 37.

Contemporary Review, July, 2000, Michael F. Hopkins, "Creating the American World," review of When Allies Differ, p. 49.

Foreign Affairs, May-June, 2003, Stanley Hoffman, review of When Allies Differ, p. 145.

Historian, summer, 1998, Robert W. Love, Jr., review of When Allies Differ, p. 872.

Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2006, review of What Terrorists Want, p. 716.

New York Review of Books, November 30, 2006, Martin Walker, review of What Terrorists Want, p. 33.

New York Times Book Review, September 10, 2006, Max Rodenbeck, review of What Terrorists Want, p. 30L.

Publishers Weekly, June 26, 2006, review of What Terrorists Want, p. 45.

Reference & Research Book News, November, 2006, review of The Roots of Terrorism.

Theological Studies, December, 2005, Francis Elvey, review of Liberty and Power, p. 940.


Radcliffe Institute Web site, (March 1, 2007), "Louise Richardson."

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