Barry Richards

Professor Barry Richards

  • 01202 965331
  • brichards at bournemouth dot ac dot uk
  • Emeritus Professor
  • Weymouth House W424, Talbot Campus, Fern Barrow, Poole, BH12 5BB
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Barry Richards joined Bournemouth University as Professor of Public Communication in 2001, having previously been Professor and Head of the Department of Human Relations at the University of East London. In 2014 he became Bournemouth's Professor of Political Psychology.

After a first degree in psychology he trained and worked as a clinical psychologist in the NHS before becoming a lecturer and taking a PhD in sociology. At the University of East London he led the establishment of psychosocial studies as an interdisciplinary teaching programme and research paradigm, while researching and writing in a number of areas including popular culture, advertising, consumer behaviour, political leadership, and the rise of 'therapeutic' culture. At Bournemouth he supervises doctoral candidates, and teaches political psychology on the BA Politics. He has been developing psychosocial approaches in research on emotion in political communication, on journalism and emotional literacy, and on the drivers of terrorism...



The emotional public sphere: a broad heading under which I group several related areas of study: a) freedom of speech and hate speech b) nationalism c) cohesion and polarisation d) leadership e) citizenship

Fundamentalism and political violence: this area of my research is focussed on the emotional appeal of extremist ideologies.

Journal Articles



  • Richards, B., 2022. Bob Young and the Free: Associations project A personal recollection. Psychoanalysis, Science and Power: Essays in Honour of Robert Maxwell Young. 145-153.
  • Richards, B., 2022. “With the Humble Is Wisdom”: Humility as an Antidote to Humiliation and Shame. Interdisciplinary Applications of Shame/Violence Theory: Breaking the Cycle. 77-94.
  • Richards, B., 2019. A most brutal and implacable superego. In: Krueger, S. and Figlio, K., eds. Fomenting Political Violence. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Richards, B., 2018. Terror in the mind of the terrorist. In: Adlam, J., Kluttig, T. and Lee, B., eds. Structural Violence and Creative Structures. Jessica Kingsley.
  • Richards, B., 2017. Collective identities, Breivik and the national container. In: Mintchev, N. and Hinshelwood, R.D., eds. The Feeling of Certainty. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 165-185.
  • Agathangelou, P., Katakis, I., Rori, L., Gunopulos, D. and Richards, B., 2017. Understanding Online Political Networks: The Case of the Far-Right and Far-Left in Greece. In: Ciampaglia, G., Mashhadi, A. and Yasseri, T., eds. Social Informatics. SocInfo 2017. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Cham: Springer, 162-177.
  • Richards, B., 2015. The Voices of Extremist Violence: What Can We Hear? Media, Margins and Civic Agency. 62-74.
  • Richards, B., 2014. 'Abide with me': mediatised football and collectivised mourning. In: Bainbridge, C. and Yates, C., eds. Media and the inner world. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 19-33.
  • Richards, B., 2013. Extreme nationalism and the hatred of the liberal state. In: Demertzis, N., ed. Emotions in Politics: The Affect Dimension in Political Tension. Palgrave Macmillan, 124-142.
  • Richards, B., 2013. News and free speech. In: Fowler-Watt, K. and Allan, S., eds. Journalism: New Challenges. Bournemouth, UK: Bournemouth University, 349-367.
  • Richards, B., 2010. News and the emotional public sphere. In: Allan, S., ed. The Routledge Companion to News and Journalism. London: Routledge, 301-311.
  • Richards, B., 2009. Explosive humiliation and news media. In: Day Sclater, S., Jones, D.W., Price, H. and Yates, C., eds. Emotion: New Psychosocial Perspectives. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 59-71.
  • Richards, B., Jones, D.W., Yates, C., Price, H. and Day-Sclater, S., 2009. Conclusions: Psychosocial studies - a therapeutic project? Emotion: New Psychosocial Perspectives. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 242-254.
  • Richards, B., 2007. Terrorism and the microdynamics of trust. In: Bakir, V. and Barlow, D.M., eds. Communication in the age of suspicion : trust and the media. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 64-74.
  • Figlio, K. and Richards, B., 2002. Psychoanalysis in the public sphere: some recent British developments in psychoanalytic social psychology. In: Hinshelwood, R.D. and Chiesa, M., eds. Organisations, Anxieties and Defence : Towards a Psychoanalytic Social Psychology. London: Whurr, 183-203.
  • Richards, B. and Brown, J., 2002. The therapeutic culture hypothesis: a critical discussion. In: Johansson, T. and Sernhede, O., eds. Lifestyle, Desire and Politics: Contemporary Identities. Centre of Cultural Studies,University of Goteborg, Sweden: Daidalos, 97-114.
  • Richards, B., 2000. Whose identity problem? The dynamics of projection in adoption policy and practice. In: Treacher, A. and Katz, I., eds. The Dynamics of Adoption. London: Jessica Kingsley, 101-109.
  • Richards, B. and Brown, J., 1998. The humanist Freud. In: Elliott, A., ed. Freud 2000. Cambridge: Polity Press, 235-261.
  • Richards, B., 1997. Popular culture. In: Kennard, D. and Small, N., eds. Living Together. London: Quartet Books, 73-91.
  • Richards, B., 1994. What is 'identity'? In: Gaber, I. and Aldridge, J., eds. In the Best Interests of the Child: Culture, Identity and Transracial Adoption. London: Free Association Books, 77-88.
  • Richards, B., 1992. Enterprise and dependency: a psychoanalytic approach to political culture. In: Heelas, P. and Morris, P., eds. The Values of the Enterprise Culture - The Moral Debate. London: Routledge, 194-213.
  • Richards, B., 1990. Masculinity, identification and political culture. In: Hearn, J. and Morgan, D., eds. Men, Masculinities and Social Theory. London: Routledge, 160-169.
  • Richards, B., 1989. Psychoanalysis in reverse. Crisis of the Self: Further Essays on Psychoanalysis and Politics. London: Free Association Books, 41-56.
  • Richards, B., 1989. Introduction. Crisis of the Self: Further Essays on Psychoanalysis and Politics. London: Free Association Books, 1-23.
  • Richards, B., 1984. Schizoid states and the market. Capitalism and Infancy: essays on psychoanalysis and politics. London: Free Association Books, 122-166.
  • Richards, B., 1984. Introduction. Capitalism and Infancy: Essays on Psychoanalysis and Politics. London: Free Association Books, 7-21.


  • Richards, B., 2017. A most brutal and implacable superego. In: Krueger, S. and Figlio, K., eds. Fomenting political violence 9-10 September 2016 University of Essex. Edited collection in prep..
  • Richards, B., 2017. Terror in the mind of the terrorist. In: Adlam, J., Kluttig, T. and Lee, B., eds. Association for Psychosocial Studies 29 June-1 July 2016 University of the West of England, Bristol. London: Jessica Kingsley.
  • Agathangelou, P., Katakis, I., Rori, L., Gunopulos, D. and Richards, B., 2017. Understanding online political networks: The case of the far-right and far-left in Greece. Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), 10539 LNCS, 162-177.
  • Richards, B., 2015. A psychosocial analysis of drivers of protest. In: Politics, Emotion and Protest 9-10 July 2015 Bournemouth University.
  • Richards, B., 2014. The nation-state as container. In: Association for Psychosocial Studies Annual Conference 16-17 December 2014 University of Central Lancashire.
  • Richards, B., 2014. Purity and anger in political violence. In: The Feeling of Certainty. Conference in Recognition of the Work of Karl Figlio. 8 November 2014 University of Essex. Not yet - book in preparation.
  • Richards, B., 2014. On the psychology of violent extremism. In: Greek Politics Specialist Group of the Political Studies Association: Workshop on Political Violence, Terrorism and Extremism in Greece and Europe 20 June 2014 Canada Water Library, London.
  • Richards, B., 2014. The politics of evidence: the case of media Islamophobia. In: MECCSA Annual Conference 8-10 January 2014 Bournemouth.
  • Richards, B., 2013. The voices of extremist violence: what can we hear? In: Political Studies Association Media and Politics Group Annual Conference 13-14 November 2013 Bournemouth University.
  • Richards, B., 2013. Lessons from the Breivik case: a psychosocial analysis. In: Living in Violent Times 19 April 2013 University of Warwick.
  • Richards, B., 2013. Lessons from the Breivik case: a psychosocial analysis. In: British Sociological Association Annual Conference 3-5 April 2013 Grand Connaught Rooms, London.
  • Richards, B., 2011. Murderous attacks on the public. In: International Association for Forensic Psychotherapy Annual Conference 28-30 April 2011 Apex International Hotel, Edinburgh.
  • Richards, B., 2010. Narratives, myths and fantasies as drivers of conflict. In: Myths and conflicts 1-2 December 2010 Marriott Hotel, Brussels.
  • Richards, B., 2009. The media and the therapeutic: the case of journalism. In: Media and the Inner World Opening Symposium 7 March 2009 Roehampton University.
  • Richards, B., 2006. Emotional governance. In: Governance and Communication March 2006 Bournemouth.
  • Richards, B., 2006. Emotional governance. In: Conference on 'Psychoanalysis and Governance' March 2006 University of Oxford, Oxford, England.
  • Richards, B., 2006. Paranoia and collusion in the politics of counter-terrorism. In: Conference on 'Freud in Translation, Freud in Transition' November 2006 Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies, University of London.
  • Richards, B., 2005. The media and the 'War on Terror'. In: Russia and the West: Media, Democracy and Conflict 5 April 2005 Frontline Club, London.
  • Richards, B., 2005. Emotional news and the anxious public. In: Tavistock Centre Policy Seminar Series November 2005 Tavistock Centre, London.
  • Richards, B., 2005. The limits of political marketing? Managing the fear factor. In: Political Marketing Group of Political Studies Association Conference on Political Marketing and the Election: Reaching the Political Consumer February 2005 London.
  • Richards, B., 2004. The terror in terrorism. In: The Error in “Terrorism”? Political violence and the media 11-12 November 2004 Southampton Institute of Higher Education, Southampton, England.
  • Richards, B., 2004. Emotional, political and media literacies. In: Emotional/Political Literacy and the Media 24 November 2004 Ofcom, London, England.
  • Richards, B., 2004. The discourse on terror: fear, resolution, provocation. In: Political Studies Association 54th. Annual Conference April 2004 University of Lincoln.
  • Richards, B., 2004. Political marketing and the emotional citizen. In: Elections on the Horizon: Marketing Politics to the Electorate in the USA and UK British Library, London.
  • Richards, B., 2004. Terrorism and the microdynamics of trust. In: Conference on 'Communication in the Age of Suspicion' February 2004 Bournemouth University, Poole, England.
  • Richards, B., 2003. Interviewing style and citizenship. In: Current Affairs - An Endangered Species 7-9 November 2003 Bournemouth University.
  • Richards, B., 2003. Mapping the public: values frameworks in PR research. In: Current Debates and Issues in Public Relations Research and Practice 10-12 April 2003 Bournemouth University, Poole.
  • Richards, B., 2003. Rottweilers savage democracy. In: Royal Television Society Forum on ‘Politics and the Media’ 2003 Cardiff University.
  • Richards, B., 2003. Terrible passions: on political psychoanalysis. In: Conference in honour of Prof. Michael Rustin June 2003 University of East London, London, England.
  • Richards, B., 2003. Politicians, media and audiences as psychological actors. In: Conference on ‘Can’t Vote, Won’t Vote: Are the media to blame for political disengagement’ November 2003 Goldsmiths College, University of London.
  • Richards, B., 2002. The emotional public. In: Political Studies Association/ British Sociological Association Conference on 'Politics and Media' September 2002 Loughborough University, Loughborough, England.
  • Richards, B., 2002. The emotional deficit in political communication. In: Seminar on ‘Promotional practices and political participation' November 2002 London School of Economics, London, England.
  • Richards, B., 2002. Rottweilers savage democracy. In: Media, Communication and Cultural Studies Association Annual Conference December 2002 University of Reading, Reading, England.
  • Richards, B., 1999. Authority and popularity in Britain 2000: inaugural lecture. In: Inaugural lecture, May 1999 University of East London, London, England. University of East London.
  • Richards, B., 1999. Politics and the primitive. In: Guest lecture November 1999 Institute for Psychotherapy, Gothenburg, Sweden.
  • Richards, B., 1998. The Princess, the Premier and the people. Authority in New Britain. In: Free Association Books/University of East London Annual Conference on Psychoanalysis and the Public Sphere January 1998 University of East London, London, England.
  • Richards, B., 1998. Emotion and nationhood. In: Conference on 'The Politics of Emotion' March 1998 The Bridge Foundation, Bristol, England.
  • Richards, B., 1998. The transition to therapeutic culture. In: Annual Conference of the Association for Student Counselling March 1998 University of Exeter.
  • Richards, B., 1998. Football, religion and the culture of feeling. In: University of East London/Freud Museum Conference on 'Football Passions' May 1998 Chelsea Village, Stamford Bridge, London.
  • Richards, B., 1998. Psychotherapy and culture: language and the legacy of class. In: Guest lecture May 1998 West Midlands Psychotherapy Trust, Birmingham.
  • Richards, B., 1997. Envy and social difference. In: Guest Lecture January 1997 Centre for Psychotherapeutic Studies/Sheffield Postgraduate Psychiatric Education, University of Sheffield.
  • Richards, B., 1997. Envy in society. In: Conference on 'Envy in Marriage and Society' April 1997 Metropolitan Center for Object Relations Theory and Practice, New York.
  • Richards, B. and MacRury, I., 1995. Advertising and social change since 1950. In: First International Conference for Popular Culture 1995 Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, England.
  • Richards, B., 1995. Cultural goods and enrichment in mass higher education. In: Conference on 'Student Poverty' November 1995 University of Westminster, London, England.
  • Richards, B., 1994. Psychotherapy and the injuries of class. In: British Psychological Society Annual Conference April 1994 Brighton, England.
  • Richards, B., 1994. Thinking about popular culture. In: Free Association Books/University of East London Annual Conference on Psychoanalysis and the Public Sphere 1994 University of East London.



PhD Students

  • Chindu Sreedharan, 2008. THE WAR FOR KASHMIR: An analysis of the conflict coverage in Indian and Pakistani newspapers,
  • Daniel Jackson, 2009. Back into the malaise? Exploring the link between news framing and voter perceptions of the political process
  • Waraporn Chatratichart, 2009. Attitudes towards political leaders amongst young people in Thailand and their influence on electoral choices
  • James Matthews, 2010. News sources and perceptual effects: an analysis of source attribution within media coverage of alleged terrorist plots
  • Roman Gerodimos, 2010. Maximising the Audience: Challenges and Opportunities for Government and Civic Communicators in the 21st Century Public Sphere
  • Grzegorz Kapuscinski (PhD awarded 2014), 2014. The effects of news media on tourists' perceptions of risk, with specific reference to terrorism and political instability
  • Dalia Elsheikh, 2017. Campaign professionalism and the birth of democracy? Analysing the presidential election, Egypt 2012
  • Dalia Elsheikh, 2017. Democratisation, professionalisation and the first Egyptian election
  • John Maszka, 2017. Beyond systemic explanations for the causes of terrorism
  • Emad Moussa, 2018. Collective memory, identity and the narratives of victimhood in Israel and Palestine
  • Islam Aboualhuda, 2018. Images of Muslims and Islam in Egyptian and British media
  • John Brissenden, 2018. The influence of public attitudes on war outcomes: the case of Afghanistan
  • Hai Chung Pham (PhD awarded 2015). Brand consumption in contemporary Vietnam
  • Joe Flintham (withdrawn 2016). The participation in and use of online spaces by the bereaved

Profile of Teaching PG

  • Supervision of MRes students

Profile of Teaching UG

  • Political Psychology (on BA Politics Level 5)


  • Interactive extremism: a comparative study of the emotional dynamics of far 'right' extremism in Germany and Great Britain (FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IEF, 04 May 2015). Awarded
  • Social media and resurgent ethno-nationalism in Greece (FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IEF, 12 Jan 2015). Awarded
  • Journalism and emotional literacy:assessing needs and opportunities for change (Arts and Humanities Research Council, 01 May 2006). Completed

External Responsibilities

Internal Responsibilities

Public Engagement & Outreach Activities

  • Engaging the Public: putting the people back into democracy (06 Jul 2012)


  • PhD in Clinical Psychology and the Welfare State (CNAA, 1984)
  • Dip. Clin. Psychol. (now a doctoral award) in Clinical Psychology (British Psychological Society, 1975)
  • BA (Hons) in Psychology (University of Reading, 1971)


  • International Society of Political Psychology, Member (2015-),
  • Association for Psychosocial Studies, Member (2014-),
  • British Psychological Society (AFBPsS), Associate Fellow,
  • British Psychological Society (C.Psychol.), Chartered Psychologist,