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5th Military Psychology Conference; Defence & Security

Fragile States and Global Instability: Responding to the Consequences; Stabilisation and Peacekeeping

Wednesday 2nd November 2016 at The Ark Conference Centre, Basingstoke

Does psychology have any answers? Join the debate and discuss some of the issues that psychology and related disciplines are trying to address.

This is an exciting broadening of the previous military psychology conference remit. Questions include:

  • Why do young Syrians choose to fight?
  • How can we help the military, who deliver stabilisation support, understand how to build relationships with local civilian populations?
  • What psychological factors do we need to consider when personnel working in fragile states return to their day-to-day lives?
  • How can we elicit reliable accounts and evidence from those experiencing events in fragile states?
  • What lessons can we learn from The Troubles in Northern Ireland?

Stabilisation and peacekeeping activities aim to support populations living in fragile states that are either entering, enduring or emerging from conflict in order to, amongst other things, prevent or reduce violence as well as protect the population and prepare for sustainable social and economic development.

These activities can involve a range of organisations including Government departments such as Ministry of Defence (MOD) and Department for International Development (DFID) and disaster relief charities such as Oxfam and the Red Cross.

Psychological research and practice from across a range of disciplines and professions can help us understand how to address the psychological factors and impact on both military and civilian personnel who deliver these activities as well as the impact of instability on the populations living in Fragile States.

This conference therefore aims to bring together researchers and practitioners from a range of disciplines to share emerging research and practitioner good practices.

You can view the Conference Programme by clicking here

Keynote Speakers

Thank you to our Keynote Speakers;

  • Professor Ann Fitz-Gerald, Cranfield University
  • Professor Paul Taylor, Lancaster University, Twente University, NL & Director of CREST

The Good Stranger: Science and Practice - Prof Paul Taylor
The term ‘the good stranger’ is used by the US military to refer to personnel who are adept at gaining cooperation from civilians who might otherwise be antagonistic or distrustful. This keynote talk will describe experimental and field research that has helped us understand what good stranger do and what might help others achieve the same. It will discuss contemporary answers to the questions: (1) what distinguishes the interpersonal behaviour of good strangers from others, particularly in relation to how they cope with the cultural challenges of interacting with local populations?; (2) what are the psychological factors that underpin their success and can training help?; (3) how does insights from their approach help us better understand the motivations of those with whom they interact (e.g., Syrians choosing to fight); and (4) how has insights from good stranger research informed an evidence-based, ethical approach to the disruption of insurgency and criminality in fragile states.

Symposium Speakers

The role of Psychology in planning and evaluating the response of the emergency services to Critical Incidents - Exercise Unified Response. How lessons can be applied to peacekeeping and stabilisation activities.

  • Richard Abbott & Peter Cowup, London Fire Brigade
  • Dr Stephanie Bennett & Dr Alison Wakefield, University of Portsmouth
  • Dr Michael Humann, University of Liverpool
  • Jordan Nunan, University of Portsmouth
  • Dr Richard Teeuw, University of Portsmouth

To view Symposia speaker biographies, please click here.

Presenter Biographies and Abstract

Keynote biographies can be found further down the page.
To view oral presenter biographies, please click here
To view poster presenter biographies, please click here
To download the speaker abstracts, please click here

Presentation Downloads

Keynote Presentations

Peacebuilding: Theory and Practice.
Prof Ann Fitz-Gerald, Cranfield University
No slides used

The Good Stranger: Science and Practice
Prof Paul Taylor
Lancaster University

Peacebuilding and Stabilisation Interventions

How and with what effect can community-based programmes address the psychological impact of war for children? A case study from Syria.
Caroline Brooks, International Alert


Teaching Peace, Building Resilience - Assessing the impact of peace education for young Syrians

Why Young Syrians Choose To Fight - Vulnerability and resilience to recruitment by violent extremist groups in Syria, Research Summary

Understanding Relationships and Influence Requirements for Military Stabilisation Support.
Christopher Kelly & Russell Bond
K Sharp Ltd & Systems Engineering & Assessment Ltd

RMA Sandhurst’s Experiential Learning Approach to Support the Development of Leadership Skills for Stabilization Operations.
Dr Tulika Jaiswal & Anthea Lemmon
Royal Military Academy Sandhurst

Crisis Management Symposium

Planning for a Critical Incident Exercise – lessons learned
Peter Cowup & Richard Abbott
London Fire Brigade

Evaluating a Critical Incident: Analysing Data Collected During and Directly after a Critical Incident Exercise
Dr Stephanie Bennett & Dr Alison Wakefield
University of Portsmouth

The Volunteer & Public Experience During a Critical Incident
Dr Michael Humann
University of Liverpool

Front Line Communication During a Critical Incident
Jordan Nunan
University of Portsmouth

Assessing the on-site Coordination between UK Search and Rescue (SAR) Teams and Responding International SAR teams
Dr Richard Teeuw
University of Portsmouth

Afternoon Presentation

Eliciting reliable accounts, evidence and intelligence: What memory science can contribute to stabilisation, recovery and the pursuit of justice
Prof Lorraine Hope
University of Portsmouth

Understanding Patterns of Action: Sequence Analysis in Military Contexts
Dr David Keatley
University of Lincoln

The lived experiences of military personnel who served in Northern Ireland during the 'Troubles'. Lessons for stabilisation operations
Dr Emma Walker
Ulster University

The transition-reintegration of personnel working in fragile states: Lessons from extreme environments
Dr Nathan Smith
University of Northampton


Selecting psychologically stable individuals for military is a way of reducing harm"; Development and validation of a psychometric tool to assess Pre- enlistment psychological resilience of military forces personnel in Sri Lanka
Lieutenant Commander Kanthi Hettigoda

Understanding UK Society’s Perception of Veterans
Rita Phillips

Meeting children and young people’s needs following the death of a relative working within the Armed Forces and Emergency Services
Kalliopi Selioti

Utilising motion capture technology to identify trusted testimony in military encounters
Dr Steven Watson

A systematic review of the effectiveness of interventions to reduce risky alcohol consumption in armed forces personnel transitioning to civilian life
Dr Sarah Wigham

If you have any queries please contact us via the event hotline on 01332 227775.


Wednesday 2nd November 2016

All speakers and timings are subject to change.

The full conference programme can be downloaded at the bottom of the page.

09:00Welcome and Housekeeping; Dr Kathryn Fielden, Chair BPS Wessex Branch
09:05Opening Remarks; Prof Peter Kinderman, BPS President
09:15Keynote Presentation: Peacebuilding: Theory and Practice; Prof Fitz-Gerald, Cranfield University
10:15Poster Flash Talks (90 second poster presentations)
10:30Refreshments and Poster Viewing
10:50Parallel Sessions: Peacebuilding & Stabilisation Interventions / Crisis Management Symposium
12:50Lunch and Poster Viewing
13:35Keynote Presentation: The Good Stranger: Science and Practice; Prof Paul Taylor, Lancaster University
14:35Eliciting reliable accounts, evidence and intelligence: What memory science can contribute to stabilisation, recovery and the pursuit of justice; Prof Lorraine Hope, University of Portsmouth
15:15Refreshments and Poster Viewing
15:30Understanding Patterns of Action: Sequence Analysis in Military Contexts; Dr David Keatley, University of Lincoln
16:10The lived experiences of military personnel who served in Northern Ireland during the 'Troubles'. Lessons for stabilisation operations; Dr Emma Walker, Ulster University
16:50The transition-reintegration of personnel working in fragile states: Lessons from extreme environments; Dr Nathan Smith, University of Northampton
17:20Closing Remarks; Prof Peter Kinderman, BPS President
17:30Conference Close

Speakers and Facilitators


Professor Peter Kinderman

Peter Kinderman is Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Liverpool and President of the British Psychological Society.

His research interests are in psychological processes underpinning wellbeing and mental health. He has published widely on the role of psychological factors as mediators between biological, social and circumstantial factors in mental health and wellbeing, and has received significant research grant funding – most recently from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), to lead a three-year evidence synthesis programme for the ‘What Works Centre for Wellbeing’, exploring the effectiveness of policies aimed at improving community wellbeing and from the National Institute for Health Research to investigate the effectiveness of human rights training in dementia care. His most recent book, ‘A Prescription for Psychiatry’, presents his vision for the future of mental health services. You can follow him on Twitter as @peterkinderman

Professor Ann Fitz-Gerald

Keynote Speaker
Ann Fitz-Gerald serves as Course Director for Cranfield University’s MSc Security Sector Management programme both in the UK and in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She teaches 'Issues in International Conflict, Security and Development' and 'Strategic Planning for Security and Development'. Based on Ann's academic qualifications and professional experience, she brings both a political science and management science 'lens' to the study of contemporary security challenges. Ann's research interests include issues in peacebuilding, the development of national security strategies, and the reform of national security sectors.


Professor Paul Taylor

Keynote Speaker
Paul Taylor is Professor of Psychology at Lancaster University, UK, and Professor of Human Interaction at Twente University, NL. Supported by over £10m in funding, Paul’s research combines experimental, archival and field methods to understand the nature of human cooperation and aggression and, more practically, the kinds of verbal and nonverbal behaviors that promote peaceful resolutions. On October 1, Paul took up post as Director of the UK Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats (CREST), which was commissioned by the ESRC in partnership with the UK security and intelligence agencies.


The Ark Conference Centre

Dinwoodie Drive, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG24 9NN •  Website•  Directions

Additional Information

Click here to download further information.

PDFBPS Booking Terms and Conditions
PDF5th Military Psychology Conference Provisional Programme