Mr Richard Dolan

Research Student
Completed in
Completed in : 

Richard is a DPhil candidate at the Oxford Department of International Development. He has a professional background in education and development and has devised and led school and community-based initiatives in both public and private sectors in South America and Asia where he lived and worked for a decade.

More recently, his work and academic interests have concentrated on education and development in post-conflict and transitional contexts, with a particular focus on Southeast Asia. Following research on education for Karen refugee communities in northern Thailand, he worked on public sector capacity-building and vocational training for the UN peacekeeping mission in East Timor. Since 2014 Richard has been involved in developing integrated peace and training initiatives with non-state groups and civil society organisations in Burma’s ethnic border regions in support of the country’s ongoing peace process.

Alongside his DPhil research Richard occasionally provides news and commentary on ethnic issues in Burma and has written for New Mandala, Myanmar Times and The Diplomat. In Oxford, he has contributed to Tea Circle, the University’s Forum for New Research on Burma/Myanmar, developed policy guidance on ethnic political inclusion following the country’s historic elections in November 2015 and as part of the inaugural Oxford-Myanmar Policy Brief Series (August 2016), and co-convened a workshop on the Karen in transition (June 2017).

In the media
Karen knowledge networks and transitional civil society on the Burma/Thailand border

Richard has a PGCE from the University of Cambridge and an MA in Education and International Development from the University of East Anglia (UEA); he has over ten years teaching experience within both public and private sector education covering work in the UK, Brazil, China and East Timor. This has also included teacher training and monitoring standards in teaching and learning as part of school and curriculum review processes for organisations such as the Latin American Heads Conference (LAHC), the Council of International Schools (CIS), and the UN’s Integrated Training Service (ITS).

Over recent years Richard has focused on higher and adult education, vocational training and capacity building in support of national and regional peace and development processes. He has provided training and training needs analysis (TNA) for UN peacekeeping personnel and field operations, and supported the development of youth and adult peace education curricula for UNICEF. As part of such work, Richard has given presentations and training on aspects of educational planning and provision to development practitioners and policy-makers.

Research Students supervised

Journal articles and special issues

Dolan, Richard (with J Gledhill, Jeremy Snyder) (2019) 'Availability without Access? Globalization and Socio-Political Cleavages in Emerging Economies', Globalizations 16 (1) 83-103


Dolan, Richard (forthcoming) 'Mobilising at the Margins: Education, Aspiration and Mobility in the Karen Borderlands'. In J Chambers, M Gravers, G McCarthy and M Walton (eds) Ceasefire Aspirations and Anxieties Among the Karen in Myanmar , Copenhagen: NIAS Press

Conference papers

Dolan, Richard (2018) 'Education and the Politics of Aspiration in Transitional Hpa-an', 13th International Burma Studies Conference, Bangkok, Thailand, August 2018
Dolan, Richard (2017) 'Karen knowledge networks and transitional civil society on the Burma/Thailand border', Panel presentation for the 10th International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS), University of Chang Mai, Thailand, July 2017
Dolan, Richard (2017) 'The Future of the Karen in Myanmar/Burma and the Diaspora', Panel for The Karen in 2017: Resilience, Aspirations and Politics, Programme on Modern Burmese Studies, St Antony’s College, June 2017 (also workshop co-convenor)
Dolan, Richard (2016) 'Ethnic parties in new waters: managing hope and expectation', Paper presented at the workshop Towards Democracy and Reconciliation: Challenges Facing Myanmar’s Incoming Government, Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford, 15 February
Dolan, Richard (2016) 'Conflict and compromise: education in Karen State', Paper for conference on service delivery and development in southeast Myanmar, Ghent University, Belgium, November 2016

Other publications

Dolan, Richard (2016) 'Political Inclusion: Ethnic Parties and Politicians', Oxford-Myanmar Policy Brief Series Volume 1.1 University of Oxford
07 November, 2018
New article co-authored by John Gledhill and DPhil Richard Dolan explores impact of globalization on social divides in emerging economies
08 June, 2017
ODID DPhil co-convenes workshop on the Karen in transition
15 Feb, 2021
'Myanmar: memes and mantras of a new generation of democracy protesters'. DPhil Richard Dolan writes for the Conversation
28 Aug, 2016
Richard Dolan comments on 21st Century Panglong Conference for Agence France-Presse.
06 Aug, 2016
‘The Problem with the 21st Century Panglong Conference’. Richard Dolan writes for The Diplomat
07 Dec, 2015
'Elections en Burmanie: les partis ethniques en danger?'. Richard Dolan in Alta Asia
02 Dec, 2015
Keeping afloat after the ‘red wave’. Richard Dolan writes for Myanmar Times
27 Nov, 2015
'Ethnic parties and the vote - the 2015 elections and consequences for ethnic parties'. Richard Dolan writes for New Mandala's 'Myanmar and the vote' series
07 Nov, 2015
‘Karen parties and the vote’. Richard Dolan writes for New Mandala's 'Myanmar and the vote' series
06 Oct, 2015
‘Roots of difference - Karen politics and unity in the lead up to Myanmar’s historic elections'. Richard Dolan writes for New Mandala
Research interests:

Education, development and democratic transition; non-state/indigenous education and ethnic politics; civil society organisations and welfare networks; Burma/Myanmar; Karen people; border regions and non-state spaces.