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Richard James Sladden

Richard James Sladden

Part time PhD Student

Richard Sladden is available for consultancy.


James is a part time PhD student and a member of Darwin College.

When not PhDing, James works as a consultant for the UK Government Stabilisation Unit.

Prior to this James was a Policy Analyst for the RAND Corporation. From November 2014-June 2015 James worked as an International Monitoring Officer for the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and worked in the conflict areas of Eastern Ukraine. Prior to working for the OSCE James served for seven years as an officer in the Royal Marines. His service included deployments in Yemen, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone and on counter piracy operations in the Horn of Africa. James received an MA with distinction in Applied Security Strategy from the Strategy and Security Institute of the University of Exeter, where he was an Excellence Scholar.

Research Interests

My current PhD thesis title is:

The oil shock and 'Eurodollar Diplomacy', 1967 - 1979.

However this is changing over time.

This research intends to tell a story of a nation in transition, and the effect an external crisis had upon that transition. In the 1960’s the successive British government decided, through debate, deliberation and both actual and intellectual default, upon a new strategic role for the country. The nation was set on a new course, breaking with its imperial and internationalist past. However, if the 1960’s were the decade in which decisions were made, the 1970’s is when that strategy was applied and successive governments attempted to follow through in the face of a succession of domestic and international crisis.

The 1973 oil crisis forced the UK Government to reassess national interests. Oil was ‘weaponized’ by the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries. The British government had to quickly balance the differing, and at times competing interests, of the Ministry of Defence, HM Treasury, the Bank of England, the City of London. It required the re-examination of Britain’s national interests and made visible the deeper links between the military, political, financial and economic elements of British strategy. The intellectual purpose is to understand national strategy, less as prophetic plan, than as an understanding of how far the parts combined, or could combine, into a mutually supporting whole, during a period of transition and crisis.


  • Economic, Social History
  • Military History
  • Academic related
  • Modern British History
  • International History

Other Publications

‘Russian Strategy in the Middle East’
James Sladden, Becca Wasser, Ben Connable, Sarah Grand-Clement, RAND Centre for Middle East Public Policy (CMEPP).

‘Uncertainty' in National Security Strategy, or, “What the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street
could teach the Mandarins of Whitehall”, The New Strategist Journal, Volume 1, Issue 1, 2016. Published by the Changing Character of War Programme, University of Oxford and the Defence, Concepts, and Doctrine Centre, UK Ministry of Defence.

‘Challenging the Commando Shibboleth’, Naval Review Journal, Nov 2012.