Professor Alan Smith


UNESCO Chair in Pluralism, Human Rights and Democracy
Director of the UNESCO Centre

The Chair, held by Professor Alan Smith, is located in the School of Education at the University of Ulster. Professor Smith’s work includes research on education and conflict, young people's understanding of human rights and the development of social, civic and political education.

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Research Interests

Alan’s recent research interests include a three year investigation of ‘Values in Teacher Education’ funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and an EU‑funded investigation of the legacies of conflict in Bosnia and Northern Ireland. He is also the holder of a three‑year grant from DFID for an international development programme at the University of Ulster and was also a contributing author and adviser to the UNESCO Education For All Global Monitoring Report (2011) on education and conflict.

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Alan has taught in both Northern Ireland and Zimbabwe and was previously a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Ulster’s Centre for the Study of Conflict. He was involved in the establishment of integrated schools in Northern Ireland and was the founding Chairman of the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education.

Alan has been a British Council visiting research fellow to Nigeria, Indonesia and Hong Kong and completed an influential report for DFID on ‘Education, Conflict and International Development’. Professor Smith has completed assignments for DFID, GTZ, International Alert, Save the Children, UNESCO, UNICEF, and World Bank in the Basque Country, Bosnia, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Nigeria, Botswana and Zimbabwe. He has also recently completed an expert paper on ‘Children and Transitional Justice’ for the UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre in Florence, Italy.

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A list of Alan’s publications is available on
The Chair: Publications’ page.

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Conferences, Seminars and Meetings

A list of the conferences and meetings in which Alan has participated is available on ‘The Chair: External Events’ page.

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Further information on Alan’s work as UNESCO Chair can be viewed in ‘The Chair’ section of this website.

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Contact Details

Professor Alan Smith

Alan Smith

Centre Director


School of Education
University of Ulster
Co Londonderry
BT52 1SA
Northern Ireland


+44 (0)28 7012 3593