As Leader of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland, Lord Alderdice played a significant role in the Talks on Northern Ireland including negotiation of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. He was the first Speaker of the new Northern Ireland Assembly and on retirement in 2004 was appointed to the Independent Monitoring Commission, tasked with closing down terrorist operations and overseeing normalization of security activity in Northern Ireland. From 1995 to 2003 he was Treasurer and then Vice-President of the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party. From 2000 until 2009 he was Deputy President and then President of Liberal International (the world-wide network of more than 100 liberal political parties). He has been, since June 2010, Chairman (Convenor) of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party in the House of Lords. In August 2010 the Prime Minister appointed him to the UK Committee on Standards in Public Life and reappointed him for a further term in 2013. He was formerly Consultant Psychiatrist in Psychotherapy in Belfast , Senior Lecturer in Psychotherapy, Queens’ University, Belfast and Visiting Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Co-Chairman of the Critical Incidents Analysis Group, University of Virginia, USA. Lord Alderdice is currently a Senior Research Fellow at Harris Manchester College, Oxford and a Research Associate both in the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, and also at the Centre for International Studies in the Department of Politics and International Relations of the University of Oxford. His research interests are the individual and group psychology of violent political conflict; the psychology of religious fundamentalism; and the psychology of large group relations particularly between indigenous people and settler communities. He travels extensively to speak, consult and work on the resolution of violent political conflict in various parts of the world, but with a particular focus on the Middle East.
John Alderdice originally graduated MB BCh BAO in 1978 and proceeded to further qualifications and awards in psychiatry – FRCPsych, Hon FRCPI, Hon FRCPsych, International Psychoanalytic Association Award for Extraordinarily Meritorious Service to Psychoanalysis , World Federation of Scientists Prize for the application of science to the cause of Peace, Hon D Litt, University of East London, Hon LLD, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen etc.
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