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Dr Kelly Maddox

Former Research Student

Kelly Maddox

Research overview

My areas of interest include issues related to genocide, crimes against humanity and mass violence. 

Thesis Title

'The Strong Devour the Weak': Tracing the Genocidal Dynamics of Violence in the Japanese Empire


In my PhD, I explore violence in the Japanese Empire within the context of recent theoretical insights that have emerged out of the field of genocide and mass violence research. In particular, I analyse rare instances of extreme, arguably genocidal, violence perpetrated by the Japanese military between 1937 and 1945 as part of a dynamic process of radicalisation. As one of the first studies of this kind, I hope to add to knowledge of certain facets of the radicalisation process by explaining how and why, in lieu of an overt plan or intention for the destruction of particular peoples, genocidal measures became a viable option, and at times, a perceived necessity in the Japanese Empire. 

Career Details

I am currently in my final year of my PhD at Lancaster University. Prior to this, I completed a BA and an MA in History, both at Lancaster University. My MA thesis was titled ‘A Dead Letter: The United Nations Genocide Convention and Possibilities of Prevention’.  The thesis explored the failure of the Genocide Convention to deliver on its promises of ‘never again’ by analysing its origins, development and drafting in addition to examining its application in practice.  Following this analysis, the thesis proposed amendments to the Convention that aimed at enhancing future possibilities of prevention.  

Research Grants

I am funded by the Economic and Social Research Council as part of the North West Doctoral Training Centre scheme. 

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