John Anderson, Professor and Deputy Head of School


John Anderson gained his PhD from LSE in 1986 and had a six-month post-doctoral study period at Moscow State University in 1987. From 1986 to 1991 he taught at LSE, Westminster, Middlesex and Edinburgh universities before taking up a position at the University of St Andrews in 1991. In 2005, he was promoted to professor. During his time at St Andrews he has served in a range of capacities, including first and second year tutor, Honours Advisor, Faculty Advisor, Exams Officer, Director of Teaching, Head of Department, Member of the University Court, and Head of School.

Research areas

Professor Anderson's primary interests lie in contemporary politics and political history, with a special interest in religion and politics in the countries of the former Soviet Union, as well as in Europe and the United States.  At the moment his research focuses on the meaning of religious establishment in comparative perspective, and he is currently writing a book on the Church of England and British politics. In collaboration with other colleagues he is developing teaching and research within the School that explores the inter-relationship of politics and the arts, and his own primary interest here lies in music.



  • 2015. Conservative Christian Politics in Russia and the United States: Dreaming of Christian Nations (Routledge)
  • 2009. Christianity and Democratisation: From Pious Subjects to Critical Participants (Manchester University Press)
  • 2005. Religion, Democracy and Democratization (ed. Routledge)
  • 2003. Religious Liberty in Transitional Societies: The Politics of Religion (Cambridge University Press)
  • 1999. Kyrgyzstan: Central Asia’s Island of Democracy? (Harwood)
  • 1997. The International Politics of Central Asia (Manchester University Press)
  • 1994. Religion, State and Politics in the Soviet Union and the Successor States (Cambridge University Press)

Some recent articles and chapters:

  • 2016. ‘Religion, state and “sovereign democracy” in Putin’s Russia’, Journal of the Practice of Religion and Politics, 2:2, 249-66.
  • 2016. ‘The Tory Party at prayer: the Church of England and British politics in the 1950s’, Journal of Church and State, 58:3, 417-39.
  • 2015. ‘On very slippery ground: the British churches, Archbishop Fisher, and the Suez crisis’, Contemporary British History, 29:3, 341-58.
  • 2013. ‘Rocks, art and sex: the culture wars come to Russia?, Journal of Church and State, 55:2, 307-34
  • 2013. ‘Sovereignty vs liberalism: some Russian Orthodox responses to democracy and pluralism’, in GJ Buijs, JT Sunier and PGA Versteen, eds. Risky Liaisons? Democracy and Religion – Reflections and Case Studies. Amsterdam, VU University Press, 161-77.
  • 2012. ‘Dreaming of Christian nations in Russia and the USA: the appeal to history’, Journal of Transatlantic Studies, 10:3, pp. 201-221.
  • 2011. ‘Contesting values an searching for rules in the Anglican crisis’, Politics and Religion, 4:3, 428-47,
  • 2011. ‘Conservative Christianity, the global south, and the battle over sexual orientation’, Third World Quarterly, 32:9, 1589-1605.


Professor Anderson teaches the following modules:

  • Russian Politics and Foreign Policy (IR3101)
  • Christianity and World Politics (IR3068)
  • Music, Politics and International Relations (IR4555)
  • Religion and International Politics (IR5030)

Research students

Professor Anderson supervises the following research students:

  • Giovanna di Mauro, Political engaged art in Moldova

PhD supervision topics

Professor Anderson is able to supervise research in the following topics:

  • some aspects of domestic Russian politics
  • religion and politics or international relations (especially relating to Christianity and politics)
  • music and politics.