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New Queen’s app could have surprise in store for Northern Ireland voters

Researchers at Queen’s have come up with a novel user-friendly ‘app’ to help members of the public decide who to vote for in the upcoming general election.

The WhoGetsMyVoteUK app asks voters a range of questions, including some Northern Ireland-specific ones, in order to identify which party most closely matches a voter’s values. It can be accessed on a smartphone, tablet or any other gadget with internet access:

This Northern Ireland Voting Advice Application (VAA) was developed by researchers at the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy (PISP) at Queen's as part of a larger UK-wide project led by researchers at Queen Mary in London.

The Belfast Telegraph is hosting the app and an article in the paper, written by PISP's Dr John Garry and Dr Neil Matthews, may be accessed here 

The app asks voters to answer a series of policy questions, relating to economic and social issues, as well as specific Northern Ireland issues such as flags and parading. Because the app includes questions on issues that do not usually get prominence in Northern Ireland (such as left-right issues or liberal-conservative issues) some voters may be surprised about the party they are closely matched with. 

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PISP Student Selected for Washington Ireland Programme

PISP Student Paul Wyatt WIP 2015

Paul Wyatt is a level two student in the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy. This summer Paul, who is studying for a BA Politics degree, will travel to the USA as part of the prestigious Washington Ireland Program (WIP).

WIP is a six-month program of personal and professional development that brings outstanding university students from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to Washington, DC for summer work placements and leadership training. The program is focused on the values of humility, empathy, respect and integrity and requires practical service at both the beginning and end. Over 400 students have now passed through the program and WIP aspires to see its alumni become the next generation of leaders that will achieve a peaceful, stable and prosperous future for Northern Ireland and Ireland.

The School interviewed Paul about his tremendous achievement and here is what he had to say:

Q. Congratulations on getting onto the programme- the competition is very stiff for places! How did you find the application and interview proces

  • The application form itself was actually pretty simple as WIP keep it quite brief compared to some other application forms I’ve had to fill out. Like you’ve said, there’s so much competition for places that it was a complete privilege to even get through to the interview stage.  Given that, I’d say I put more pressure on myself because it was something I really wanted. Thankfully the interview did go well for me, even if I didn’t think it at the time. If I was to give any future applicants some advice, I would say don’t over-stress or prepare; just be yourself.

Q. What attracted you to the Washington Ireland Programme?

  • Personally it’s because I have a huge passion for politics in Northern Ireland. I believe that the peace process is still in the ‘process’ stage, and we still have a lot of work to do. This fitted in nicely for me, as one of the main aims of WIP is to develop future leaders from both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Q. How do you feel that your time here at QUB helped you prepare for applying to WIP this year?

  • If it wasn’t for Queen’s I wouldn’t be on the programme. The network of people I’ve met at Queen’s, who are all willing to help is incredible. I’d also be heavily involved in Queen’s Radio as I was one of the co-founders of ‘The Scoop’, the flagship news and current affairs programme on Queen’s Radio. I’d say that the extracurricular side to university life is hugely important I think, just because there’s so many societies you can get involved with to really find out what it is you love doing.

Q. Do you know where you will be interning this summer? If not, do you have any hopes as to where you will be placed?

  • I haven’t found out yet, however my ideal placement would be something media orientated really. I think interning on Capitol Hill would be incredible too.

Q.What are you most excited about?

  • Being in Washington! I’ve never been to America before and I’ve heard an awful lot about how DC is mega-busy, so I’m looking forward to living amongst such a contrasting culture to the cosmopolitan town of Banbridge…

Q. What do you hope to take away from the summer in DC?

  • That’s a tough question… I struggle with public speaking quite a lot when there’s a big audence, so when I’m in DC I want to challenge myself to tackle that. The Class of 2015 had our orientation weekend recently, and the diverse background of people is really exciting - so learning from my classmates and making long-lasting friendships is on my agenda for sure. 

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Dave Archard appointed Deputy Chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority

Congratulations to PISP's Professor Dave Archard who has been appointed Deputy Chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.

Professor Archard has been a Member since 2005, and is currently Chair of the Authority’s Statutory Approvals Committee also.


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Jake Gutman named 2015 Carnegie Junior Fellow

PISP is delighted to announce that Visiting Research Associate  and University of Pennsylvania graduate Jake Gutman has been named a 2015 Carnegie Junior Fellow, and will serve as a research assistant at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

John Paul “Jake” Gutman is currently a Visiting Research Associate at Queen’s University Belfast where he is conducting research on the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups in the Middle East and North Africa. Under Professor Beverley Milton-Edwards, a leading expert on Islamism and Middle Eastern politics, he has edited and revised the manuscript for her forthcoming book on the Muslim Brotherhood since the Arab Spring.

Gutman is one of ten fellows selected from a national pool of 400 participating US universities this year.  

Additional information about the Carnegie Junior Fellowship program is available at  

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Prof John Barry ECPR Joint Sessions of Workshops 2016 Pisa

Professor John Barry co-directing workshop for the European Consortium on Political Research joint sessions Pisa, Italy, 24-28 April 2016

The workshop is entitled 'Reframing Environmentalism: Environmental Political Theory in the Anthropocene'.

Although climate change has brought about a new awareness of environmental problems, it has also complicated our view of the socio-natural relationship and hence the conversation about the transition away from unsustainability. It has done so by exposing the degree of what may be termed the ‘metabolic exchange’ between society and nature, which is the outcome of a long history of reciprocal influence and human intervention. In this context, the notion of the ‘Anthropocene’ has emerged as an attempt to encompass the human ability to act as a powerful agent of environmental change. Yet we are also re-discovering the extent to which we are ourselves influenced and constrained by the nonhuman environment. If it is increasingly difficult to distinguish between society and nature, arguing that the achievement of sustainability can be achieved by humans retreating from the natural world also becomes untenable. Thus, a number of questions arise:

  • How is environmental political theory responding to the challenge of the Anthropocene? 
  • And how should it actually respond? 
  • Are the premises of classical environmentalism still valid? 
  • What is involved in the project of naturalistic ethics after the end of nature? 
  • What about the new salience of justice? 
  • Is there room for understanding between a reformist environmentalism and a more radical strand that seeks post-capitalistic solutions to climate change?

The advent of climate change has already transformed and challenged environmentalism in its far-reaching consequences for the analysis, values, motivations etc. upon which it is based. This workshop will try to elucidate whether a new, ‘fourth-wave’ environmentalism is emerging, entailing the end of environmentalism as we knew it – or whether the news of the death of environmentalism is exaggerated.

More Details here

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Cross Currents in British and Irish Working Class Life a collaborative engagement event 22nd May

A Day of Talks, Topical Debate, Performance and Song
The Cross-Currents in British and Irish Working Class Life Interdisciplinary Research Group are pleased to announce a collaborative engagement event, which will be held on Friday 22nd May, at the Brian Friel Theatre, Queen's University Belfast. 
This is a full day event, with a broad range of disciplines and research areas represented by the range of speakers and exhibitors, outlined below.  The conference is supported by QUB's Institute for Collaborative Research in the Humanities, and is the continuation of a successful year of public-academic engagement activities, which seek to pose, and interrogate, new research questions relating to working class history, politics, culture, literature and music.
The project, headed by Professor Graham Walker, School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy at QUB, has sought to transcend the boundaries imposed by traditional, academic disciplinary categories, in order to effectively address research agendas on British and Irish working class life.  In addition, the project aims to move the knowledge produced by universities into public spaces, where it can have most significant impact.
A full conference programme will be made available shortly. Given the quality and range of the speakers, we anticipate that this event will be extremely well-attended, and so advise those interested in attending to register their interest with Sophie Long via email (

List of Speakers

  • Dr. Lisa McKenzie: Department of Sociology, London School of Economics: Exploring some of the issues raised in her recent book 'Getting By: Estates, Class and Culture in Austerity Britain' (Policy Press 2015).
  • Dr. Donal O Drisceoil: School of History, University College Cork: Addressing questions on labour and class history, in Ireland.
  • Chris Burgess: Curator of Collections and Exhibitions, People's History Museum Manchester: Discussing the challenges surrounding the preservation of working class history.
  • Dr. Sean O'Connell: School of History and Anthropology, Queen's University Belfast: Professor of Modern British Social History: Presenting research on oral history and its nuances.
  • Mike Morris, Co-Director of Merseyside Writing on the Wall, a community-based organisation which celebrates writing in all its forms: 'George Garrett: Seaman, Syndicalist and Scribe'.Professor Phil Scraton: School of Law, Queen's University Belfast
  • Ciara Hickey: Curator and Gallery Manager, Belfast Exposed. Speaking about the work of Belfast Exposed and showing a film currently on display at Belfast Exposed.

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The twilight of Empire -Ireland and Britain 1915 Margaret O'Callaghan

Dr Margaret O’ Callaghan,  author of seminal  works on Roger Casement, Tom Kettle, and British government policy towards Ireland -discusses Ireland and Britain in the context of Empire on the eve of the 1916 Easter Rising. 
Monday 6 April 
BEFORE THE RISING – Panel discussion hosted by David McCullagh, RTÉ
Prof. Ronan Fanning, Historian and Author.
Dr. Conor Mulvagh, UCD.
Dr Margaret O’Callaghan, QUB.
Prof. Alan Titley, UCC.
Dr. Maurice Manning, NUI.
Full Programme details

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MSc in Public Policy Launch

Queen’s University Belfast launched a new MSc programme in Public Policy this month at Riddel Hall. The MSc in Public Policy, which is a part-time offering, will see its first intake commence in September 2015.

The programme is designed for mid-career civil and public servants who wish to prepare for senior leadership roles within their organisation. Taught over two years, this multi-disciplinary programme is focused on the development of professional knowledge, personal leadership and skills. The programme is based on the idea of public service as a distinctive and professional activity, which makes a vital contribution to the quality of democratic governance that must be continually improved.

Dr Muiris MacCarthaigh, programme director for the MSc, noted: Cutbacks have been the ‘new norm’ for governments across the OECD states for a number of years and Northern Ireland is now heading into a period for year on year retrenchment. The civil and public service must use this time to invest in developing new skills and capacities for its future leaders in order to make better public policy decisions, improve the quality of services and create a public service that facilitates and accelerates a return to growth and development.’

For further details on the programme please contact the MSc team at or visit the website at  

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School to Welcome Former U.S. Senator

Former US Senator to visit Queen's University, April 2015 

The School is greatly honoured to welcome one of America's most outstanding statesmen and international negotiators, former U.S. Senator George J. Mitchell to the University in April. Former Senator Mitchell has served the cause of peace for decades and won admiration from across the political divide in Northern Ireland for his work to boost the peace process here. 

Senator Mitchell will deliver a talk in the annual Harri Holkeri Lecture Series, with a presentation entitled:

'Reflections on Brokering Peace in Divided Societies’

Wednesday 22 April 2015, 5pm, Great Hall, Queen’s University Belfast

This event has been made possible by The School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy, The Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation and Social Justice and the Embassy of Finland, London. 

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Social Media for Women in Politics

Congratulations to PISP first year student, Collette McAllister and her friends for featuring on a great short film on Social Media for Women in Politics. Watch it on

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AHRC network grant awarded to Dr Tom Walker

Dr Tom Walker (PISP) and Dr Hon-Lam Li (Chinese University of Hong Kong) have recently been awarded an Arts and Humanities Research Council Network grant. The grant is to establish a network of researchers working on two normative questions that are becoming increasingly pressing as the numbers of people living into older age (in particular the numbers living beyond eighty) increase: 1. When people in this age group require care, where should the requirement to provide that care fall (on the individual, on their family, or on the State), and 2. How should the requirement to provide this care be balanced against existing obligations to care? In addressing these questions the project aims to bring philosophers working on normative theory into conversation with those dealing with the realities of care for older people (including historians, gerontologists and older people themselves). Because these questions are ones that are faced by countries around the world it also aims to bring together researchers whose work is rooted in different intellectual traditions – in particular, bringing together researchers from the UK and Western Europe with researchers from the Far East.

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Canadian Visit-Professor Graham Walker

Professor Graham Walker will visit Ottawa the week beginning 9 March. He will deliver an address on the subject of ‘Territorial Identities in the United Kingdom and their impact on the political evolution of Great Britain’ to the Privy Council Office (Federal-Provincial-Territorial Relations Branch) of the Canadian Government on 11 March. He will also give a lecture at the University of Ottawa, and will seek to promote stronger links between PISP and the Politics Department of the University around mutual research interests and postgraduate student exchanges.

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Dr Muiris MacCarthaigh invited to meet OECD Mission

Dr Muiris MacCarthaigh from the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy has been invited to give evidence to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) team undertaking the Northern Ireland Public Governance Review on Tuesday 24th February. Having received Executive approval, the Review was launched in November 2014 and seeks to present recommendations to maximise the impact of current reforms across the Northern Ireland public sector, as well as identifying further areas for reform.

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International Student Festival Participants


A Trip to the International Student Festival, February 2015

by Ethan McLaughlin, BA International Politics and Conflict Studies

The international student festival in Troundheim, is an event which brings 450 students from over 100 countries to Troundheim for 10 days to share and exchange their ideas on a chosen issue for that year’s festival. This year, the theme was the issue of corruption and how that effects society.

The festival has been running for 25 years and started as the cold war was just about to end. Since then, the festival has truly become a global event. It is an event for students, run by students who (just like myself) have given up their time for the last 6 months to prepare.

By day, we were split up into 19 different workshop groups from 9 till 4 in which we sat, talked and shared our ideas and experiences from our home countries. I was in the development focused group. During the evenings every night we had a range of events such as a fascinating talks given by high level speakers like the founder as well as the current head of Transparency international. It also gave a voice to local activists in places where corruptions are a great issue like in Uganda.

Considering this is one of the only events of this type I have ever done, having the opportunity to listen to people from Vietnam, Cambodia, Taiwan, Japan, Philippians, Argentina, Peru, Mexico, Romania, Denmark, Norway, Bosnia, Tunisia, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Costa Rica, Zimbabwe, and Australia was inspiring and something I may never have the opportunity to do again!

There were a number of highlights for me from hearing the Dalai Lama talk about the need for religious tolerance and polarity in society, to being able to represent my group at the panel discussion on the parliament day in front of 450 people where we- the participants- decided what motions we wanted the UN to implement to fight corruption. But the thing I am going to take from this events is the stories from people I knew as great friends before finding out what great and life changing things they were doing for their community. It was truly inspiring, and gives me the drive to do more.

If you enjoyed hearing about Ethan’s experience and would like to find out more about the International Student Festival, you can visit the website here:  

Large British Council Researcher Links Workshop Grant awarded to Dr Ephraim Nimni

The British Council has awarded Dr. Ephraim Nimni a large Researcher Links Workshop Grant to organise in partnership with Dr. Elçin Aktoprak of the School of Politics of the University of Ankara, a workshop for 30 young scholars, 15 from the UK and Ireland, and 15 from Turkey on the topic: Developing New Modalities of Autonomy for Minorities that do not entail Dismembering States: the Case of the Turkish Republic. The purpose of the workshop is to compare experiences from Northern Ireland and the Kurdish minority in the Turkish Republic, with the goal to develop new modalities of community representation and democratic autonomy without dismembering existing states.  An open call will soon be circulated inviting young researchers to apply for fully funded positions to travel to Ankara and participate in this workshop.


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Old Firm match is a blast from the past for a post-referendum Scotland Graham Walker

Article by Graham Walker has been published on The Conversation.

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Prof Beverley Milton-Edwards on The Challenge of Conflict Transition in Fragile States

Professor Beverley Milton-Edwards gave a lecture entitled The Challenge of Conflict Transition in Fragile States to the QUB ICTSJ Inaugural Winter School 2015 on the theme of Environments of safety and security in the aftermath of sustained violent conflict on January 26 2015.

The Winter School draws participants together from across the globe for 4 days of intensive insight on the ground at locations around Belfast as well as in the classroom.   


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Markievicz Commission report on women’s political participation published

The Markievicz Commission report on women’s political participation was published on 15 January and has attracted much media attention since then. Professor Yvonne Galligan was independent chairperson of the Commission, which was set up by Fianna Fail party leader Micheal Martin TD in March 2014. The Commission recommends that Fianna Fail must run between 20 and 27 female candidates if it is to comply with the 30% gender quota required by law. Speaking at the launch of the report, Professor Galligan said “the comprehensive recommendations in this report will hopefully see an end to all-male election tickets. Today young women and men expect to be represented by both genders. This report looks to the future as well as taking the upcoming election into account. It recommends that local government and Seanad elections are also subject to candidate gender quotas.”

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Muiris MacCarthaigh to address roundtable on ‘The Irish public sector in European perspective’

Dr Muiris MacCarthaigh from the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy at QUB will speak at a roundtable on public sector reform at the National University of Ireland offices in Dublin on Friday 23rd January.  Other speakers include Prof Edoardo Ongaro (University of Northumbria and President of the European Group for Public Administration), Prof Koen Verhoest (University of Antwerp), Prof Colin Scott (University College Dublin) and other academics and senior Irish government officials.

The roundtable is part of a programme on ‘Building State Capacity in Ireland’ organised by the UCD Geary Institute for Public Policy. It coincides with a meeting of the international Advisory Group for a Research Fellowship on Public Service Reform which Dr MacCarthaigh is currently undertaking.

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Contributions to the Press by Prof Graham Walker

Professor Graham Walker was consulted in the preparation of feature articles – in which he was liberally quoted - on Irish voting rights in Britain in ‘The Irish Post’ (15.1.15), and on Rangers FC in ‘The Financial Times’ (17.1.15).

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Professor Dave Archard, Honorary Vice President of the Society for Applied Philosophy

Professor Dave Archard has been made Honorary Vice President of the Society for Applied Philosophy, the leading organization devoted to the promotion of philosophical work with a direct bearing on areas of practical concern.

The President of the Society for Applied Philosophy is Baroness Onora O’Neill.

In 2016 Queen’s University will host the Annual Conference of the Society.

Congratulations to Dave.

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Hacktivism: An Interview with the Electronic Disturbance Theatre 2.0

PISP PhD student, Leonie Maria Tanczer, has recently been published in the Ada journal. Leonie,  who is also a fellow at the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG), interviewed two members of the Electronic Disturbance Theatre 2.0: Carmin Karasic and Micha Cardenas. Both consider themselves to be politically motivated hackers, also known as hacktivists.

The Electronic Disturbance Theatre group have the belief that the Internet should not be used purely as a means for communication and data exchange. Instead it is also a forum for direct action.

To read the interview and find out more about Leonie’s work please visit the website below:

Congratulations to Leonie on the publication!

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Professor John Barry Presents his Inaugural Professorial Lecture

Congratulations to PISP's very own Professor John Barry who delivered his Inaugural Professorial lecture before the Christmas holidays. Professor Barry spoke on 'Carbon, Capitalism and the Transition from Unsustainability' and encouraged us all to be a little more radical.

To watch Professor Barry's lecture, click on the link below:


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PISP Graduate Appointed as Presidential Advisor

PISP is pleased to announce that MA Violence, Terrorism and Security graduate Eric D Gardiner has been recently appointed as Advisor to the President of the USA, at the Council on Foreign Relations, New York. Eric will be working on their education platform, the Global Literacy Initiative. He will also be doing research directly for Richard Haass, CFR's President.

Our congratulations to Eric on his new role.

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Dr Ephraim Nimni lectures in Oslo and Uppsala University in Sweden

Dr Ephraim Nimni has been invited by the prestigious Peace Research Institute of Oslo, Norway to give a lecture on 12th January with the title: “Shared sovereignty and territory in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”.  He has also been invited to present a paper at the conference Trans-ethnic Coalition-building within and across States organised by Uppsala Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies of Uppsala University in Sweden on 7-9 January 2015. The title of his paper is 'Hans Kohn's vision for national-cultural autonomy in Palestine'

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QUB-China Scholarship Council Joint Awards 2015

It has been confirmed that a maximum of ten studentship places for QUB-China Scholarship Council awards will be funded for 2015-16.

Related details are available here.



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PhD Studentships in Politics,International Studies & Philosophy

PhD Study Commencing 2015

The School of Politics, International Studies & Philosophy at Queen’s University Belfast is pleased to announce a number of funding opportunities for PhD students beginning September 2015. We welcome student proposals in a wide range of scholarly areas, with particular emphasis on the following:

  • Governance and Public Policy
  • International Relations
  • Comparative Ethnic Conflict
  • Contemporary Irish History
  • Political Theory
  • Philosophy

Details on School funding opportunities available here.

Further information on all these funding opportunities can be found on our webpages:

Likewise, you can contact Dr. Debbie Lisle for more information:

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Faculty of Arts Humanities & Social Sciences PhD Studentship Awards 2015 entry

Details for these studentship awards are available here.

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Middle East Expert to Cabinet Office Whitehall for Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan analysis

Professor Beverley Milton-Edwards, Professor of Politics, was invited to share her expertise at the Cabinet Office, Whitehall on UK policy directions for the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

At the workshop a range of UK Government officials from across Whitehall including the Cabinet Office, DFID, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, SIS, GCHQ and Defence Intelligence listened to inputs from Prof. Milton-Edwards as they pertained to Jordan’s domestic as well as regional challenges.    


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Interdisciplinary Research Group holds two events on Policing in Rio de Janeiro with Brazilian researchers
Dr Ignacio Cano answers questions about his research on policing in Rio de Janeiro
Dr Ignacio Cano answers questions about his research on policing in Rio de Janeiro
Dr Ignacio Cano and Dr Andrea Mayr lead a workshop on representations of policing in Brazilian media
Dr Ignacio Cano and Dr Andrea Mayr lead a workshop on representations of policing in Brazilian media

In October the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy and the Interdisciplinary Research Group on Policing Extremes held a public lecture and workshop focused on aspects of policing training, accountability, and new forms of community policing in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. One of the speakers was Dr. Ignacio Cano who is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Lead Researcher in the Laboratory for the Analysis of Violence in the Department of Social Sciences at Rio State University, Rio de Janeiro. He has published widely on public security and police human rights abuses in Brazil.

Over the course of the two events, Dr. Cano summarized the current state of violent crime and police responses, often resulting in police discharging their weapons and the deaths of suspects. However, he also highlighted a policing program instituted in parts of Rio de Janeiro beginning in 2008 called the Pacifying Police Units (UPPs). In certain areas of the city, UPPs have helped to stabilize violence crime and pioneer a new form of community-led policing. Dr. Cano and Dr. Andrea Mayr from the School of English at QUB also discussed the representation of violence and policing through various forms of media in Brazil. They explained how such imagery forms idealizes conceptions of policing as engaging in violence with suspected criminals, which has been to the detriment of more pacifying approaches such at the UPPs.

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Say goodbye to exam stress

First year exam study session with the Learning Development Centre and your Peer Mentors!

Location:  Sociology and Social Work/01/037

Date:  Wednesday 10 Dec. 2014

Time: 14:00 to 15:00


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Word count in PISP assignments


Word count in PISP assignments is inclusive of ALL in text references but NOT the Bibliography or any material included in appendix or appendices

On behalf of: Professor David Phinnemore, Head of School and Professor Milton-Edwards, Director of Education

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Professor John Barry Visiting Fellow at the Rachel Carson Center Munich May-July 2015

Professor John Barry has been accepted as a Visiting Fellow at the Rachel Carson Center in Munich from May-July 2015. The centre is one of the world’s leading research centres on social science research into environmental issues and sustainability.

Professor Barry will be  working on a publication and empirical research project entitled: ‘Beyond economic growth: green political economy, sustainability and human flourishing'.

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Access the following links for additional University news and events: