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Contemporary Social Issues and Policy

This cluster brings together staff with a breadth of research interests and research expertise. The group is diverse and dynamic and ranges from research students in the process of their PhDs, junior staff and internationally recognised scholars. The uniting interest of the cluster lies in the analsysis of public policy as a response to social problems. There are four key themes to our research;

  1. Critical analysis of the welfare state and social policy
  2. Analysis of the tenure of employment and unemployment and their regulation
  3. Risk behaviours, substance misuse, crime, and conflict as issues for public policy
  4. Sociology of health and illness, suicide and age

All research shares a number of common principles. These include a commitment to using evidence to impact on policy; a commitment to developing qualitative and quantitative approaches to research questions; a commitment to theoretical and applied approaches to social problems; and a commitment to considering these social issues at both a macro and micro level. Gender, class and equality analysis underpins each research theme.

Cluster members have a well established track record of publishing their research in leading journals. Research is funded by the EU, Research Councils, Charitable Foundations, Government and other sources. The high international and national impact of our research is evident in Cluster members’ engagement with the Council of Europe, the European Commission, the European Parliament, International Labour Organisation, Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations, regional government departments and UK government departments. Cluster members are especially committed to working with user groups, and have strong links with the Community and Voluntary Sector, Service Providers, and Practitioners in both the North and South of Ireland. One major aim of our Cluster is to heighten the impact of our research.

Research Convenor: Dr Nicola Carr

Membership - Staff

Dr Bronagh Byrne

Dr Emma Calvert

Dr Janet Carter Anand

Dr Gavin Davidson

Dr Paula Devine

Dr Michael Duffy

Dr Laura Grant

Ms Grace Kelly

Dr Anne Kouvonen

Dr John Moriarty

Dr Leanne O'Hara

Dr Andrew Percy

Prof. Lindsay Prior

Prof. Sally Shortall

Dr Sirin Sung

Prof. Mike Tomlinson


Postgraduate Students:

Zigganni Booth

Silvia Buet-Gonzales

Claire Cole
Anne-Marie Doherty
Helen Eagleson
Lynn Johnston
Marc Mallon
Ruari McBride
Fionntan McCarry
Ian McCutcheon
Rosanna McSorley
Tracey Monson
Leeanne O'Hare
Arlene Robertson
Mary Roche
Rebecca Shea Irvine
Stephanie Smith
Ronan Smyth

Colm Walsh
Joanne Wilson
Lisa Wilson