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Paddy Hillyard

Photo of Paddy Hillyard
Paddy Hillyard

B.S.S., B.A. (Trinity College, Dublin), M.A. (Keele), Ph.D. (Bristol)
Professor of Sociology
Room 2.12, 6 College Park
Ext: 3129; Email:

I began my academic career at the then New University of Ulster. I moved to the University of Bristol in 1976. Following the establishment of the new School of Policy Studies in 1995, I became Director of the Centre for Research on Social Exclusion and Social Justice. In 1999 I moved back to Ireland and took up the Chair in Social Policy at the University of Ulster. In January 2005, I was appointed to a Chair in Sociology at Queen's University Belfast.

My main research interest is in social order and control in modern welfare states focusing on a number of substantive areas: 'crime', social harm, political violence, poverty and inequality.  My past research has explored the changing strategies used to deal with political violence in Northern Ireland and Britain and the move towards a more coercive form of regulation in Britain involving the accretion of greater power to the police and other organisations which was non-accountable and not subject to adequate democratic control. More recently my research has focused on poverty, conflict and inequality in Northern Ireland . My latest research project funded by the ESRC explored women's security and participation in three transitional societies - Northern Ireland, South Africa and the Lebanon. Along with colleagues at Bristol and Liverpool, I am interested in developing a new discipline, which we have called Zemiology (from the Greek zemia), focusing on the study of the range of the social harms which people experience from the cradle to the grave, only a small proportion of which are captured by the criminal law.

Teaching Interests

Social harm, 'crime', policing, criminal injustice, poverty and inequality, qualitative methods.

Recent Publications

Hillyard, P. (with Demi Patsios and Fiona. Scullion) (2008) Northern Ireland Living Standard Index (NILSI): Development and Analysis Report, School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, Queen’s University Belfast, June 2008.

Hillyard, P. (with D. Patsios and F. Scullion) (2007) 'A Daughter to ELSI - NILSI: A Northern Ireland Standard of Living Index or Problematising Wealth in the Analysis of Inequality and Material Well-being', Social Policy and Society 6:1 81-98.

 'Law's Empire: Socio-Legal Empirical Research in the 21st Century', Journal of Law and Society, Vol. 34, No. 2 June 2007, pp. 266-79.

Hillyard, P. (with B. Hamber, A. Maguire, M. McWilliams, G. Robinson, D. Russell and M. Ward) (2006) 'Discourses in transition: Re-Imagining Women's Security', International Relations, 20:4 487-502.

Hillyard, P. (with Monica McWilliams and Margaret Ward) (2006)  Northern Ireland Gender Audit, School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, Queen’s’ University Belfast, June 2006.

Hillyard, P. (with B. Rolston and M. Tomlinson) (2005) Poverty and Conflict in Ireland : An International Perspective , Dublin : Institute of Public Administration/Combat Poverty Agency.

Hillyard, P. (with C. Pantazis, S. Tombs and D. Gordon) (2004) Beyond Criminology: Taking Harm Seriously, Pluto Press.

Hillyard, P. (with G.P. Kelly, E. McLaughlin, D. Patsios, M. Tomlinson) (2003) Bare Necessities: Poverty and Social Exclusion in Northern Ireland , Belfast : Democratic Dialogue.

Recent and Current Research projects          Publications         Activities