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Identities, Groups, and Social Change

The Centre for Identity and Intergroup Relations (CIIR) aims to advance the academic and public understanding of some of the key challenges facing individuals, groups and societies, from the perspective of social and political psychology. Our research focuses on the role of identity in explaining attitudes and behaviour, and examines intergroup relations in a variety of contexts both within and beyond Northern Ireland.

Key topics under investigation in the Centre include: community resilience and political engagement; national identity; relationships with authority; citizenship and forms of co-existence in post-conflict societies; developing and testing interventions (e.g., different forms of intergroup contact) to generate intergroup tolerance, and the consequences of multiculturalism for the individual and society.

Based in Belfast in the context of post-conflict Northern Ireland, the Centre is ideally situated to provide world-leading research on the myriad challenges facing complex and multifaceted societies throughout the world today.  The Centre is multidisciplinary, working with academics in Anthropology, Education, Geography, Law, and Politics amongst others, multi-methodological, conducting both basic and applied research using a variety of different methodologies (e.g., experimental, survey, interview and ethnographic research expertise), and multinational, with collaborators and research projects taking place across Europe, North America, Australia, and the Indian subcontinent. We have strong links to a variety of voluntary and statutory organisations concerned with community relations, justice and education.

Latest news

Inaugural Event

The inaugural event of the Centre for Identity and Intergroup Relations (CIIR) took place at Riddel Hall in Belfast on Wednesday 2 July 2014.

This one day event will brought  together an exciting and varied line up of speakers undertaking research on identity and intergroup relations from a variety of theoretical and methodological perspectives.

We were delighted to welcome our international keynote speaker, Professor Kevin Durrheim, who joined us from the University of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa to talk about his research on the contradictory effects of intergroup contact.

Grants & Publications

Dr Clifford Stevenson has recently been awarded two grants from the ESRC:

  • Power-Sharing and Voting: Conflict, Accountability and Electoral Behaviour at the 2015 Northern Ireland Assembly Election (ESRC £405,000). PI: Dr John Garry; CIs: Prof John Coakley; Brendan O’Leary;  Dr Clifford Stevenson;
  • Randomly Selected "Politicians": Transforming Democracy in the Post-Conflict Context. (ESRC Transformative Grant £186,000) PI: Dr John Garry; CIs: Prof John Coakley; Dr Adelle Marshall, Dr Cillian McBride; Prof Brendan O’Leary; Dr Fabian Schuppert; Dr Clifford Stevenson.

Dr Clifford Stevenson and Prof John Dixon (Open University) with Thia Dickey (QUB) were awarded a Community Relations Council grant to conduct research on Exploring the Quality of Shared Housing in Belfast.

Professor Rhiannon Turner has recently had a paper published in JEP: General. This multi-authored paper pitted different techniques to reduce implicit prejudice pitted against one another.

The Centre for Identity and Intergroup Relations currently holds funding from:

  • Community Relations Council
  • Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
  • National Institute for Health Research
  • Richard Benjamin Trust
  • Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister

We have previously held funding from:

  • Northern Ireland Commission for Victims and their Carers
  • British Council
  • DelPHI-Iraq Programme

PhD Students in CIIR