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Inclusive and Cohesive Communities

As a University based in Belfast, we are proud of our longstanding and world leading track record in research relating to peace, identity, culture, conflict and social sustainability. Our lived experience of conflict as a society, its causes and its consequences, has helped drive our determination to deliver research excellence which impacts on the lives and livelihoods of communities across the world.

Whether that relates to governance, accountability and international relations, listening to and responding to the child’s perspective, understanding the need for creativity and cultural understanding, or valuing the role of heritage, languages and literatures in building inclusive and cohesive societies.

We will continue to work with our international partners to address the issues of fundamental rights, equality and social justice which lie at the heart of our mission. 


Impact Case Studies

Brexit and the Border: Navigating a Peaceful Path across a shared border

Inclusive and Cohesive Communities

‘Brexit’, the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, is one of the most complicated social, political and economic issues in recent history.

One of the most challenging aspects was the question of the Northern Irish border, the only land border shared by the EU and the UK.

Dealing with the Past in Northern Ireland

Inclusive and Cohesive Communities

Researchers within Queen’s University Belfast have had a profound, sustained and multi-layered impact upon the legal, policy and public understanding of dealing with the legacy of the Northern Ireland conflict.

Enabling the meaningful participation of children and young people globally: The Lundy Model

Inclusive and Cohesive Communities

Since 2014, the Lundy model of child participation, based on four key concepts (Space, Voice, Audience and Influence), has been used and adopted by national and international organisations, agencies and governments to inform their understanding of children’s participation, generating a sea-change in global understanding of child rights-based participation for both policy and practice.

Helping to shape the democratic process in Ireland and Scotland

Inclusive and Cohesive Communities

Queen’s University research has helped shape the democratic decision-making process in the Republic of Ireland on the highly sensitive issue of abortion provision.

'Living Legacies 1914-18': Sharing contested heritage through digital and spatial humanities

Inclusive and Cohesive Communities

Historical geographers at Queen’s partnered with communities and institutions nationally and internationally to co-produce research sharing untold experiences of war, enhancing inclusive cross-community understanding of contested heritage. 

The Living Legacies 1914-18 World War 1 Engagement Centre has successfully created rich and extensive accounts of our shared heritage underpinned by geographical research, drawing on geospatial and digital techniques and methodologies. Their work gives new grounding and provides new spaces for engagement around contested heritage through co-production projects, workshops and events, working alongside communities to uncover new knowledge and deepen understanding of our shared past. 

Making banking crisis proof: Helping the Bank of England and financial analysts learn from past crises

A Transformative and Sustainable Economy, Inclusive and Cohesive Communities

Researchers at Queen’s have carried out work focusing on historical financial crises to help shed light on why they happen and what we can do to prevent them in the future.

The research has had a beneficial impact on policy-making, professional practice, and the historical awareness and knowledge of staff at the Bank of England. It has also had a beneficial impact on the non-academic study of business history and has reached tens of thousands of financial analysts.

Performing Restoration Shakespeare

Inclusive and Cohesive Communities

‘Performing Restoration Shakespeare’ is an international and multidisciplinary research project that brings together scholars and practitioners in theatre and music to investigate how and why Restoration adaptations of Shakespeare succeeded in performance in their own time (i.e., 1660-1714) and how and why they can succeed in performance today.

The research has generated significant cultural impact, influenced artistic programming at major classical theatres, pioneered a successful new model for scholar-artist collaboration, created unique audience experiences, inspired a ‘critics debate’ in a major USA newspaper, and generated substantial revenue.

Queen’s Communities and Place – Lasting Solutions for Local Challenges

Inclusive and Cohesive Communities

Queen’s Communities and Place (QCAP), launched in 2021 by researchers from Queen's and the Market Development Association (MDA) in the Market area of South Belfast, is a community-academic partnership combining joint perspectives, expertise and resources to find better solutions for tackling disadvantage and improving outcomes for children, young people and communities. The project reflects the University’s ongoing engagement within the community, and a commitment to supporting its continued empowerment.

Reassembled, Slightly Askew - A Unique Immersive Theatrical Experience

Healthy Living for All, Inclusive and Cohesive Communities, Secure Connected Intelligence – AI and the Data Revolution

Reassembled, Slightly Askew (RSA) is an immersive audio-based artwork that transports you inside the head of artist Shannon Yee as she descends into coma from a rare brain infection and her re-emergence into the world with an acquired brain injury.

The work was created by a multidisciplinary team including Queen’s University’s Professor Paul Stapleton as composer/ Sound designer.

Rediscovering Ireland’s Past in Words

Inclusive and Cohesive Communities

Language is ever-evolving over time, both in its use and in how it relates to our understanding of the past. The Electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language is a historical dictionary that reveals the development of the language over a millennium. Researchers at Queen’s carried out extensive research to revise, update and curate the electronic Dictionary. In doing so they have achieved substantial reach well beyond the academic audience for which it was originally designed.

Remembering 1916: the centenary of Ireland’s Easter Rising

Inclusive and Cohesive Communities

Research carried out at Queen’s led to the creation of a series of works which focus on the commemoration of the 1916 Easter Rising, an event regarded both as a powerful symbol of Irish nationhood, as well as one with a controversial legacy. The work has been hailed as an exemplary model of how controversial historical events can be interpreted in ways that encourage social and political cohesion and understanding.

The Mainstreaming and Internationalising of Shared Education

Inclusive and Cohesive Communities

Research from Queen’s University has provided the basis for a model of collaboration between Protestant and Catholic schools in Northern Ireland focused on promoting reconciliation and school improvement.

The research led to the adoption of Shared Education as a statutory responsibility for the Department of Education in Northern Ireland and the Education Authority.

The work heavily influenced the Shared Education Signature Programme (SESP) and Collaboration and Sharing in Education (CASE) programmes in Northern Ireland, as well as related programmes in Israel and North Macedonia.

The Rule of the Land: Politics, Landscape and Identity on Ireland’s Border

Inclusive and Cohesive Communities

‘Brexit’, the result of the 2016 United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, sparked a renewed interest in the UK/Irish border among the media, politicians and public alike, at the same time unearthing widespread misunderstandings and differing perceptions about the Irish ‘borderlands’ region and the communities that inhabit it.

The Social and Solidarity Economy and Local Development

A Transformative and Sustainable Economy, Inclusive and Cohesive Communities

A Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) is a model of society based on harmonious local development and fair commercial relationships. Researchers from Queen’s University’s School of Natural and Built Environment were asked to explore the potential of the SSE in Belfast as an alternative site of community mobilization and inclusive economics.

Uncovering the causes of a Major Crisis in the World Food Programme

Healthy Living for All, Human-Environment Relations, Inclusive and Cohesive Communities

For over 20 years, researchers at Queen’s have investigated the chemical contamination of foodstuffs for the benefit and safety of consumers around the world. In 2019 the team were called upon to identify the cause of a major contamination crisis in the UN World Food Programme (WFP).


Research Topics
  • Governance, accountability and international relations
  • Fundamental rights, equality, and social justice
  • Valuing heritage
  • Peace, identity, conflict and social sustainability
  • Creativity and cultural understanding
  • The child’s perspective