Dr Brian Walker

Professor Brian Mercer Walker

Emeritus Professor 

(PhD, Trinity College, Dublin University)

F.R.S.A. and Honorary Member of the Linen Hall Library

email: b.m.walker@qub.ac.uk


Teaching Areas

Irish politics; Political identity in Ireland, 1900-2012; Britain and Ireland in comparative perspective.

Research Interests

My research and publishing interests cover a number of areas. I am joint general editor (with Professor R.A. Welch) of a five volume O.U.P. history of the Irish book. Three volumes have been published and the other two will appear shortly. I continue to conduct research into nineteenth and twentieth century Irish elections. My main area of current research involves Irish identity. I have recently published a book on political identity in Ireland, 1921-2011. I have also written on Irish identity among the Irish diaspora. The role of religion in politics as well as the impact of history and commemorations on contemporary society are matters which continue to interest me.

Recent Publications

  • ‘Remembering the siege of Derry: the rise of a popular religious and political tradition’ in William Kennedy, (ed.), The sieges of Derry ( Dublin ; our Courts Press, 2001), pp123-44.
  • 10 entries in John Ramsden, (ed.), The Oxford companion to twentieth century British politics ( Oxford ; Oxford University Press, 2002).
  • ‘Public holidays, commemorations and identity in Ireland, north and south, 1920-60’ in Dermot Keogh and Gabriel Doherty (eds), De Valera’s Ireland ( Cork ; Mercier Press, 2003), pp138-54.
  • Editor, Five Topographical dictionaries of nine Ulster counties by Samuel Lewis ( Belfast ; Friars Bush Press, 2003-5)
  • ‘Electoral politics from 1800 to 1921’ in J.S. Donnelly (ed.), Encyclopedia of Irish history and culture, vol.1 ( New York ; Thomson Gale, 2004), pp209-13.
  • ‘The 1885 and 1886 general elections in Ireland ’ in History Ireland, vol.13, no.6 (Nov/Dec. 2005), pp36-40.
  • ‘Actions and views: John Brownlee Lonsdale, Unionist M.P., 1900-18’ in D.G. Boyce and Alan O’Day, (eds),The Ulster crisis ( London ; Palgrave, 2005), pp128-45.
  • General co-editor, History of the Irish book, vol.3, edited by Raymond Gillespie and Andrew Hadfield ( Oxford ; Oxford University Press, 2006).
  • ‘Politicians, elections and catastrophe: the general election of 1847’ in Irish Political Studies, vol.22, no.1 (Mar.2007), pp1-34.
  • ‘Ancient enmities and modern conflict: history and politics in Northern Ireland ’ in Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, vol.13, no.1 (Jan.-Mar. 2007), pp103-28
  • ‘Lost tribes of Ireland ; diversity, identity and loss among the Irish diaspora’ in Irish Studies Review, vol.15, no.3(Aug.2007), pp267-82
  • ‘Religion and politics: the case of Northern Ireland’ in Peace and Conflict Studies, vol.14, no.2 (Fall 2007), pp74-92
  •  ‘The Scotch-Irish in America today: numbers, distribution and identity’ in Journal of Scotch-Irish Studies, vol.3, no.1 (2009), pp29-38.
  • ‘President Barack Obama; family history and modern America’ in Familia: Ulster Geneological Review, no. 25 (2009), pp1-9.
  • General co-editor, History of the Irish book, vol. 4, edited by James H. Murphy (Oxford; Oxford University Press, 2011)
  • General co-editor, History of the Irish book, vol.5, edited by Clare Hutton and Patrick Walsh (Oxford; Oxford University Press, 2011)
  • Author, A political history of the two Irelands: from partition to peace (Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012)
  • Co-author with Sir Peter Froggatt, ‘Dr David Walker, medical doctor and explorer’ in Journal of Medical Biography, Royal Society of Medicine (forthcoming, 2012)
  • ‘Protestant Irish in America, 1940 to the present’ in Elliott Barkan (ed.), Immigrants in American history (Santa Barbara, CA ABC Clio; forthcoming, 2012)
  • ‘Villain, victim or prophet: Sir William Gregory and the Great Irish Famine’, in Irish Historical Studies (forthcoming, 2013)
  • ‘Commemorations, past and present’ in Deirdre MacBride (ed.), Remembering the future: a decade of anniversaries, 2012-23 (Belfast, CRC, forthcoming 2012).



Editor, Faces of the past: a photographic and literary record of Ulster, 1880-1915 (Belfast, Appletree Press, 1976; 8th edition, 2008)

Editor, Shadows on glass: a portfolio of early Ulster photography (Belfast, Appletree Press, 1976)

Editor, Irish parliamentary election results, 1800-1922 (Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, 1978)

Editor, Frank Matcham, theatre architect ( Belfast, Blackstaff  Press, 1980)

Author, Sentry Hill: an Ulster farm and family (Belfast, Blackstaff  Press, 1982; fifth edition, 2004)

Co-editor, No mean city: Belfast 1880-1914 in the photographs of Robert French (Belfast, Friar’s Bush Press, 1983)

Co-editor, In Belfast town: early photographs from the Lawrence collection, 1864-80 (Belfast, Friar’s Bush Press, 1984)

Co-editor, Province, city and people: Belfast and its region ( Belfast, W.G. Baird, 1987)

Author, Ulster politics: the formative years, 1868-86 (Belfast, Ulster Historical Foundation, 1988)

Co-editor, Ulster: an illustrated history (London: Batsford, 1989)

Editor, Irish parliamentary election results, 1918-92 (Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, 1992)

Co-author, Degrees of excellence: the story of Queen’s, Belfast, 1845-1995 ( Belfast, Institute of Irish Studies, 1995)

Author, Dancing to history’s tune: history, myth and politics in Ireland (Belfast, Institute of Irish Studies, 1996)

Author, Past and present: history, identity and politics in Ireland (Belfast, Institute of Irish Studies, 2000)