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Richard Wilford

Professor Richard Wilford


Professor of Politics emeritus (PhD Wales)

Director: Legislative Studies and Practice

Contact Details

QUB Research Portal (Pure)


Teaching Areas

Politics and public policy in the UK, women and politics, feminism and nationalism, supervision of the final year undergraduate internship programme.

Research Interests

My major current interest is in the outworking of the devolution project in the UK, more especially its fitful implementation in Northern Ireland. Since 1999, I have been the co-coordinator of the Northern Ireland devolution monitoring team, which between 1999 and 2005 produced quarterly reports on the devolution and peace processes in the region and since 2006 four-monthly reports on the same. The restoration of devolution in May 2007 has narrowed the focus of the reports onto the performance of the devolved institutions, and my particular interest lies in the performance of both the Assembly (including its committee system) and the Executive. I am especially interested in the evidence of both joined-up government within the Executive and of joined-up scrutiny within the Assembly. The research is co-funded by the ESRC and a number of Government departments (the 1999-2005 project was co-funded by the ESRC and the Leverhulme Foundation). In addition to the monitoring reports, the wider project has produced the annual State of the Nations series, each of which contains a chapter co-written with Robin Wilson, on Northern Ireland.

Research Supervision

I am happy to supervise research in the following areas: Contemporary Northern Ireland politics and policy; the governance of divided societies; territorial politics; women and political representation; women in divided societies; parliamentary institutions and parliamentary reform.

Recent/Selected Publications

  • ‘Inside Stormont: The NI Assembly and the Executive’, in P. Carmichael et al (ed), Devolution and Constitutional Change in Northern Ireland (2007)
  • ‘Northern Ireland: St Andrews-the Long Good Friday Agreement’, in J. Bradbury (ed.), Devolution, Regionalism and Regional Development (forthcoming 2007)
  • 'Power to the People? A Democratic Audit of Northern Ireland' (with R. Wilson and K. Claussen), (2007)
  • The Trouble with Northern Ireland (with R. Wilson), (2007)
  • ‘Northern Ireland: Resolving an Ancient Quarrel?, in M.O’Neill (ed.),Devolution and British Politics, (2004)
  • ‘The Virtual Election: the 2003 NI Assembly Election’ (with R. Wilson), Representation (2004)
  • ‘Northern Ireland’s Devolved Institutions: A Triumph of Hope over Experience?’ (with R. MacGinty), Regional and Federal Studies, (2003)
  • Contributing editor, Aspects of the Belfast Agreement, (2001)