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Who We Are

Core Team

Prof Muiris MacCarthaigh
Professor of Politics and Public Policy

Muiris is Professor of Politics and Public Policy and founding Director of the Centre. He is also Head of Politics and International Relations at QUB. His research covers a variety of themes in academic public policy and administration, with current work examining how administrative systems evolve and adapt to meet changing political and policy demands, and the effects of AI and machine learning on knowledge synthesis and decision-making in government. He is a member of the leadership teams of the ESRC-funded International Public Policy Observatory and of the European Group for Public Administration, as well as Visiting Professor at the Geary Institute for Public Policy at University College Dublin. In 2023 he was awarded Fellowship of the Academy of Social Sciences for his outstanding scholarship and leadership in public administration.

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Dr Michele Crepaz
Vice-Chancellor Illuminate Fellow

Michele joined Queen’s University Belfast in 2021. He holds the prestigious Vice Chancellor’s Illuminate Fellowship and actively researches central topics related to global public policy development. In more detail, his research focuses on the power of lobbying, the influence of external stakeholders on governmental processes, and public initiatives aimed at fostering openness and transparency. He employs both quantitative and qualitative methods in his research and specialises in the use of elite surveys and survey experiments. His work contributes to scholarly debates in the field of interest groups and transparency research, and it has informed the operations of governments and civil society organisations in this area. In particular, he closely collaborates with the non-governmental organisation, the Good Lobby, in its advocacy for more open and transparent policymaking.

Dr Viviane Gravey
Senior Lecturer in European Politics

Viviane joined Queen’s in 2016. She is a Senior Lecturer in European Politics, whose main focus is the relationship between policy change and shocks to policy-making systems. This is reflected in her two main areas of research. First, environmental policy dismantling in the European Union – and its links to further European (dis)integration. Second, after investigating how the EU has shaped UK environmental & agricultural policy and governance (and vice-versa), her current work focuses on the potential policy and governance changes linked to the repatriation of EU law in the UK and the devolved regions after Brexit, notably in Northern Ireland. As a co-chair of Brexit & Environment, a network of academics investigating the impact of Brexit on the environment, Viviane works with civil society organisations, governments and legislatures on post-Brexit policy. As a member of the ESRC Centre for Inclusive Trade Policy, she investigates the UK’s first steps in setting an independent trade policy and whose voices are heard in that process. Alongside her policy research she researches innovative pedagogies for teaching politics and policy.

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Dr Anastasia Ershova
Lecturer in Public Policy

Anastasia is a CPPA Fellow who joined Queen’s University Belfast as a Lecturer in Public Policy in September 2023. She has been actively involved in development and delivery of modules in the MS in International Public Policy and supporting HAPP placement students. Her scientific interests lie in the intersection of Public policy, European Studies and Political science. In her ongoing research, she relies on qualitative methods to investigate legislative bargaining and bureaucratic behaviour in the multi-level structure of EU institutions. Using text analysis she examines the powers of the implementing agencies and the extent to which they are shaped by domestic public opinion as well as political dynamics within member states. Her research brings in an innovative perspective on the interactions between domestic politics and supranational bureaucratic behaviour, and the role of the public voices in shaping behaviour and powers of the political institutions.

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Dr Jack Taggart
Lecturer in International Political Economy

Dr Jack Taggart joined QUB in 2021 as a Lecturer in International Political Economy. His research examines the dynamics and politics of global governance and international development, bridging discussions in International Relations, International Political Economy, Human Geography, and Development Studies. His work focuses on the emergence of new institutional forms in global governance—such as ‘multistakeholder’ partnerships and initiatives led by China and other ascending powers—and their effects on traditional cooperation mechanisms. Dr Taggart explores the increasing influence of corporate entities, discourses, and power within the global sustainable governance regime, highlighting the impact of state-capitalist models on conventional capitalist structures, especially in the realm of international development. A consistent theme throughout his research is the transformation of global governance and development by new actors and power structures. Dr Taggart actively contributes to Global Policy North, a network of scholars from UK universities focusing on global policy challenges, where he plays a pivotal role. He also organises workshops and offers numerous engagement opportunities for academics interested in these critical issues.

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Dr Ka Ka Katie Tsang
Research Fellow

Ka Ka joined Queens as a Research Fellow based in the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics in 2023. Her work at the International Public Policy Observatory (IPPO) involves engagement with local stakeholders, NI and UK policymakers to meet national and international policy demands in relation to covid recovery, net zero, socio-economic inequalities as well as place and spatial inequality. Prior to joining IPPO, Ka Ka completed her mixed methods PhD thesis, “Marriage Inequality on the Hill” which applied power-legitimacy frameworks to analyse the social and political contest of pro-equality campaign communications. Ka Ka has extensive experience in community consultation projects including hate crime service responses, policy and training, as well as LGBT+ rights and education inequality research. Her most recent team project looked at racial discrimination in Dublin and its impact on employment, housing and the accessing of goods and services for Roma, Irish Travellers and other community groups.

Associate Fellows

Dr Deepak Padmanabhan
Senior Lecturer, School of EEECS
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Dr Thomas Schultze-Gerlach
Senior Lecturer, School of Psychology
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Dr Ciarán O'Kelly
Lecturer, School of Law
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Dr Estelle Lowry
Research Fellow, School of Natural and Built Environment
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Dr David Phinnemore
Professor, School of HAPP, Michell Institute, Security and Justice
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Doctoral Candidates

Josh Dornan
School of HAPP
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Dr Estelle Lowry
Doctoral Student, School of Law
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