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Recent and ongoing research projects at Politics, International Studies and Philosophy

Power-Sharing and Voting

Conflict, Accountability and Electoral Behaviour at the 2015 Northern Ireland Assembly Election

Investigating whether power-sharing has actually led to good quality electoral democracy for the people of Northern Ireland or has instead merely cemented and strengthened ethnic divisions.

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Treating People as Objects?

Treating People as Objects? Ethics, Security and the Governance of Mobility

This project seeks to critically analyse the ways in which efforts to control the movement of people across borders are becoming increasingly entangled with efforts to control the movement of objects across those same borders, and the ethical implications of this entanglement.

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TRUST: Tracing Risk and Uncertainty in Security Technology

How do diverse understandings and complex interactions between government, industry and academic drivers shape the route through which border security technologies are developed?

The TRUST project research mapped and analysed how new security technologies are developed in practice through inter-disciplinary collaborative research between social scientists and engineers. It contributes to cross-disciplinary and applied knowledge about the drivers and challenges of science and technology in relation to security.

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Generating Justice

Generating Justice: The social, legal, political and ethical issues of ensuring justice across generations

This project examined what justice requires of the present generation, what can be claimed against past generations, and what can be demanded by future generations.

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Governance and Public Policy

The Governance and Public Policy subject area encompasses three internationally recognised nodes of interdisciplinary research.

The European Studies research group brings together an interdisciplinary group of scholars concerned with both the European Union and the broader historical and cultural processes which have shaped contemporary Europe. Specific areas of expertise include European Union Politics and Policy, Comparative European Politics, Modern European History, European Law, European Cultural Identities, the External Relations of the European Union, and European/International Political Economy.

The activities of the Gender Studies research group have particularly focused on the Centre for the Advancement of Women in Politics (CAWP) . CAWP’s research aims to bring a critical feminist perspective to bear on women’s political and public participation in the UK and Ireland, as well as further afield. Projects analysing women’s presence in public office and women’s voice in decision-making in Africa, Europe, the UK and Ireland constitute the core of CAWP research.

The subject area also provides focal point for the numerous colleagues across the School whose research touches on issues of Governance, understood broadly in terms of the empirical and theoretical study of public policy issues from the local through to the international levels.

International Politics and Ethnic Conflict

The International Politics and Ethnic Conflict (IPEC) research subject area reflects the research interests of members of the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy, in relation to the discipline of International Relations and the sub-discipline of Comparative Politics in particular relation to ethno-national conflicts. It also encompasses area specialists on the Middle East, Africa and Europe, as well as specialists in security studies, cultural studies, international political economy and international history. The reference in the name of the research subject area to ethnic conflict provides an indication of a special interest in the research subject area in the study of the Politics of Deeply Divided Societies, taking account of the fact of the location of the university in such a society, the research interests of staff and the many PhD students we supervise in this area.

The Centre for the Study of Ethnic Conflict has provided a focus for this interest in its networking, holding of public lectures etc., as it will do in the future. Aims of the research subject area include the promotion of intellectual co-operation among colleagues in these fields so as to facilitate joined-up thinking on these issues that takes advantage of the diverse interests and expertise within the subject area, as well as the promotion of intellectual exchanges among colleagues to provide a stimulating environment for the development of academic staff, both in collaborative research and in other activities, such as seminars. Colleagues are also involved with the University initiative on Conflict Transformation, Identities and Human Rights. They are editors and on the editorial boards of key journals in the fields of international politics and ethno-national politics as well as other subject areas.

Political Theory

Political Theory has always been a very strong area of research at Queens, and has featured as a key element in all of our RAE returns. Furthermore with six specialist political theorists we have one of the largest concentrations of this field in the whole of the UK. The members of the Political Theory research subject area have a wide range of research interests which are drawn from both the Anglo-American and Continental schools of thought; these include the history of political thought, utopian political theory, contemporary political philosophy, Green political thought, poststructuralism, democratic political theory, and the politics of recognition. The research subject area holds regular seminars featuring both internal and external speakers, and has a flourishing group of postgraduates on both taught and research degrees.