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Dr McManus’ research focuses processes of extremism that lead to conflict. In particular, he is interested in how long-term processes of identity formation (individual and group) can generate the conditions for conflict. As part of this, his work examines how education, particularly adult education, can play a role in addressing extremist ideologies.

This research has included recent work examining how processes of ‘Othering’ have fed conflict in Northern Ireland and continue to impact negatively on the peace process. It has examined the role of prison education in challenging militancy and/or extremism.

The research has also sought to apply lessons from Northern Ireland to other areas of conflict. In particular, he has sought to apply processes of Othering as a means of understanding Islamist Extremism in the West.

The objective of the research activity is to generate discussion on the causes of conflict and how we might apply knowledge from one context to another.

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Open to PhD applications in the field of 

  • Conflict and Conflict transformation
  • Nationalism and identity politics
  • Political extremism
  • Adult education
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  • Dr McManus regularly offers short, part-time courses for adults that are related to his research. 
    These courses are delivered in both Queen’s University Belfast and in local community setting across Northern Ireland.
  • Contributes to political blogs such as and Slugger O’Toole


Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science

School Of Social Sciences, Education And Social Work


Research at Queen's

Postgraduate research

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