Alba Arenales

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Research Interests

My research interests are in the field of social movements and contentious political action. In particular, I am interested in the role of emotions, solidarity and friendship in the emergence and development of violent and disruptive forms of protest.

My PhD project aims to research riots as a tactic within the broader Provisional Republican movement during the Troubles in NI. I am interested in understanding the relationship between different organisations and those who participated in riots. My research considers the role of social networks and friendship in the involvement of people in riots. It also explores the interaction between the forces of the state and rioters in the field and in the wider context, and how this interaction may have impacted upon riots, as a tactic.



As a teaching assistant in the School of Social Science, Education and Social Work, I am currently delivering:

SOC 1001 Rethinking Society

SOC 1002 Sociological Imagination

SQM 1003 Digital Society.

SOC 2001 The Power of Social Theory


I studied a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology (2013) and a Master's degree in Applied Sociology and Social Problems (2015) at the University Complutense of Madrid, where my dissertation on protest, collective identity and the lived space was supervised by Dr Enrique Gil Calvo. I then undertook a MRes in Social Science Research  at Queen’s University Belfast (2018), where I carried out my dissertation on the emotional dynamics of riots and their biographical and cultural impacts in Belfast, supervised by Dr Jonathan G. Heaney, who along with Dr Katy Hayward currently supervise my PhD.



Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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