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PhD projects

Cultural labour (inequality, precarity) and the role of the artist
Ethics, stakeholder management and organisational decision-making in arts and cultural industries
Arts and Cultural industries management and leadership studies
Cultural policymaking with specific themes of festivals, youth arts and the role of the artist

1995 …2024

Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Research Statement

Ali's research focuses on decision-making and the ethics and ecologies of contemporary cultural production. particularly performing arts and freelancers/artists. Her doctoral research on the artist as stakeholder was shortlisted for the 2020 ENCATC Research Award. 

She has 25+ years of experience in the international arts and cultural sector and a substantial portfolio of experience working as a programmer and producer at community, national and international level in theatre, festivals, outdoor and youth arts. She has worked regularly in policy advisory work and consultancy on concerns of equality, sustainability, leadership, creative development and planning in the arts and cultural sector. She has also engaged in advisory work with voluntary, social enterprise and community sectors. 

Current projects:

Editorial Board member: Irish Journal of Arts Management & Cultural Policy

Co-Investigator: Freelancers in the Dark

Co-Investigator: Future Screens NI part of the UK Creative Industries Clusters Programme.


 Ali's research has been focused on the field of management and leadership in the cultural and creative industries in the UK, examining the influence of public policy and public management on cultural sector behaviour, particularly in relation to cultural labour and the role of artists.  She is currently developing three strands of research.

The first is the exploration of engaged and inter/transdisciplinary research and what it means in the study of arts and creative industries management. The second is looking at connections between non-profit management research and theory and arts and creative industries management, in particular considering the ethics of the cultural and creative industries. Her final interest is a continuation of her research since 2015 on artists as stakeholders in industry and policy decision-making. This examines the role, status, value and influence of artists and artistic practice within the arts and cultural industries. Attention is directed towards diverse artists and also the implicit presence/absence of artists in public policy.

Research Interests

Cultural Labour (precarity, inequality) and the role of the artist; Ethics, stakeholder management and organisational decision-making in arts and cultural industries management; arts & CCI management studies (non-profit and social enterprise); Cultural leadership; themes of cultural policy-making with specific reference to festivals, youth arts & role of the artist; inter/transdisciplinarity


Ali has been a lecturer on the MA in Arts Management at Queen’s University Belfast since its inception in 2012, joining the School as a fulltime staff member in 2019 and assuming the role of MA Convenor in November 2019

Her contribution spans teaching and convening a number of elements of the MA in Arts Management specific to leadership, management, strategic and business planning, business models and operational management. In addition, she contributes to teaching in audience engagement and is responsible for the programme's professional development/placement component. Her undergraduate teaching includes an interdisciplinary module: Introduction to Arts Management and contributions to professional development programmes for final year AEL undergraduate students. 

Ali has also been a Guest Lecturer for the MA in Festive Arts at University of Limerick.

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 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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