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Ashleigh McFeeters


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    United Kingdom

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Research Statement

Ashleigh McFeeters is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of Law and The Senator George J. Mitchell Institute For Global Peace, Security And Justice at Queen's University Belfast. She is the Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the ESRC-funded project Apologies, Abuses and Dealing with the Past with Prof Kieran McEvoy, Prof Anne-Marie McAlinden, Dr Anna Bryson, Prof Shadd Maruna and Dr Muiris MacCarthaigh.

The Apologies, Abuses and Dealing with the Past project investigates the importance of apologies in dealing with past harms related to the conflict, institutional child abuse and the banking crisis across the island of Ireland. The project focuses on public apologies for harms inflicted by paramilitaries, state actors, churches and the corporate sector. The team explores how these apologies have been crafted, delivered and received by victims and the general public; and how apologies factor in society’s national imagination and concepts of ethno-national identity.

For victims, apologies frequently seem to be a significant aspect in dealing with the past. Nevertheless, the relationship between apologies and concepts like accountability, reconciliation, truth and legitimacy is little understood. Whilst ‘saying sorry’ is a general acknowledgement of hurt, there have been few endeavours to generate a rigorous and nuanced sense of what constitutes a legitimate apology and how the drafting, presentation and acceptance/rejection of such apologies may or may not contribute to reconciliation and coming to terms with past wrongs.

By way of scrutinising the viewpoints of perpetrators, victims and the community, this project strives to deliver an inclusive and robust examination of the role of apologies in dealing with the past.

Ashleigh McFeeters's PhD research concentrated on the role of the news media in peace-building in post-conflict societies. Specifically, the thesis focused on newspaper representations of female ex-combatants' positions in conflict transformation in Northern Ireland and Sri Lanka. Her first book, Gender and Conflict Transformation in the News: A Study of Northern Ireland and Sri Lankawill be published by Palgrave in 2020.


Conflict, apologies, victimology, peace-building, gender, female combatants and ex-combatants, media/journalism.


CSJ7007 The Legacy of the Conflict (MA Conflict Transformation and Social Justice).

LAW7815 Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights (LLM Human Rights Law).


'The Press and Divided Societies' Conference 2019 The Newspaper and Periodical History Forum of Ireland

Ashleigh McFeeters (Presenter)
08 Nov 201909 Nov 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

British Society of Criminology Conference Public Criminologies: Community, Conflict and Justice

Ashleigh McFeeters (Presenter)
04 Jul 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

A Spotlight Seminar

Ashleigh McFeeters (Invited speaker)
04 Apr 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

Postdoctoral Peer Mentor

Ashleigh McFeeters (Recipient)

Activity: Other activity typesOther

National Postdoc Appreciation Week 2019

Ashleigh McFeeters (Member of programme committee)
16 Sep 201921 Sep 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference


The News Media Representation of Female Ex-combatants in Northern Ireland and Sri Lanka

Author: McFeeters, A., 30 Jan 2018

Supervisor: Brewer, J. (Supervisor) & Paul, J. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy