Ciarán O'Kelly


  • Room 09.019 - Main Site Tower

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I am especially interested in discussing doctoral proposals in the following areas: - The socio-legal study of corporate governance - Moral commitments and action within corporate governance and the corporate form - Discourses of responsibility and accountability within corporate governance and public administration - Textual analysis of law and governance from a socio-legal perspective.


Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Research Statement

I joined the School of Law in 2007 having previously been an ESRC postdoctoral fellow associated with the project "Regulatory Regime Change in World Financial Markets" (RES-156-25-0033). My research focuses on ideas of accountability and on moral language in both corporate governance and public administration.

I completed my PhD in Political Theory at the University of Reading in 2003 and hold an MA in Political Theory from University College Dublin and a BA(mod) in Economics and Philosophy from Trinity College Dublin. My PhD studies focused on ideas of allegiance to the state. This work carried over to my longstanding interest in how moral ideas infuse institutional life.

Research Interests

My current research interests focus on moral language within corporate governance. I am interested and welcome PhD proposals on how normative claims are made within corporate governance and how such claims are brought to bear both on the internal governance of firms and on the regulatory structures within which they operate.

I am also interested in how corporate social responsibility and especially human rights play out in corporate discourses and in how the study of such discourses can benefit from quantitative and computational techniques. I aim to develop more constructivist approaches to understanding corporate normativity and its interactions with and invocations of law.


Director of Graduate studies, School of Law

As Director of Graduate Studies I am responsible for all the School's postgraduate taught and research programmes. I maintain a strategic overview of the School's contributions at the graduate level with an ongoing focus on programme development and student experience.


Postgraduate Teaching

  • Issues in Corporate Governance, LLM & JD (Module coordinator)

Ongoing Primary PGR Supervisions

  • Samantha Hopkins (PhD): How do acknowledgement and denial in corporate reporting operate as devices in constructing corporate attitudes towards their own conduct?
  • Zahra'a Al Andaleeb (PhD): How Corporate Governance Shapes and Manages Relationships Between the State, State-Owned Enterprises, and the Latter's Constituencies (link)
  • Aidan Horan (DGov): Education Act 1998 : Envisaged role of the board member and the reality in 2016
  • Madeline Kanuka (JD): Prescription bias, US law, & anti-epilepsy drugs



Athena Swan

I have been a member of the School of Law's Athena Swan committee since 2017. The School received a bronze Athena Swan award in October 2018.


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