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 hold a PhD in Politics from the University of Reading; 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 in business and human rights, law and technology and public and private governance. I am interested and welcome PhD proposals on how normative claims are made within public and private 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 espcially interested in how ideas of accountability 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 2016-2020

As Director of Graduate Studies I was 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.

I am currrently on research leave


Ongoing Primary PGR Supervisions

  • Nathaniel McGrory (PhD, NINE): Trading as 'Voice': how ought market actions be understood as investor stewardship within the UK corporate governance regime?
  • Samantha Hopkins (PhD, DfE): How do acknowledgement and denial in corporate reporting operate as devices in constructing corporate attitudes towards their own conduct?
  • Aidan Horan (DGov): Education Act 1998 : Envisaged role of the board member and the reality in 2016

Completed Primary PGR Supervisions

  • Zahra'a Al Andaleeb (PhD): How Corporate Governance Shapes and Manages Relationships Between the State, State-Owned Enterprises, and the Latter's Constituencies
  • 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 from 2017-2020. The School received a bronze Athena Swan award in October 2018.


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