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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.

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Ciarán O'Kelly is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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responsibility Social Sciences
corporate governance Social Sciences
human rights Social Sciences
corruption Social Sciences
social responsibility Social Sciences
corporation Social Sciences
human rights violation Social Sciences
scandal Social Sciences

Research Output 2005 2019

1 Citation (Scopus)

Human Rights and the Grammar of Corporate Social Responsibility

O'Kelly, C., 09 Jan 2019, In : Social and Legal Studies. 25 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
social responsibility
human rights
computational linguistics
Open Access
human rights violation

Professional Doctorates: Challenges and Opportunities

O'Kelly, C., 24 Nov 2018, (Unpublished).

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther


Activities 2001 2019

European Group of Public Administration

Ciarán O'Kelly (Participant)
09 Sep 201910 Sep 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

European Group of Public Administration

Ciarán O'Kelly (Speaker)
09 Sep 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

European Group of Public Administration

Ciarán O'Kelly (Participant)
09 Sep 201913 Sep 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

Society of Legal Scholars (External organisation)

Ciarán O'Kelly (Member)
01 Dec 2018

Activity: Membership typesMembership of external research organisation

Chair: PhD Viva

Ciarán O'Kelly (Examiner)
03 Aug 2017

Activity: Examination typesOther examination