• 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 output per year

If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

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.

  • 3 Similar Profiles

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output

Corporate Governance and Resentment

O'Kelly, C., 11 Sep 2019. 34 p.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Dissecting the semantics of accountability and its misuse

O'Kelly, C. & Dubnick, M., 24 Nov 2019, Quality of Governance: Values and Violations. London: Palgrave Macmillan, p. 45-79

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

  • 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
  • 1 Citation (Scopus)
    142 Downloads (Pure)
    Open Access
  • Open Access
  • Activities

    Harry Van Buren

    Clare Patton (Host), , Ciarán O'Kelly (Host), & Ciara Hackett (Host)


    Activity: Hosting a visitor typesHosting an academic visitor

    European Group of Public Administration

    Ciarán O'Kelly (Participant)

    09 Sep 201913 Sep 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    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

    Society of Legal Scholars (External organisation)

    Ciarán O'Kelly (Member)

    01 Dec 2018

    Activity: Membership typesMembership of external research organisation