Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research Interests

Centring on Ireland, north and south: Border management; Cross-border conflict and cooperation; EU integration (inc. ‘Brexit’ and the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland); Peace and conflict processes; Political sociology; Political discourses, protest and violence.

Research Statement

Katy Hayward is Professor of Political Sociology in the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work at Queen’s University Belfast, where she is also co-Director of the Centre for International Borders Research. She was elected a Member of the Royal Irish Academy in 2023 and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in 2020. She is a Europe’s Futures Fellow (the Institute for Human Sciences-IWM and ERSTE Foundation) for 2023/24. She is a Fellow of the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice and an Eisenhower Fellow (through the 2019 Global Ireland programme). In 2019-22 she was a UK in a Changing Europe Senior Fellow, leading a project on ‘The post-Brexit status and future of Northern Ireland’.

The author of over 300 publications, she has (co)authored several books including Dynamics of Political Change in Ireland (Routledge, 2017) and Northern Ireland a Generation after Good Friday (MUP, 2021). Her most recent monograph is What do we know and what should we do about… the Irish border (Sage, 2021). She has co-authored many research reports, including recently on the impact of Brexit on Irish regions (European Parliament REGI Committee, 2023) and Scotland’s borders after independence (UK in a Changing Europe, 2022).  Katy has presented written and oral evidence before numerous parliamentary committees in the UK, Ireland and EU. She was appointed to the technical expert panel of the UK government’s Alternative Arrangements Advisory Group on Brexit (2019) and is an adviser to the Constitution, Europe, External Affairs and Culture Committee of the Scottish Parliament (2021-).

Katy has given invited lectures/presentations in many distinguished academic institutions including Humboldt University, Central European University, Scuola Normale Superiore, New York, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Cambridge and Oxford Universities, as well as in such forums as the European Forum at Alpbach, Debate Europe (S. Fischer Stiftung), and Keele World Affairs. She has given private briefings to Ministers, Ambassadors and senior diplomats and officials from around the world, including all EU27.

Professor Hayward has written and presented widely on the topics of Brexit, the 1998 Agreement and the Irish border to media, policy, civic and academic audiences worldwide. She was awarded a special biennial Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize (2018/19) for her work raising public awareness of the implications of Brexit for Ireland’s peace process. The recipient of the ‘Political Communicator of the Year’ award (2019), she has had opinion pieces published in such as Politico, Huffington Post, the Guardian, the Daily Telegraph, and the Irish Times and has been interviewed by outlets around the world including CNN, NBC, BBC, the Washington Post, the New York Times, Le Monde, Taggespiegel, Radio France, Deutsche Welle, and Al Jazeera.

Outside the University, Katy is a trustee of the British Irish Association and sits on the Council of the Economic and Social Research Institute (Dublin). She sits on the Advisory Board of the Centre for Inclusive Trade Policy and is a member of the UK Constitution Monitoring Group, which monitors developments in the UK constitution, including government accountability, the rule of law and individual rights.




Twitter: @hayward_katy


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


  • HM Sociology
  • Brexit
  • Border management
  • Northern Ireland
  • Ireland
  • Governance
  • 1998 Agreement
  • Peace/Conflict


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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