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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 at Queen’s University Belfast and a Senior Fellow of the UK in a Changing Europe thinktank, where she leads a major ESRC-funded project on the topic of the future and status of Northern Ireland after Brexit. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (2020), an Eisenhower Fellow (2019) and a Fellow in the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice at Queen's University. 

Professor Hayward is an internationally recognised expert on Brexit and Northern Ireland/Ireland, particularly with respect to the Irish border. She was appointed to the technical expert panel of the UK government’s Alternative Arrangements Advisory Group on Brexit (2019) and has given written and oral evidence before many parliamentary committees in the UK, Ireland and EU.

The author of over 300 publications, including academic articles in peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Common Market Studies, Geopolitics, and Regional & Federal Studies. She has (co)authored several books including What do we know and what should we do about...? The Irish Border (Sage, 2021), Dynamics of Political Change in Ireland (Routledge, 2017) and Northern Ireland a Generation after Good Friday (MUP, 2021). 

She has also published many research reports, including one (with Prof David Phinnemore) for the European Parliament’s Constitutional Affairs Committee and four reports on the impact of Brexit in the Irish border region for the Irish Central Border Area Network. Katy was lead author on a report on Anticipating and Meeting New Multilevel Governance Challenges for Northern Ireland After Brexit (2020) focusing specifically on ways that governance, scrutiny and accountability might be managed under the NI/Ireland Protocol.

Professor Hayward has written and presented widely on the topic of Brexit to media, policy, civic and academic audiences. In recognition of her use of Twitter [@hayward_katy] as a means of sharing publically-accessible analysis on Brexit, Katy was given a special award from the Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize (2020) and the title of ‘Political Communicator of the Year’ from the Political Studies Association (UK, 2019).  


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


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