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Personal profile

Research Interests

Centring on Ireland, north and south: Cross-border conflict and cooperation; EU integration (inc. ‘Brexit’ and its impact on Ireland); Peace and conflict processes; Political sociology; Political discourses, protest and violence.

Research Statement

Katy Hayward is a Reader in Sociology at Queen’s University Belfast and a Senior Fellow of the ESRC-funded UK in a Changing Europe initiative, working full-time on the topic of Brexit and Northern Ireland/the Irish border.

She is an Eisenhower Fellow (2019) and a Fellow in the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice at Queen's University. She is also a member of the Centre for International Borders Research and on the Steering Group of the Institute of Irish Studies in Queen's. Outside the University, she is a non-executive Board member of Conciliation Resources and the Centre for Cross Border Studies. 

Dr Hayward has  over twenty years’ research experience on the impact of the EU on the Irish border and peace process, including as part of the EU FP5-funded EUBorderConf [EU and border conflicts] project and the current SSHRC-funded ‘Borders in Globalization’ programme.

She is the author of around 200 publications, including most recently the report Bordering on Brexit: Views from local communities in the central border region of Ireland/Northern Ireland and co-author (with Prof David Phinnemore) of UK Withdrawal (Brexit) and the Good Friday Agreement commissioned by the AFCO committee of the European Parliament.

Dr Hayward has presented widely to various audiences on the topic of Brexit and Northern Ireland/Ireland (especially with a view to the Irish border and the peace process). She has also given written and oral evidence before several parliamentary committees in both the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

She has engaged extensively with local, national and international media, especially on the topics of contemporary Northern Ireland and Brexit. This includes writing op-eds and articles/blogs and giving interviews with newspaper and online media. It also includes interviews in various media, including live (in studio and down-the-line) and recorded TV, live and recorded radio, and podcasts. 


Dr Hayward has a BA (Hons.) in Peace and Conflict Studies (UU Magee, 1999) and a PhD on the impact of European integration on cross-border relations on the island of Ireland (University College Dublin, 2002). She held a number of post-doctoral research fellowships, including for an EU FP5 project on the EU and Border Conflicts (EUBorderConf) and a Government of Ireland fellowship at the Institute for British-Irish Studies

Today Dr Hayward is one of the leading political sociologists of the island of Ireland (e.g. co-ed. Dynamics of Political Change in Ireland, 2017), with a high profile in relation to European integration (e.g. co-ed. The Europeanization of Party Politics in Ireland, 2010), political violence (e.g. co-ed. Nationalism and Organised Violence, 2013), and the application of discourse analysis (e.g. co-ed. Political Discourse of Peace and Conflict, 2009). Her recent funded research includes TRUST Tracing Risk and Uncertainty in Security Technology (RCUK, 2013-15), and Conflict in Cities and the Contested State (ESRC, 2010-14). She is currently lead partner for the Irish case study of the Canadian $2.8m SSHRC-funded project ‘Borders in Globalization’ (PI: UVic, British Columbia).



Twitter: @hayward_katy

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Research Output

15 Downloads (Pure)

Irish construction cross border trade and Brexit: Practitioner perceptions on the periphery of Europe

Brooks, T., Scott, L., Spillane, J. & Hayward, K., 01 Jan 2020, In : Construction Management and Economics. 38, 1, p. 71-90 21 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
  • 98 Downloads (Pure)

    Scotland’s Border as an External Border of the EU:Lessons from Ireland

    Hayward, K., 17 Mar 2020, An Independent Scotland in the European Union. Scottish Centre on European Relations

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Open Access

    The Brexit divorce and the problem child: Or, why Northern Ireland won't sit down and shut up

    Hayward, K., 17 Mar 2020, ESRC UK in a Changing Europe Initiative.

    Research output: Other contribution

    Open Access
    9 Downloads (Pure)


    Doctoral Research Scholarship

    Hayward, Katy (Recipient), Sep 1999

    Prize: Other distinction

    Eisenhower Fellowship

    Hayward, Katy (Recipient), 01 Jan 2019

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

  • Political Communicator of the Year

    Hayward, Katy (Recipient), 13 Dec 2019

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  • Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship

    Hayward, Katy (Recipient), Sep 2005

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

    Research Fellowship: International Research Initiative in Irish Studies

    Hayward, Katy (Recipient), Oct 2007

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively


    Attitudes towards Irish unification in Northern Ireland after Brexit

    Paula Devine (Organiser), , Katy Hayward (Speaker), , Milena Komarova (Speaker), & Ben Rosher (Speaker)

    17 Jun 2020

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

    Is the UK Stronger or Weaker after 20 Years of Devolution?

    Paula Devine (Organiser), , Ann Marie Gray (Organiser), , Katy Hayward (Invited speaker), & John Curtice (Invited speaker)

    19 Feb 2020

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

    Brexit & Northern Ireland

    Katy Hayward (Speaker)

    Jan 2020

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

    Attitudes towards Irish unification in NI after Brexit

    Katy Hayward (Speaker), , Ben Rosher (Speaker), & Milena Komarova (Speaker)

    17 Jun 2020

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited or keynote talk at national or international conference

    Brexit & Northern Ireland

    Katy Hayward (Keynote speaker)

    Jan 2020

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited or keynote talk at national or international conference

    Press / Media

    Now Stormont is back, Northern Ireland has hope once again

    Katy Hayward


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Expert Comment

    Compromise needed to finally 'fix' boundary issue

    Katy Hayward


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Expert Comment

    Elastic Brexit

    Katy Hayward


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Other

    Home Office’s lack of action on post-Brexit Border ‘is shocking’

    Katy Hayward


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Expert Comment

    A frictionless Border is impossible, an invisible one undesirable

    Katy Hayward


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Expert Comment


    Discursive Legitimisation of the Colombian Peace Process in the Context of War

    Author: Aylward, A., Jul 2020

    Supervisor: McLoughlin, P. (Supervisor) & Hayward, K. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy