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Research Statement

My doctoral research will examine the complex relationship between citizenship and identity in the aftermath of Brexit on the island of Ireland. Citizenship takes on new dimensions in this case, as the island itself is considered a political framework to which British and Irish citizens may have a relationship. Emphasising that citizenship and identity often underpin one another, this study will explore the evolving connection between the two on this island. Working from a political sociology viewpoint, the research will engage with the complexities of identity construction in the different contexts of the NI peace process and Good Friday Agreement, which allows individuals in Northern Ireland to identify as "British or Irish or both”, and the circumstances south of the border. The main inquiry revolves around how British and Irish citizens, in both jurisdictions, perceive changes in the relationship between their citizenship and identities. The study will examine the repercussions of Northern Ireland's departure from the EU, increasing divergence between jurisdictions, and possible strategic acquisition of Irish citizenship by some non-Irish citizens seeking to hold onto EU citizenship rights. Using interviews and focus groups, this research hopes to capture the lived experiences and perceptions of individuals navigating these changes. The aim is to shed light on the intricate interplay between citizenship, identity, and the broader socio-political context. Contributing to the discourse on citizenship and identity, this study sheds new light on how these concepts intersect in post-conflict societies, inter-state political frameworks experiencing major socio-political change, and the context of European integration.


I received a first-class, joint honours BA in history and politics from Trinity College, Dublin in 2019. I am currently pursuing a PhD in politics on the integrated pathway.


Email: msharry01@qub.ac.uk 


Twitter: @msharry96