• Room 02.002 - 1 College Park East

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

• Peacebuilding, reconciliation and transitional justice
• Civil society contributions in conflict and peace
• Group identities and intergroup processes in intractable conflict
• Social construction and representation of victims, victims’ advocacy, victims policy
• Gender and social justice


Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Research Interests

My research interests cut across sociology, victimology, social psychology and peace studies, though coalesce around critical, feminist analyses of how societies respond to and recover from violent conflict. I focus in particular on complex, intractable social processes which impact the practice of building peace including the construction and representation of victimhood, identity and intergroup relations. I am keen to develop further in-depth qualitative research on local civil society contributions to peacebuilding and transitional justice, and gendered experiences of conflict and peace. My applied work around dealing with the legacy of the past in Northern Ireland informs my commitment to practice-oriented, participatory research, with a view to enabling a more reflexive peacebuilding praxis in Northern Ireland and further afield.

Research Statement

Prior to joining Queen’s University Belfast, I was a postdoctoral researcher on two projects:


War in Peacetime: Urban Violence and Social Trauma, a Max Batley funded Peace Studies Fellowship at the University of Sheffield which explored civic capacities to reduce violence and build peace in four cities: Belfast, Malmo, Sarajevo and Sheffield.


The Art of Reconciliation: Do reconciliation-funded arts projects transform conflict?, an AHRC funded project based across the University of Liverpool, Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University. The interdisciplinary project combined social sciences and creative methods to interrogate the impacts of the arts on peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland, the way funding infrastructures inform and/or constrain arts-based activity and the obstacles to long-term evaluation.


My doctoral research was based at Trinity College Dublin and involved several years of in-depth study on the impacts of group perceptions of victimhood in processes of dealing with the legacy of the past in Northern Ireland. This research is presented in my book, The Order of Victimhood: Violence Hierarchy and Building Peace in Northern Ireland (2018), published in the Palgrave Macmillan series Compromise After Conflict and winner of the first annual British Association of Irish Studies book prize. It explores how highly politicised, unresolved narratives of violence and a so-called ‘hierarchy of victims’ in Northern Ireland expose many of the inherent paradoxes of victimhood in conflict. The book develops the argument that exclusive, narrow attitudes about victims and perpetrators undermine the relationship building processes core to societal reconciliation, and that peacebuilding scholarship and praxis require more inclusive, nuanced approaches to victimhood.


I am on the committee for the HAPP Centre for Gender in Politics launched in 2019 by co-directors Dr Maria-Adriana Deiana and Dr Jamie Hagan.


I have been a reviewer for several academic journals including:

  • International Review of Victimology
  • Media, War and Conflict
  • Ethnopolitics
  • Political Psychology


I am a Lecturer in Criminology in the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work and teach on the following modules:

CRM1004 Crime & Society (convening)

CRM1001 Introducing Criminology

CRM2009 Justice & Conflict (convening)

I also supervise dissertation students for CRM/SOC3002 and postgraduate taught students in the SSESW MRes and Youth Justice programmes.



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 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

PhD in Sociology, Trinity College Dublin at Belfast


MPhil International Peace Studies, Trinity College Dublin


BA International Studies, American University



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