Tuesday, March 3, 2015

New Publication - War, disenfranchisement and the fall of the ancient Athenian democracy

In his latest journal article George Tridimas, Professor of Political Economy examines the fall of the ancient Athenian democracy and its impact on both the rich elites and poorer Athenians. 
The ancient Athenian democracy emerged in 508 (all dates BCE), became a dominant naval power, fought a multitude of external wars and ended in 322 after it was defeated by Macedon and was replaced by oligarchy. The paper employs a political economy framework to examine the demise of democracy. It illustrates that war was a means of redistribution, benefiting the majority of poorer Athenians at the expense of the rich elite, who bore a disproportionate burden of its cost. A model of conflict is set up to study the incentives of the poor majority to go to war. After analyzing a dynamic setting it also investigates the circumstances when after defeating Athens her enemy chooses to impose oligarchy that disenfranchises the poor. As victory at war is probabilistic it is concluded that the fall of the democracy was neither unavoidable nor inevitable.

For further information email: g.tridimas@ulster.ac.uk 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

IRiSS co-hosts Postgraduate Research Student Conference

In collaboration with the Transitional Justice Institute (Ulster) and the Centre for Post-Conflict Justice (TCD), the Institute for Research in Social Sciences hosted the  Postgraduate Research Student Conference on 'Human Rights, Transitional Justice and Peace Building'.

Attended by over 40 post-graduate researchers from across the UK, Ireland and Europe, participants were treated to three sessions that dealt with 'grass-roots peacebuilding', 'minority identities and transitional justice', and 'justice denied'.

Showcasing the scope and diversity of scholarship being conducted, the conflicts in Colombia, South Africa, Kosovo, Peru, and Northern Ireland were examined throughout the day.

The conference offered students hands-on experience of conference organising, from designing a call for papers to selecting abstracts and chairing sessions.

It also brought together graduate students to present their work to one another, create supportive early-career networks, and obtain feedback from established academics in their field through expert feedback. 

The stimulating sessions were concluded with the première screening of 'A Land Between'.

The day went off without a hitch, courtesy of the post-graduate conference organising committee which included doctoral students from Ulster University, Queens University Belfast and Trinity College Dublin.

A special thanks also goes to the Social Science Research Graduate School for sponsoring the lunch and refreshments.

IRiSS co-hosts 'The Land Between' première and Q&A with the Director

On 7 November 2014 the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences in conjunction with Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation and Social Justice (QUB) hosted the première of The Land Between, a pioneering documentary that explores the militarisation of borders, and the often unseen impacts anti-immigration policy currents have on those fleeing war and extreme poverty. 

Attended by over 70 people, there was a rich discussion with the Director David Fedele after the screening. Featuring scholars, activists, advocates, students, and the general public, the challenge of confronting racism, right-wing extremism, and paramilitarised border controls, were discussed.  

David Fedele fields questions from the audience

The film screening concluded the Postgraduate Research Student Conference on 'Human Rights, Transitional Justice and Peace Building', an event attended by over 40 postgraduate researchers from across the UK and Ireland. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

IRiSS hosts consultation on Northern Ireland Racial Equality Strategy

On Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014, a consultation on behalf of OFMDFM’s Racial Equality Unit for the new draft Racial Equality Strategy for Northern Ireland was hosted by the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences (IRiSS). 
This involved staff and student representatives from across Ulster University who contributed to the consultation by engaging in discussions structured around three specific themes identified in the strategy document: 1) Barriers to equality; 2) A sense of belonging; and 3) Right strategy, Right direction? 

Participants at the OFMDFM consultation of the draft Racial Equality Strategy, hosted by IRiSS at the University of Ulster, Jordanstown Campus

The outcomes of intense group discussions were audio recorded and presented to the OFMDFM team. 
Ken Fraser, Head, Racial Equality Unit, OFMDFM, at the end of the day’s event reported, “Today, at the end of several months of public consultation, the enormously valuable contribution of Ulster University staff and students has reinvigorated my enthusiasm for the potential of the new Racial Equality Strategy for Northern Ireland.”

IRiSS organising team with OFMDFM staff: l to r: Dr Kris Lasslett, IRiSS; Mr Ken Fraser, Head, Racial Equality Unit, OFMDFM; Dr Lucy Michael, IRiSS; Dr Johanne Devlin Trew, IRiSS, Mr Philip Devlin, Racial Equality Unit, OFMDFM

Friday, September 26, 2014

UCoM Members at IRiSS Take Part in Exciting Linguistic Diversity Project with Newcastle University

IRiSS Staff and UCoM Take Part in Linguistic Diversity Project

A number of staff from the Institute for Research in Social Sciences (IRiSS) and the Ulster Centre on Multilingualism (UCoM) have been involved in an exciting project with staff from Newcastle University. The 'Múin Béarla do na Leanbhain' Project investigates how language in the north of the island of Ireland has been shaped by both historical and contemporary migration to the region. The project is being led by Professor Karen Corrigan (Newcastle) and is funded by AHRC in partnership with Gael Linn, and the Centre for Migration Studies in Omagh. 
Professor Alison Henry and Dr Philip McDermott (Both from UCoM and IRiSS), have been providing consultative work on this project which has involved a number of outreach activities and events with local schools and community bodies.
For example, in the Summer Dr McDermott took part in activities organised as part of the project which celebrated Community Relations Week. Philip and Professor Corrigan gave a joint public lecture at Omagh library on how historical and contemporary migration has shaped the languages spoken in this region. A  particular local focus was provided for the Tyrone audience. The lecture also examined how these languages continue to evolve and have even left their imprint on the environments around us today. The event was chaired by Dr Johanne Devlin Trew our IRiSS colleague from the School of Criminology, Politics and Social Policy. 
Further events are planned with school pupils in the Autumn in order to introduce sociology students to topics relating to sociolinguistics and the sociology of Language.     

Dr Johanne Devlin Trew, Dr Philip McDermott and Professor Karen Corrigan pictured after the event in Omagh Library

If you would like to be added to the e-mailing list for this project please contact Dr Philip McDermott (p.mcdermott@Ulster.ac.uk).       

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

IRiSS member Dr. Máire Braniff launches results from collaborative study on the DUP

Along with Prof. Tonge (Liverpool), Prof. Hennessey (Canterbury Christchurch), Prof. McAuley (Huddersfield) and Dr. Whiting (Liverpool), Dr. Máire Braniff is launching the results of their recent membership survey of the Democratic Unionist Party.

About the book:

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has moved from a religion-dominated protest party to a pragmatic party of government in Northern Ireland, the most popular in the region, with more votes, Assembly seats, and MPs than any of its rivals. This book draws upon the first-ever survey of the party's members, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, along with over one hundred interviews, to analyse their views on the transformation undergone by the DUP. The book analyses what categories of individual make up the DUP, ranging from religious fundamentalists or moderates, detailing the religious composition of the party. How Free Presbyterian or Orange is the modern DUP and how is its membership changing? What identity do those members hold?

The book then assesses the attitudes of members to the contemporary power-sharing arrangements in a divided society. How comfortable is the DUP to sharing political spoils with the republican 'enemy'? How supportive are members of the Executive and Assembly in Northern Ireland and what progress do they think has been made? The book also dissects the modern fears of DUP members, ranging from the dilution of religious fervour to continuing fears over security and opposition to policing reforms. Attitudes to unity with other Unionist groups are explored, as are the prospects of capturing support from Catholic supporters of Northern Ireland's place in the United Kingdom.

Drawing upon unprecedented access to a party traditionally suspicious of outsiders, this book offers a unique insight into how an opposition party grounded in religious principles has accommodated change and broadened its appeal, whilst retaining most of its traditional hardcore membership.

The book will be launched on 17th June- RSVP to m.braniff@ulster.ac.uk