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Political Studies Association of Ireland


Inspiring, Inciting and Enlightening : Teaching Politics in our Universities

PSAI teaching and learning specialist group event.

September 18th 2015, NUI offices, Merrion Square, Dublin 2.

Keynote speaker : President Michael D. Higgins.

On September 18th 2015, the PSAI teaching and learning specialist group held a one-day conference on “Teaching politics in our universities: inspiring, inciting and enlightening” to discuss the significance of education in, for and about politics in our institutions of higher education.

This well attended conference brought together students, academics, the media, politicians, educationalists and managers.

Dr. Brid Quinn, Professor David Farrell,
Dr. Clodagh Harris, Dr. Theresa Reidy
and Dr. Chris McInerney

Dr. Brid Quinn, Professor John Craig,
Dr. Clodagh Harris and Dr. Attracta Halpin

Professor John Craig (Leeds Beckett University) delivered the keynote speech on “Linking academic study and practice”.

Professor Craig also presented the PSAI prize and special award 2014 to Dr. Theresa Reidy (UCC) and Dr. Chris McInerney (UL) respectively.

It also hosted a panel discussion on “Why teaching and learning politics is important for society” that included Senator Fiach MacConghail (Director Abbey Theatre), Lorraine McIlrath (Community Knowledge Initiative, NUIG), Noel Whelan (Barrister and media commentator) and Michelle O’Donnell Keating (Women for election and DCU).

Dr. Theresa Reidy and Dr. Chris McInerney

At the PSAI teaching and learning specialist group’s conference on Friday September 18th, Dr. Theresa Reidy (UCC) was awarded the PSAI prize for excellence in teaching and learning (2014) and Dr. Chris McInerney received the PSAI special award for leadership and scholarship of Problem Based Learning in Political Science (2014).

The papers and keynote presentation can be accessed here.

Launch of The Democratic Unionist Party : From Protest to Power

On 17th June the launch of the book “The Democratic Unionist Party : From Protest to Power” (2014, Oxford University Press) took place in the University of Ulster Belfast Campus.

For a full report about the launch, click here.

Tom Hennessey, Sophie Whiting, Peter Robinson, Jim McAuley, Máire Braniff and Jon Tonge

The photo shows the First Minister of Northern Ireland and Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, Mr. Peter Robinson with the book’s authors Jon Tonge (Liverpool), Máire Braniff (UU), Tom Hennessey (Canterbury), Jim McAuley (Huddersfield) and Sophie Whiting (Liverpool).

Launch of Lessons from the Northern Ireland Peace Process

PSAI sponsored the launch of “Lessons from the Northern Ireland Peace Process”, edited by Timothy J. White of Xavier University and published by the University of Wisconsin Press, in the O’Rahilly Building at University College Cork at May 30th.

Mary C. Murphy, Timothy J. White and Martin Mansergh

Several members of the academic community and media attended the launch.  Dr. Mansergh who wrote the forward to the edited volume had high praise for the book at the launch.

He focused on the collection’s contributions by Irish, American, Canadian, and British scholars, especially focusing on the quality of the American contributors.

He said in part :

Lessons from the Northern Ireland Peace Process is a guide for students and policy-makers designed to glean points of more general interest and application, recognizing of course the particularities of the Northern Ireland situation, and that there are likely to be features there that may not be readily transferable to other situations.

Mansergh also commented that the volume furthered our understanding of the Northern Ireland conflict and would be found on reading lists on both sides of the Atlantic in years to come.

The edited volume focuses on ten lessons that are explored in depth by the contributors.  They include:  William Hazleton, Landon Hancock, Wendy Ann Wiedenhoft Murphy, Mindy Peden, John Doyle, Paul Dixon, Sean Byrne, Andrew Owsiak, Mary Alice Clancy, and Robert Snyder.

Mary C. Murphy of UCC who hosted the launch noted that :

This edited collection constitutes a very fine piece of work. It brings together a uniquely diverse group of scholars and disciplines to interrogate the finer details of the Northern Ireland peace process.

Launch of Julie Yu-Wen Chen’s “The Uyghur Lobby: Global Networks, Coalitions and Strategies of the World Uyghur Congress”

On 14th March 2014, Dr. Julie Yu-Wen Chen, lecturer in the Department of Government, University College Cork (UCC), launched her new book, “The Uyghur Lobby: Global Networks, Coalitions and Strategies of the World Uyghur Congress”.

The book, launched with the support of the PSAI, Dr. Andrew Cottey (Head of the Department of Government, UCC) and Dr. Leung Wing-Fai (lecturer in Chinese Studies at UCC), examines the global operations and groups that operate within the Uyghur diaspora’s umbrella organisation, the World Uyghur Congress (WUC).

The Uyghur are China’s fifth largest ethnic group and their mounting aspirations for obtaining more autonomy for their region from China’s central authorities have led to recent conflicts in the area amidst rising tensions.

Dr. Julie Yu-Wen Chen, Dr. Leung Wing-Fai and Dr. Andrew Cottey

Julie’s unique and timely study reveals how an issue concerning a Chinese minority group has been catapulted onto the wider global political stage and, as a result, it will be of great interest to both students and scholars working in areas such as contemporary Chinese studies, the Uyghur issue as well as in broader areas such as social and human rights movements, international politics and history.

The book is now available to purchase online through

Launch of Iain McMenamin’s “If Money Talks, What Does It Say? Corruption and Business Financing of Political Parties”

On 6th March 2013, Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn launched “If Money Talks, What Does It Say? Corruption and Business Financing of Political Parties” (Oxford University Press) at the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin.

Ruairi Quinn, Dr. Iain McMenamin and Professor Brian MacCraith

The book by Dublin City University (DCU) political scientist Dr. Iain McMenamin considers why business contributes to political parties.

Using case studies of Australia, Canada and Germany and data dating back to 1984, the book analyses the detailed processes involved in the business financing of parties.