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Personal profile


Jim McAuley is Professor of Political Sociology and Irish Studies. He has taught in various guises in a multidisciplinary Social Science setting for many years. He has been a visiting research scholar at several institutions in Sweden, Canada and the USA. Awarded his BSc from the University of Ulster in 1983, and a PhD in 1998 from the University of Leeds (a study the impact of political violence on community identity), he has continued to write extensively issues around political conflict and division.

 He over 30 years of experience researching into political violence and terrorism, largely in the context of Northern Ireland. His major approach is to analyse the organizational structure of organizations engaged in political violence and their relationships over time. As such he has researched those involved in interactions with such organisations and the social movement sector closely. He has studied all aspects of the cycle of those engaged in political violence – engagement, involvement and disengagement, again mainly in the context of Northern Ireland, including the role of religion in motivating terrorism that is grounded in an ideological and socio-political framing.


Research Expertise and Interests

  • Northern Irish politics and society
  • Britishness and Unionism
  • Social Movements
  • Popular Cultures
  • The Politics and Culture of Diaspora


  • Sociology
  • Social and Cultural Anthropology
  • Governance
  • Public Policy Analysis
  • Social Exclusion
  • Development Studies
  • Political Sociology
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Case Studies
  • Citizen Participation
  • Political Participation
  • Local Governance
  • Comparative Analysis
  • Community Development
  • Local Development
  • Social Development
  • Community Empowerment
  • Social Work
  • Political Anthropology
  • Social Theory
  • Advocacy
  • Social Capital
  • Social Movements
  • Community Organisation
  • NGOs
  • Political Theory
  • Peace
  • Civil Society
  • Conflict
  • Ideology
  • Uganda
  • Kenya

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  • 11 Similar Profiles
peace process Social Sciences
politics Social Sciences
IRA (Irish Republican Army) Social Sciences
protest Social Sciences
community Social Sciences
violence Social Sciences
prisoner Social Sciences
grouping Social Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2015 2017

Northern Ireland: Memory, Commemoration and Public Symbolism - Dealing with the past

McAuley, J., Spencer, G. P., Braniff, M. & Tonge, J.


Project: ResearchResearch Council - ESRC

Research Output 1996 2019

Radicalization or Reaction: Understanding Engagement in Violent Extremism in Northern Ireland

Ferguson, N. & McAuley, J., 15 Sep 2019, In : Political Psychology. 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Northern Ireland
Theoretical Models

The Ulster Unionist Party: Country Before Party?

Hennessey, T., Braniff, M., McAuley, J., Tonge, J. & Whiting, S. A., 3 Jan 2019, 1st ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 256 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

party member
political institution

Moral Foundations Theory and the 2016 US presidential Election

Nath, L., Pedriana, N., Gifford, C. & McAuley, J. W., 2018, In : Sociological Imagination. 54, 1, p. 75 - 85 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
presidential election
voting behavior
political impact
election result
5 Citations (Scopus)

Social movements, structural violence and conflict transformation in Northern Ireland: The role of Loyalist paramilitaries

Ferguson, N., McDaid, S. & McAuley, J., 1 Feb 2018, In : Peace and Conflict. 24, 1, p. 19-26 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
structural violence
Social Movements
peace process

Contemporary Orangeism in Canada: Identity, Nationalism, and Religion

McAuley, J. W. & Nesbitt-Larking, P., 22 Aug 2017, Springer International Publishing AG. 127 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

organizational structure

Activities 2013 2018

‘Community management of scarce natural resources in North East Kenya: the role of collective memory’

James McAuley (Speaker), Matthew Snell (Speaker)
7 Nov 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

‘The burden of history’: Collective Memory and the Re-writing of History in Northern Ireland

James McAuley (Speaker), Thomas Hennessey (Speaker)
13 Oct 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

The Post-Election Marriage of Convenience: The DUP Conservative Deal

James McAuley (Speaker), Jonathan Tonge (Speaker), Thomas Hennessey (Speaker), Sophie Whiting (Speaker)
30 Aug 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

Distinctive and Determined Britishness: The Democratic Unionist Party’s Membership

Jim McAuley (Speaker)
29 Aug 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

‘Becoming radical(ized): Identity development amongst Northern Irish Former Combatants’

James McAuley (Speaker), Neil Ferguson (Speaker)
5 Jul 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation