Communities, Politics and Identities

Communities face a number of emerging challenges including demographic change, strained social relations and a rebalancing of the relationship between civil society and the state, compounded by constrained public finances. Such challenges are increasingly negotiated within the context of global events and narratives, shifting the boundaries of what we understand as the local and the national.

To appreciate how communities deal with such challenges and indeed opportunities, the Communities, Politics and Identities Research Group is committed to research rooted in local knowledge and the lived experience of residents. In doing so it will create an evidence base which assists communities to successfully adapt to change.

Communities may be defined by interest, commonality, or spatial units. They are viewed as sites of conflict and accommodation. The cluster critically engages concepts of community by providing space for the deconstruction of such commonly held definitions.

We employ an interdisciplinary approach to analyse themes such as trust and securitisation; democratic renewal, distribution of power and governance; coexistence and managing difference; radicalisation and extremism; embedded within established and emerging theoretical frameworks relating to gender.


Gavin Sullivan, Professor (Research group leader)

Social and political psychology, collective memory and emotions 

Joel Busher, Senior Research Fellow

Anti-minority mobilisation, gang violence, gender

Hazel Barrett, Professor

FGM and communities, human geography, health and rural development

Kusminder Chahal, Research Associate

Race and racism, community based research, equality and diversity, intersectionality

Durukan Kuzu. Research Fellow

Ethnic diversity, comparative politics, conflict resolution and multiculturalism

Marisa McGlinchey, Research Fellow

UK devolution; Basque politics: Irish republicanism: political 'dissidence'

Matt Qvortrup, Professor

Political Science, referendums; peace and governance; terrorism