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School of Politics and International Relations

Dr Brendan O'Duffy, BA (Boston College), MA (McGill), Ph.D. (London: LSE)


Senior Lecturer

Telephone: 020 7882 8595
Room Number: Arts One, 2.19A
Office Hours: Tuesdays 3-4pm (F2F) & Thursdays 2pm-3pm (Online)


Brendan grew up in Rochester, Minnesota, studied Sociology and History at Boston College and then a Master's in Political Sociology at McGill (Montreal), with a year between degrees working in an English Language school in Paris, just up the road from Auguste Comte's library near Odéon. He then completed a PhD in Government at the London School of Economics and Political Science. The doctorate was a historical institutionalist analysis of the causes and dynamics of political violence in Ireland. His subsequent research has developed and extended the H.I. approach to consider ethno-symbolist understandings of conflict and conflict regulation in the comparable former British colonies of Cyprus and Sri Lanka. Current research also focuses on diaspora radicalization and diaspora involvement in 'homeland' peace processes. Interests outside academia include looking after two daughters, two dogs, music, photography, cycling, and tennis, for which he retains a (deluded) ambition to make an impact on the over-50 rankings.

Undergraduate Teaching

  • POL105 Political Analysis (Level 4)
  • POL248 Comparative European Politics (Level 5)
  • POL322 Case Studies in Ethnic Conflict: Northern Ireland (Level 6)

Postgraduate Teaching

  • Democracy in Plural Societies


Research Interests:

My research is on national and ethnic conflict regulation, with particular reference to Northern Ireland, Sri Lanka and Cyprus; Political Violence/Terrorism; ethnicity, religion and political radicalisation in the UK and Europe.



British-Irish Relations and Northern Ireland : From Violent Politics to Conflict Regulation Dublin and Portland OR : Irish Academic Press, 2007

Self Determination and Conflict Regulation in Northern Ireland, Sri Lanka and Beyond, International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Colombo, 2003.

Journal articles

‘Radical Atmosphere: Explaining Jihadist Radicalization in the UK ', PS: Political Science and Politics XLI, no. 1 (Jan.) 2008 pp. 37-42.

‘Exchange theory and conflict regulation: Cyprus through the British-Irish (Northern Irish) Prism’, Hellenic Studies, vol. 11, no. 4 2003 pp. 137-72.

(with Jonathan Githens-Mazer) 'Status and Statehood: Exchange theory and British-Irish Relations, 1921-41' Commonwealth and Comparative Politics vol. 40, no. 2 July 2002: 120-45.

'British and Irish conflict regulation from Sunningdale to Belfast, Part II: Playing for a Draw 1985-1998'. Nations and Nationalism, vol. 6, no. 3, Sept.. 2000.

'British and Irish conflict regulation from Sunningdale to Belfast, Part I: tracing the status of contesting sovereigns, 1968-1974'. Nations and Nationalism, vol. 5, no. 4, Nov. 1999.

co-author with Helen Margetts, Patrick Dunleavy and Stuart Weir Making Votes Count: How Britain would have voted under alternative electoral systems, Joseph Rowntree and Democratic Audit, 1997.

'Violence in Northern Ireland 1969 to 1994: Sectarian or Ethno-National?' in Ethnic and Racial Studies, Vol. 18, no.4 1995:740-72.

Book Chapters

‘The Nation-state and Nationalism’ in Bara, Judith and Pennington, Mark, Comparative Politics: Explaining Democratic Systems, London: Sage, 2009.

‘The Territorial Dimension’ in Bara, Judith and Pennington, Mark, Comparative Politics: Explaining Democratic Systems, London: Sage, 2009.

'The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE): Majoritarianism, Self-Determination and Military-to-Political Transitions in Sri Lanka' in M. Heiburg, B. O'Leary and J. Tirman (eds) Terror, Insurgency and States, Philadelphia, PA: Univ. of Pennsylvania, 2007.

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