Photo of Professor Peter Shirlow

Professor Peter Shirlow BA (Hons.), DPhil

Director, Institute of Irish Studies School of Histories, Languages and Cultures


Research Interest 1

Professor Peter Shirlow
Professor Peter Shirlow

Research Interests

Shirlow's research interests focus on the themes of political violence, post-conflict transformation, policing and community and the impact of ethno-sectarian reproduction. This includes a particular emphasis upon former combatants and their inclusion/exclusion within civic society. He has undertaken a series of consultations with political actors in Montenegro, Iraq, Israel, Palestine, Turkey, Serbia, Macedonia and Bosnia. He has also undertaken significant survey research regarding ethno-sectarian based segregation that has studied inter-community immobility, the power and influence of prejudice and the psychological impact upon families living within interfaced communities.

He has published more than 80 pieces of work on these issues and has served/is serving on the editorial boards of Capital and Class, Irish Political Studies and International Planning Studies. In 2011 his co-authored book Abandoning Historical Conflict? won the PSAI Brian Farell Prize. His work has been funded by the ESRC, Leverhulme, JRCT and EU’s Interreg IIC programme.

Selected Publications by Theme

Former Combatants
•The End of Ulster Loyalism? (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2012) (Book of the Year List TLS, 2012)
•Abandoning Historical Conflict? (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2010) (with J. Tonge, C. McGlynn and J. McAuley) (won Brian Farrall Prize)
•Beyond the Wire: Former Prisoners and Conflict Transformation in Northern Ireland (London: Pluto Press) (with K. McEvoy)
•Re-imagining DDR Ex-combatants, leadership and moral agency in conflict transformation. Theoretical Criminology 13, 31-59 (2009) (with K. McEvoy)


Segregation and Exclusion

egregation and Exclusion
•Belfast: Segregation, Violence and the City (London: Pluto Press) (with B. Murtagh, 2006)
•Responsible participation, community engagement and policing in transitional societies: lessons from a local crime survey in Northern Ireland. Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, 51, 488-502 (2012) (with G. Ellison and N. Pino)
•Political Violence and Child Adjustment in Northern Ireland: Testing Pathways in a Social-Ecological Model Including Single- and Two-Parent Families. Developmental Psychology , 46, p. 827-841 (with E. Cummings, A. Schermerhorn, C. Merrilees, M. Goeke-Morey and E. Cairns) (2010)
•The Geography of Conflict and Death in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Annals of the Association of American Geographers , 99 893-903 (2009) (with V. Mesev and J. Downs)
•Measuring workforce segregation: religious composition of private-sector employees at individual sites in Northern Ireland. Environment and Planning A , 38, 1545-1559 (2006)
•Ethnosectarianism and the Reproduction of Fear in Belfast. Capital and Class, 81, 77-93 (2003)
•Who Fears to Speak? Fear, Mobility and Ethno-Sectarianism in the Two Ardoynes. Global Review of Ethno-Politics , 3, 76-91 (2002)

Research Grants

Active Community Network


November 2016 - December 2018

The Northern Ireland 2017 General Election Survey


June 2017 - September 2018

The Art of Reconciliation: Do reconciliation-funded arts projects transform conflict?


December 2017 - September 2021