Institute for Research in Social Sciences

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Professor Cathy Gormley-Heenan

Dr Cathy Gormley Heenan

Director of the Institute for Research in Social Sciences
Institute for Research in Social Sciences
School of Criminology, Politics and Social Policy
University of Ulster
Jordanstown campus
Shore Road
Co. Antrim
BT37 0QB
Phone: +44 28 90366132


Professor Cathy Gormley-Heenan is the Director of the Institute for Research in Social Sciences (IRISS) and a Professor of Politics in the School of Criminology, Politics & Social Policy at the University of Ulster.

She holds a first class honours degree in politics from Queens University, Belfast (1994) and an MPhil in Modern Middle East Studies from Oxford University (1996) before becoming a Kennedy Scholar in the J.F.K. School of Government and Public Policy at Harvard University, USA (1996-1997).  She received her PhD in History and International Affairs from the University of Ulster in 2005 and was awarded an MSc. in Higher Education Practice in 2009.

Other awards include a Fellowship in Leadership Studies at the James MacGregor Burns Academy of Leadership, University of Maryland, USA in 2000; the 2004-2005 Tip O’Neill Fellowship in Peace Studies at INCORE (International Conflict Research), University of Ulster/United Nations University; and the Political Studies Association’s Bernard Crick Award for Outstanding Teaching in 2007. 

Her primary research interests lie in the areas of political elites, peace processes, public policy and the politics of divided societies. Recently published books include Gormley-Heenan, C. & Lightfoot, S. eds. (2012) Teaching Politics and International Relations. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan; Aughey, A. & Gormley-Heenan, C. eds . (2011) The Anglo-Irish Agreement: Rethinking Its Legacy. Manchester: MUP; and Gormley-Heenan, C. (2007) Political Leadership and the Northern Ireland Peace Process: Role, Capacity and Effect published by Palgrave Macmillan. She is currently working on a research project mapping public policy around Northern Ireland’s ‘peace walls’.

She was elected in 2012 to the Executive Committee of the UK’s Political Studies Association (PSA) and is also a member of the UK’s Kennedy Scholars Association. She serves on the editorial boards of Politics (Wiley-Blackwell); State Crime (Pluto Press); and Community Development (Routledge) and is a current member of the Economic and Social Research Council’s(ESRC) Peer Review College.