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The School of Applied Social and Policy Sciences has a strong reputation as a centre of excellence for research and analysis in the areas of governance, policy and professional practice, particularly in the context of divided societies.

Primarily, the research is organised through our globally recognised International Conflict Research Institute (INCORE). Established in 1993, and celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2018.

The research at INCORE, and at the school more broadly is highly interdisciplinary in nature and draws on a broad range of expertise that spans criminology, community work, governance, peace-making, political science, public administration, public policy, restorative practice, social policy, sociology, social work and youth work.

Research themes

The following thematic areas of research supported at the school capture the practice and community oriented spirit of our research that employs innovative and critical research methodologies to both record and address injustices and discrimination:

Memory, identity, and symbol

Trying to think of a theme that captures our research on conflict memory, and representations of conflict, through art, commemoration, walls etc.

Paramilitaries, irregulars and demobilisation

We have some really exceptional expertise re paramilitaries, and the complexities associated with demobilisation, that has enduring significance.

Conflict, race and migration

Pointing here to some of the ideas emerging from recent modular discussions on the Msc, looking at colonial legacies, conflicts today, related migration flows, and the lurch to the right.

Post-conflict reconstruction

I might be flying the flag here on my own, but I have been working with colleagues on post-conflict situations and ‘disaster’ capitalism – i.e. looking at often illicit forms of opportunism that creep into post conflict environments to exploit weaknesses to gain discounted access to resources, to fix prices, or win contracts without comp, etc.

Peace-making from below

Something that captures our grassroots research capacity, which is one of our strongest threads.

Our work

INCORE drives forward interdisciplinary research and teaching uncovering and explaining the causes and consequence of conflict.

The work of INCORE is highly applied in nature, aimed to support both policymakers as well as practitioners working within communities and civil society.

Internationally, our research explores contexts where societies are confronting histories of violence, division, discrimination, abuse of power and associated policy challenges in regions such as the Balkans, Central Asia, the European Union, North America, the Middle East, South America, the South Pacific, and Southern Africa.

This global orientation stems from the outstanding contribution research at the school has made to understandings of the conflict and peace process in Northern Ireland.