Fidelma Ashe is a Professor of politics and a member of the Transitional Justice Institute. She is a leading scholar in peace and conflict studies particularly in the area of marginalised identities. Through PhD supervision and co-publication Prof. Ashe has contributed to the development of the next generation of scholars in this area. She is author/editor of 5 books including her monographs Gender and Conflict Transformation in Northern Ireland: New Themes and Old Problems (2019) Routledge and The New Politics of Masculinity: Men, Power and Resistance (2007).
She has written widely in the area of gender, ethno-nationalist conflict and peacebuilding. Her research has also been disseminated through a series of invited papers in international centres of excellence and keynotes at international conferences as far afield as the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She has acted as a Thought Leader for Outstanding Performance Security Awards: (2021) and was a member of the UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) expert workshop 'Adversary Futures’ Theme (2016). She presented her research to USIP, Washington twice (2015 and 2021). Her research in the area of gender and peacebuilding has focused on the experiences of hard to reach groups marginalised from conflict transitional narratives, processes and institutions. She has engaged in theoretical and empirical explorations of social movements, women’s protests, demilitarisation, political institutions, women’s imprisonment during conflict and masculinities after conflict.
She has worked with international research teams on feminist investigations of war and conflict. For example, she was a key member of an international feminist research team conducting research on the theme of ‘Women and Post-Conflict Transformation: Lessons of the Past, Implications for the Future,’ which received United States Institute of Peace funding and was published in book form by Routledge.
The focus of her research has often provoked methodological innovations including blending social science and creative industry methods and activist expertise to make visible marginalised visions of peace and justice. For example, she acted as Primary Investigator on the project LGBTQ Visions of Peace in a Society Emerging from Conflict, which received funding from the AHRC 2015-2017.
The research resulted in the co-production of new cultural artefacts, namely the creation of the first theatre play and photographic exhibition on the theme of LGBTQ+ visions of peace. The play and photographic exhibition toured NI and the ROI. She continues to work in this area and was a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly’s expert group that produced an LGBTQI+ inclusion strategy and she has conducted research for the Dept. for Communities on the use and consequences of conversion practices. Her work on constitutional change has developed critical methodologies to promote the inclusion of women from multiple identity groups in discussions of constitutional futures on the island of Ireland.
This research has focused on developing models of democratic inclusion, local-level participatory mechanisms and civic education. This more recent research has been funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust and the Dept for Foreign Affairs, Ireland. She has also published articles and reports on gendering constitutional conversations. She has given oral testimony to the Irish Seanad on constitutional change and continues to raise issues of women’s equality in public discussions of Irish Unity. Her work on constitutional change can be viewed on her full academic profile.
She was recently awarded a Higher Education Authority North/South grant with UCC to develop her work on constitutional change in the Irish context.