Centre for the Study of Politics
The Centre for the Study of Politics is located within the Department of Sociology at Maynooth University. In 2007 the department started an innovative BA in Politics that took advantage of the strong interest in the department in the understanding of all the forms of politics and built upon and enhanced this with additional staff and new expertise, perspective and insights. This section provides a brief introduction to the Centre and to the BA Politics.
Keep up-to-date with the latest Centre for the Study of Politics news and events on Twitter (@MU__Politics).
BA in Politics
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Street protests, local elections, European treaties, parliamentary debate, local council decisions, industrial conflict – all are part of the everyday life of politics. Politics is about how we figure out what our society should look like. It is also about power and inequality.
At Maynooth University, you will explore the way politics shapes our lives, the different forms that politics takes, and how politics is organised in different countries.
As a student, you will examine the nature of active citizenship, international issues and the tensions between democracy, power and injustice. You will explore Irish and international politics, including a focus on Europe, the US or Latin America. You will also have an opportunity to carry out research into political life, developing analytical and presentation skills.
For detailed information on the BA Politics please click here. In this subsection you will find course descriptions, handbooks, timetables and further information on the undergraduate Politics programme (as well as Sociology). Please contact the year coordinator, whose details are in the handbooks, if you have general questions or issues across modules in a particular year.
Please also take a little while to view Dr Mary Murphy's overview of the BA Politics degree
Seminars and Public Events
The Centre’s commitment to the highest quality of research and debate on the EU can be demonstrated in a list of recent speakers at the university. As research seminars and ‘Europe forums’ are open to both members of the academic community and the wider public, they are immensely helpful in creating a platform where interested parties are informed about and engage in debates on European integration.
STOPFARRIGHT Research Project
STOPFARRIGHT is an Irish Research Council funded project, led by Dr Barry Cannon of the Department of Sociology at Maynooth University, in association with Crosscare. The project aims to promote discussion and debate between academics and civil society groups on how best to counter-strategise against the growth of the far right in Ireland. As part of its activities, STOPFARRIGHT held a series of online seminars with leading Irish and International academics and civil society members working on the theme of resisting the Far Right:
- 20 October 2021, Seminar Series 1: Misinformation and the Far-Right. Watch the first seminar.
- 28 October 2021, Seminar Series 2: Anti-Far Right Strategising 1: European Perspectives. Watch the second seminar.
- 15 November 2021, Seminar Series 3: Anti-Far Right Strategising: Global Problem, Local Responses. Watch the third seminar.
- 29 November 2021, Seminar Series 4: Far-Right and Racism in Ireland. Watch the fourth seminar.
- 8 December 2021, Seminar Series 5: Civil society and the Far-right. Watch the fifth seminar.
The Stopfarright Final Report is available free to download here:
This report contains the results of a survey and interviews among Civil Society Organisations about the best ways to stop the advance of the Far Right in Ireland, as well as summaries of the webinars. If you have any queries about the project or the reports contents, please contact the project's Principal Investigator, Barry Cannon (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Maynooth Centre for European and Eurasian Studies hosts a number of seminars and symposia during the year. These events are cross-disciplinary in nature and are open to students, faculty and members of the public. For current events please visit: https://www.maynoothuniversity.ie/europe/events
Many of the academic staff of the department research politics in various forms, as outlined above, and a number of our staff's primary focus is on the study of politics (for example, Barry Cannon, Mary Murphy and John O'Brennan).
Some of our standout research areas (with examples of relevant staff) are:
- International Relations, European Union, the politics of the Americas (Cannon, O'Brennan)
- Social movements and civil society (Cannon, Cox, Cullen, Murphy, Ryan)
- Politics of Welfare and Work (Cullen, Flaherty, Murphy, Ó Riain)
- Politics of Capitalism and Development, including the politics of the Irish and European crises and Brexit (Coulter, Cox, Fagan, Murphy, O'Brennan, Ó Riain)
- Politics, the State and
- Media, communication and identity (Conway, Corcoran, Kerr)
- Environmental Crisis (Flaherty, Murphy, Slater)
There is a wide range of research conducted and faculty members participate in a large number of national and international research networks.
Department of Sociology Involvement
A number of Department of Sociology staff are centrally involved in the centre. For more information on the centre contact any of the following staff in the Department: Professor John O'Brennan, Professor Sean O'Riain, Dr Pauline Cullen and Dr Barry Cannon.
Staff are actively involved in teaching modules that focus on European issues across the undergraduate degrees in Politics and Sociology.
Debating Politics and Civic Engagement
The university is home to the Maynooth Centre for European and Eurasian Studies and the research cluster on Political Economy, Work and Social Inequalities (PEWSI). Both of these academic research units are based in the Department of Sociology. These networks link up colleagues in different departments both within Maynooth University and beyond in Ireland and. Europe. They aim to foster debate about key political and social phenomena and do so through hosting seminars and public lectures, disseminating research publications and engaging with both civil society and the media.
Faculty members are prominent contributors on political issues to a range of domestic and international media, including leading newspapers such as The Guardian, the Irish Examiner, the Irish Times, the Sunday Business Post, RTE, TV3, CNN, BBC, and many more.
The Maynooth Centre for European and Eurasian Studies
The Maynooth Centre for European and Eurasian Studies is an inter-disciplinary centre of excellence in research and teaching on contemporary Europe. It is unique in the Irish context and seeks to develop academic, student, diplomatic and professional links between Ireland, the European Union and Central and Eastern Europe.
Members seek to engage with both government and civil society in a multi-perspectival critical examination of issues related to Ireland’s membership of the European Union, Ireland’s relations with the Wider Europe, and the European Integration process more generally. Its public role encompasses the staging of public seminars on European issues and engagement with a diverse range of media outlets on important themes such as enlargement, identity, migration and EU foreign and neighbourhood policy.
In sum, the four core aims are:
•To carry out and disseminate cutting edge multi-disciplinary research on Central and Eastern Europe and Ireland’s developing relationship with that region;
•To provide education and training for those interested in, or working with, the EU;
• To engage effectively with the diplomatic community and develop mutually reinforcing links with civil society actors focused on European affairs;
•To encourage both local and national debate on EU issues.