Researchers at UCD


Sean L'Estrange


School Of Sociology
Newman Building
Dublin 4

Tel: +353 1 7168234


Most biographies of academics are boring, and mine is no different.  After floundering my way through undergraduate and postgraduate studies in Ireland, England and the United States, I arrived in UCD in 2008 having had spells lecturing in Belfast, Maynooth and Swansea.  In UCD I found a sociology department rich in diversity and open to collaboration with other disciplines, which, given that my educational itinerary had included periods as a student of mathematics, psychology, philosophy, history, politics, as well as sociology, was especially welcome.

Over the years I have been involved in research, teaching and writing on a range of topics, mostly interdisciplinary in nature.  I have many years experience of teaching social theory, have researched and written on religion, and have taught, researched and written on nationalism and state borders.  While much of this activity has been prompted by occasions and opportunities, almost all has been informed by a perspective that places a premium on historical awareness and the fundamental importance of comparison in understanding historical processes.

Most recently, I have been drawn towards two unduly neglected fields of sociological research notable for their interdisciplinarity, viz. the sociology of science and technology, and the sociology of human-animal relations.  While the sociology of science has a long pedigree, it's impact on the sociological mainstream remains muted, despite the central importance of science and technology to all aspects of contemporary life.  Much the same could be said for the sociology of human-animal relations, though as a much younger (and still emerging) field, this is to be expected.  Each, however, poses interesting challenges for the sociological enterprise as commonly understood and promises to expand and enrich that tradition in the years ahead.



Conference Contributions

L'Estrange, S.; (2010) 'The Religious Factor in Political Violence - A Critique'. [Oral Presentation], Nationalism and Organised Violence, Galway , 24-SEP-10 - 24-SEP-10.
L'Estrange, S.; (2009) UCD School of Sociology Seminar Series 2008-09. [Invited Oral Presentation], Religion, Human Security and Globalisation, UCD , 09-APR-09 - 09-APR-09.
L'Estrange, S.; (2008) 'Confessions of Small Group Teacher'. [Oral Presentation], Political Studies Association Graduate Network Conference 2008, Swansea , 31-MAR-08 - 01-APR-08.
L'Estrange, S.; (2008) . [Conference Organising Committee Chairperson], Political Studies Association Graduate Network Conference 2008, Swansea , 31-MAR-08 - 01-APR-08.
L'Estrange, S.; (2008) Member of Committee liasing between the Main PSA 2008 Conference and the PSA Postgraduate Network Conference. [Conference Organising Committee Member], 58th Political Studies Association Annual Conference -- Democracy, Governance and Conflict: Dilemmas of Theory and Practice, Swansea , 01-APR-08 - 03-APR-08.
L'Estrange, S.; (2007) Panel 6G: The Challenge of Basque Nationalism 1. [Chaired Session], Beyond the Nation? Critical Reflections on Nations and Nationalism in Uncertain Times, Belfast , 14-SEP-07 - 14-SEP-07.
L'Estrange, S.; (2005) 'The Clergy as Intellectual Vanguard--The Case of the Christus Rex Society, 1941-1972'. [Non Refereed Paper/Abstract Presented at Conference], Intellectuals and Ideology in 20th Century Ireland, St Patrick's College Drumcondra, Dublin , 07-APR-05 - 08-APR-05.
L'Estrange, S.; (2007) 'Viva Andalucía Libre!--Andalusian Nationalism and the southern challenge to the Spanish State', presented on Panel 3G on 'Reconfiguring Territoriality and Identity'. [International Refereed Conference], Beyond the Nation? Critical Reflections on Nations and Nationalism in Uncertain Times, Belfast , 12-SEP-07 - 14-SEP-07.
L'Estrange, S.; (2006) 'Reconceiving Religious Power in Ireland--The Case of Irish Social Catholicism, 1907-1973'. [National Refereed Conference Paper], 33rd Annual Sociological Association of Ireland Conference, Sligo Institute of Technology , 05-MAY-06 - 07-MAY-06.
L'Estrange, S.; (2006) 'Socio-economic change in the Irish border region, 1971 to 2002'. [International Refereed Conference], 2006 Annual Conference of the Association of Borderlands Studies: Structures and Narratives of Border Change, Belfast , 23-MAY-06 - 25-MAY-06.



Book Chapters

L'Estrange, S (2014) 'Historical Research' In: Mills, Jane and Birks, Melanie (eds). Qualitative Methods: A Practical Guide. London: Sage. , pp.123-144 [Details]
L'Estrange, S.; (2009) 'Religion' In: G. Honor Fagan and Ronaldo Munck (eds). Globalization and Security--An Encyclopedia. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group, Praeger International Press. , pp.337-352 [Details]
L'Estrange, S.; (2003) 'Historical Methods' In: Miller, R. and Brewer, J (eds). The A-Z of Social Research. London: Sage. , pp.139-144 [Details]

Edited Books

L'Estrange, S. and O'Dowd, L (Ed.). (2008) 'Structures and Narratives of Border Change' -- Special Issue of the Journal of Borderlands Studies. Texas: Association of Borderlands Studies. Available Online [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

L'Estrange, S.; (2010) 'Democracy: Problems and Perspectives [Review Essay]'. Parliamentary Affairs, 63 (3). Available Online [DOI] [Details]
L'Estrange, S. and O'Dowd, L.; (2008) 'Structures and Narratives of Border Change: Perspectives from North America, Europe and the Middle East'. Journal of Borderlands Studies, 23 (1):1-11. Available Online [Details]
L'Estrange, S.; (2007) 'A Community of Communities -- Catholic Communitarianism and Societal Crises in Ireland, 1890s-1950s'. Journal of Historical Sociology, 20 (4):555-578. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
L'Estrange, S.; (2007) 'Religious Authority, Religious Rule -- The Priesthood, Politics and the Promotion of the "Reign of Christ" in Mid-Twentieth Century Ireland'. Archives européennes de sociologie/European Journal of Sociology, 48 (2):239-261. Available Online [DOI] [Details]

Other Journals

L'Estrange, Seán (2012) 'Excavating Nationalism in Archaeology' Archeological Review from Cambridge 27 (2) :189-208. [Details]

Book Reviews

L'Estrange (2014) Turn Down That Racket -- Review of *Discord: The Story of Noise*. Book Reviews Available Online [Details]
L'Estrange, S.; (2010) Border Politics: The Limits of Sovereign Power, by Nick Vaughan-Williams [Book Review]. Journal of Borderlands Studies: Book Reviews [Details]
Seán L'Estrange; (2009) Colonias in Arizona and New Mexico: Border Poverty and Community Development Solutions, by Adrian X. Esparza and Angela J. Donelson [Book Review]. Journal of Borderlands Studies: Book Reviews [Details]


L'Estrange, S (2010) Democracy: Problems and Perspectives. Reviews [DOI] [Details]

Working Paper

L'Estrange, Seán (2012) Wittgenstein's Grammar: An Interpretation for the Social Sciences. Working Paper [Details]
L'Estrange, S.; (2006) Socialising Wittgenstein--A critical evaluation of social-scientific appropriations of Wittgenstein. Working Paper [Details]

Policy Contribution

Committee for Finance and Personnel, Northern Ireland Assembly; (2000) Inquiry into the European Union Structural Funds: The Peace II Programme. Belfast: Policy Contribution Available Online [Details]


Research Interests

Social processes of science and technology; the sociology of human-animal relations; socio-ecology.


Recent Postgraduates

I have supervised Masters' dissertation students on topics that have included: human-horse interactions; the Muslim veil in Catalonia; sports activity and social bonding; policing in modern Egypt; the Copenhagen Conference on climate change; nation-building in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Current Postgraduate Students

Leon Dempsey, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)   -   Thesis Supervisor
Gregori Meakin, Master of Literature (MLitt)   -   Secondary Supervisor
Ozgecan Kesici, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)   -   Secondary Supervisor



Modules Coordinated

201400   SOC30220     Sociology: Science and Society
201400   SOC30330     Sociology: Contemporary Theory
201400   SOC20210     Sociology: Animals and Human Society