UCD John Hume Institute for Global Irish Studies 
UCD John Hume Institute for Global Irish StudiesUCD Crest


The Social Significance of Ethnicity in Contemporary Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Quebec

Supervised by:Professor Jennifer Todd, UCD School of Politics and International Relations

Project Overview
Ths project sets out to explore the social significance of ethnicity in communities in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Quebec.

Much of the contemporary literature seeks to identify moments where ethnic relationships become contentious or even violent. This project is focused on when ethnicity becomes socially relevant at the community level, in post conflict and tranquil environments.

solating factors that are having a direct impact on activating ethnicity specifically, rather than within a politically charged or contentious context will allow for a better understanding of how ethnicity works independent of conflict. Although this project does not seek to explain how and why wider patterns of ethnic conflict arise, it does seek to understand the foundations on which these conflicts are built.  

To gain a better understanding of the role that ethnicity plays in everyday life, the relationships individuals have to their ethnic identities and the role that larger historical and political factors have on the salience of these identities.

This project will follow a mixed method research design employing both quantitative and qualitative approaches. Phase I of the research will consider variations on the dependant variable, the social relevance of ethnicity within several communities, against variations in several independent variables including, but not exclusive to, the demographic characteristics, locations, and political histories of the communities, as well as the extent to which ethnic groups have gained institutional representation within the communities. Phase II of the research will explore outlier cases revealed in the quantitative analysis through structured interviews with individuals living within the outlier communities.

Illustration of Methodological Approach