Conor Kelly (2018 Cohort)

Conor Kelly

About me/education:I was born in New York to Irish immigrants and spent most of my childhood in Donegal on Ireland’s North West coast. I then graduated with a BA (Hons) in History, Sociology and Political Science in 2014 from the National University of Ireland, Galway. Following this, I studied for my MA in European Public Policy from Maastricht University in the Netherlands. After University, I worked in a variety of different jobs for organisations in New York including a former US Congressman’s campaign for District Attorney of Staten Island, a fundraising campaign for Doctors Without Borders, and University recruitment drives for the Democratic Party. I’m passionate about local activism and work for a not-for-profit social enterprise providing online fundraising services to local charities and community groups across the UK.

My research:My research will focus on Northern Irish political parties and their attitudes towards European integration. It asks whether ideology and electoral calculus, as the existing studies predict, reshaped Northern Irish political parties’ preferences on Europe. Going beyond this literature, it considers whether Sinn Féin, the Ulster Unionist Party and the Democratic Unionist Party have been influenced by transnational politics on the island of Ireland and within the European Union.

The difference my research makes: My research will shed new light on Northern Irish political parties at a time when these actors are having a profound effect on the future of UK-EU relations and British constitutional politics. More generally, the findings will advance the literature on how political parties form their preferences in divided societies.

Supervisors: Prof Eric Kaufman and Dr Ben Worthy.

Location: Department of Politics at Birkbeck, University of London

Pathway: Politics and International Relations