Geopolitics and Justice

Geopolitics and Justice  

The Geopolitics and Justice Research Cluster is concerned with interrogating the multiple practices of interventionism, development and securitization in our contemporary world and their consequent contested forms of governmentality and justice. Running through much of the cluster's research is a focus on the intricate interconnections between discursive and material productions of space. In critiquing abstract geopolitical, geoeconomic and developmental forms of interventionism, a common concern lies in theorising and insisting upon more humane, nuanced and critical human geographies, and in considering the urgent issues of economic, environmental and social justice in our contemporary world.

Cluster Members


Dr Patrick Collins
Dr Valerie Ledwith
Lorraine McIlrath
Dr John Morrissey
Dr Niall Ó Dochartaigh
Dr Kevin O'Sullivan
Dr Kathy Reilly
Prof. Ulf Strohmayer

Postgraduate Students

Frances Carter
TJ Hughes
Darren Keegan
Natasha Keenaghan
Maeve McGandy



Haven: Intervening for Human Security in the Mediterranean Humanitarian Crisis

The Haven Project is focused on the biggest humanitarian crisis in Europe since the Second World War, the Mediterranean refugee crisis, and centrally addresses the challenge of envisioning and enacting a transformative and cooperative EU security strategy based on the UN’s concept of ‘human security’

Principle Investigator: Dr John Morrissey
Research Funder: Irish Research Council
Project Homepage: The Haven Project
Edited Book: Haven: The Mediterranean Crisis and Human Security (Edward Elgar Publishing)
Journal Article: Envisioning Human Security (Fennia: International Journal of Geography)
RTÉ Brainstorm Article: Why We Need to Examine the Geopolitics of Displacement

CENTCOM and US Geopolitical Grand Strategy in the Middle East

This IRC research project critically interrogated the geopolitical scripting, political economy and biopolitics of US foreign policy in the Middle East and Central Asia, with a particular focus on United States Central Command (CENTCOM).

Principle Investigator: Dr John Morrissey
Research Funder: Irish Research Council
Book: The Long War: CENTCOM, Grand Strategy, and Global Security (University of Georgia Press)
Journal Article: US Central Command and Liberal Imperial Reach (The Geographical Journal)
RTÉ Brainstorm Article: The Long War: The United States Military and the Middle East

Bridging Academic Critique and Civic Engagement in Sarajevo, Bosnia

Project Description: This NUI Galway CKI project supported the initiation of participatory development field-based learning in Sarajevo, Bosnia, where Masters students on the MA in Environment, Society and Development intersect with the work of the United Nations and a variety of other NGOs.

Principle Investigators: Dr John Morrissey and Dr Kathy Reilly
Research Funder: Community Knowledge Initiative
Project Homepage: MA-ESD: Civic Engagement Research and Pedagogy Impacts
Journal Article: Field-Based Learning: The Challenge of Practising Participatory Knowledge (Journal of Geography in Higher Education)

Creative Edge: Creating a platform for Creative Industries in the Periphery

The project’s aim is to increase international business for creatives working in the five regions and to increase connections and collaboration across Europe’s Northern Edge.  Anyone working in the creative sector in these regions can create a free Profile on MyCreativeEdge to showcase their work.

Principle Investigator: Dr Patrick Collins
More info:
Funded by: Northern Periphery and Artic Programme

Non-State Humanitarianism: From Colonialism to Human Rights

This research network connects two emerging strands of historical inquiry – from the academic world and from within the humanitarian sector – in a spirit of conversation and collaboration to examine questions of human rights in a transnational historical context.

Principle Investigator: Dr Kevin O’Sullivan (History)
More info:
Funded by: British Arts and Humanities Research Council

Europe Engage 

This EU project identifies existing service-learning practices, promotes service-learning as a pedagogical approach, and oversees a new research network towards extending civic engagement initiatives in higher education.

Principle Investigator: Dr Lorraine McIlrath (CKI)
More info:
Funded by: Erasmus+ Programme

Decoding the Disciplines in European Institutions of Higher Education: Intercultural and Interdisciplinary Approach to Teaching and Learning

The project aims at introducing in European institutions for higher education a new, innovative, intercultural, and interdisciplinary approach to teaching and learning, “Decoding the Disciplines” (DD), which will address the growing social, cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity at the institutions of higher learning across Lithuania, Belgium, Ireland, and Italy.

Principle Investigator(s): Dr Mary Greene
More info: Funding call
Funded by: Erasmus+ Programme

Heidegger, or the neglect of boundaries

Benedikt Korf’s recent invitation to re-think the deployment of Heidegger’s philosophy within geography is both opportune and essential: opportune, because the many and continuing controversies surrounding Heidegger’s political stance have been reignited following the on-going publication of his Schwarze Hefte; essential, because any invocation of “Heidegger” today arguably involves something additional to a reflection of the man, his politics, Weltan-schauung and philosophy.

Principle Investigator(s): Prof Ulf Stohmayer
More info: Publication link

Deconstructing Homelessness: Finding a Place for Geography

The project examines an emerging disconnect between the mediated representations of homeless communities in Ireland and the multiple lived realities of being homeless. In doing so the project aims to make a significant contribution to Irish policy interventions on homelessness.

Principle Investigator(s): Dr Kathy Reilly
Funded by: IRC Policy for Society Award

Moving to Inequality? Considering Young Migrants Educational Achievement in Galway City, Ireland

This research focuses on the educational experiences of migrant teens in Galway, the most diverse city in Ireland. This mixed-method project examined young migrants’ experiences of educational opportunity; including a focus on access, participation, aspiration and attainment. The project also examined a variety of family, school and neighbourhood effects, to consider the influence of each on overall student experiences.

Principle Investigator(s): Dr Valerie Ledwith, Dr Kathy Reilly
More info:  Publication / Irish Times article / Podcast