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Mr Niall Cunningham - personal details

Contact details

Role: Research Fellow in Quantitative Analyses of Social and Cultural Participation

Tel: 0161 275-8998

Location: 178 Waterloo Place-CRESC
School of Social Sciences
The University of Manchester
M13 9PL

Email (address): ESRC Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change (CRESC), 178 Waterloo Place, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL

Email (email):

Email (phone): 0161 275 8998




Between 2008 and 2010 I was a Research Associate in the History Department at Lancaster University working on a major project entitled, Troubled Geographies: Two Centuries of Religious Division in Ireland, which was funded under the AHRC's 'Religion and Society' scheme.  Troubled Geographies was a collaboration between Lancaster (led by PI, Dr. Ian Gregory), the Geography Department at Queen's University Belfast (Drs. Paul Ell, Chris Lloyd and Ian Shuttleworth) and the Sociology Department at the City University of New York (Professor Andrew Beveridge).  The project had four core objectives:

· to add a Geographical Information System (GIS) to the Database of Irish Historical Statistics covering the period from 1861 to the present day;

· to use this GIS to conduct an analysis of the relationship between religious affiliation and a variety of socio-economic indicators over the long-term period;

· to conduct a detailed study of the relationship between religious identity and acts of violence during the recent Troubles in Northern Ireland;

· to establish a user-friendly interface to enable the public to interact with the data using the 'Social Explorer' system developed by Professor Beveridge at CUNY.

2012/13 should see a number of outputs emerge from Troubled Geographies, including a co-authored volume, which is contracted to Indiana University Press and which will form part of their 'Spatial Humanities' imprint.  There will also be an accompanying website with additional cartographic and statistical resources. 

I studied Irish history at University College Dublin and Irish Studies at Liverpool University before qualifying as a History teacher and working in schools in the UK and Japan. I undertook the MSc in Geographical Information Systems at the University of Leeds during session 2006-2007 with a particular focus on the interpretation of spatial data for social applications.

In March 2014 I successfully completed doctoral studies with a thesis entitled, Repertoires of Violence: The Geography of Political Conflict in Belfast During the Twentieth Century.  Supervised by Professors Ian Gregory and Angus Winchester, the thesis argues that patterns of poltical violence in Belfast during the recent Troubles need to be understood not simply in relation to contemporary socio-economic metrics and boundaries such as peacelines, but also in the context of much longer-term patterns and processes of inter-communal antagonism.  These patterns have remained remarkably resistent to the passage of time, despite sweeping changes to the social, economic, demographic and built environment of Belfast during the twentieth century.