Peace Polls

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Colin Irwin

Watch the video of an interview with Dr. Colin Irwin and view the full seminar on YouTube in 3 Parts 'The potential for peace in the Middle East Part I' - 'Part II' and 'Part III' hosted at Europa House, Dublin on 15 January 2010. Also available is a seminar he gave at the American University of Beirut as well as a public briefing in 6 Parts that he chaired in Washington at the House of Representatives Part I - Part II - Part III - Part IV - Part V and Part VI.

Colin Irwin's LinkedIn profile

Colin Irwin's profile is available to download in PDF format, as a short biography or a full cvOtherwise, please read on.

Colin Irwin is a Research Fellow in the Department of Politics at the University of Liverpool. He was the principle investigator on the project 'Peace Building and Public Policy in Northern Ireland' funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust. As part of the Northern Ireland peace process he conducted eight public opinion polls in collaboration with the political parties elected to take part in the Stormont talks. Since then he has extended his work to include the Balkans, Kashmir, Sri Lanka, Sudan and the Middle East.


  • 1985, Syracuse University, Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Social Science
  • 1981, University of Manitoba, Interdisciplinary MA in Anthropology, Religion and Philosophy


  • In 2006, Research Fellow, Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool, then Department of Politics in 2010.
  • Since 2004, Research Fellow, Institute of Governance, Queen's University Belfast; 2002 to 2004, Research Fellow, Centre for the Study of Ethnic Conflict, School of Politics, QUB; 1994 to 2002 Research Fellow, Institute of Irish Studies, QUB; 1988 to 1997 Honorary Research Fellow, Department of Social Anthropology, QUB.
  • 1988 to 1991 Associate Professor of Research, 1987 to 1989 Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada Fellow and 1985 to 1987 Killam Fellow all in the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, Dalhousie University.


A monograph on the Northern Ireland peace process and numerous book chapters and journal articles on public opinion and peace building, education and conflict resolution, the sociobiology of conflict, the Inuit and native rights in Canada, sailing and diving. Over 40 newspaper reports on the Northern Ireland peace process and other articles on Arctic and underwater exploration.

Grants and Awards

  • Queen's University Foundation: Grant to develop the use of public opinion polls in the Northern Ireland peace process and their application to other conflicts
  • The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust: A series of grants for work in support of the Northern Ireland peace process and the negotiation of the Belfast Agreement
  • The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust: Grant for research on public preferences for various peace building and public policy options in Northern Ireland
  • Northern Ireland Office, Policy Planning and Research Unit: Grant for a study of social change at an integrated school
  • Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada: Post Doctoral Fellowship to study integrated and segregated education in Northern Ireland and Israel
  • Health and Welfare Canada: Grant for a study of the growing Inuit population and their effects on social and economic change
  • Killam Foundation: Post Doctoral Fellowship to study the sociobiology of group conflict and cultural mechanisms used to promote pro-social behaviour
  • Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada: Doctoral Fellowship to study Inuit mechanisms of pro-social control
  • Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada: Special MA Scholarship to undertake an interdisciplinary study of Inuit ethics

Other Activities and Awards

  • Research fieldwork undertaken in Alaska, Arctic Canada, Greenland, Israel, Palestine (Jerusalem and West Bank), Cyprus (North and South), Greece, Macedonia (fYROM), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, Kashmir, Sri Lanka, Sudan the UK and Northern Ireland
  • Human rights cases taken to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and to UNESCO to establish the rights of children to attend integrated schools in Northern Ireland
  • Television documentaries on the Northern Ireland conflict and Inuit in Arctic Canada
  • Advisor to Keewatin Inuit Association, Hudson's Bay, with responsibilities for land claims issues, social impact of Polar Gas pipeline, legal aid and native business development
  • Voyage to Scotland, Iceland, Greenland and Hudson's Bay; single handed sailing of Northwest Passage; crossing of Arctic North America by dog team; first underwater living experiment with artificial atmosphere; recovery of 2500 BC canoe from Poole Harbour
  • Royal Cruising Club Medal for Seamanship and Duke of Edinburgh Scientific Award to British Sub-Aqua Club