2007-2008 Academic Year
- With the dissolution of the old BESS (Business, Economic and Social Studies) faculty, the department of Political Science (along with the departments of Economics, Philosophy and Sociology) became part of the new School of Social Sciences and Philosophy. Professor Michael Marsh was elected Head of this School in summer 2005 before, in December 2007, being elected as Dean of the new Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, entering office on 1 January 2008.
- In February 2008, The Irish Voter was published by Manchester University Press. The book analyses the first full-scale academic survey of Irish election voting behaviour. It was written by Professor Michael Marsh and Professor Richard Sinnott (UCD), along with two of the department's PhD graduates, John Garry and Fiachra Kennedy. It was launched by Olivia O'Leary in May 2008.
The department was able to welcome a number of new additions to its staff:
- The Department is pleased to welcome Dr Will Phelan as a new permanent appointment. Dr Phelan has an undergraduate degree from Oxford and a PhD from Harvard, and replaces Dr Nalini Persram as the department's IR specialist.
- Dr Robert Thomson has been appointed to a permanent position in the department. His work on decision-making within the EU has led to a number of recent publications (see his web site for full details).
- Dr Etain Tannam has been appointed a full-time lecturer in the department. She teaches courses in European Public Policy and Issues in Contemporary Politics. Her research areas are the EU and Northern Ireland, cross-border co-operation and regional and cohesion policy.
- Courses are also being taught in 2007–08 by Dr Simon Boucher, Dr Andrew Glencross, Dr Anna Gwiazda, Ms Katya McDonagh, Mr Shane Mac Giollabhui and Mr Slava Mikhailov (links can be found at the departmental staff website). The department is delighted to welcome this group of new, highly committed teachers.
- Ken Benoit has been awarded a personal chair with the title Professor of Quantitative Social Sciences. He is on sabbatical in the academic year 2007–08. Michael Marsh has been awarded a personal chair with the title Professor of Comparative Political Behaviour. The department congratulates them both on these well merited promotions.
On the down side, the department has lost a number of valued colleagues, and it wishes them all well in the future:
- Professor Ron Hill retired at the end of September 2007 after 38 years in the department. Long regarded as one of the world's leading experts on communist politics, since the early 1990s he has established an expertise in post-communist politics, Russian politics, and transitions to democracy. Generations of students will recall his stimulating lectures, his commitment to excellence, and his insistence that the basic rules of grammar are capable of being mastered by everyone. His wisdom and his all-round contribution to the department will be greatly missed.
- Dr Jacqueline Hayden left the department after three years of outstanding work, in particular teaching the Introduction to Political Science to over 400 first-year undergraduates each year and teaching the very popular final-year Issues in Contemporary Politics course.
- Dr Yee-Kuang Heng, after three years in the department teaching IR while Dr Nalini Persram was on a career break, has taken up a new position at one of the UK's leading IR departments, at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, where he has an office with a sea view and continues to produce high quality research output.
- Dr Nalini Persram, who joined the department in 1999 following the retirement of Professor Patrick Keatinge, has left to take up a position at York University in Toronto.
- In addition, several lecturers who contributed valuably to teaching in 2006-07 and in some cases other years too have moved on to other positions: Dr Alex Baturo, Ken McDonagh, Dr Garrett O'Boyle, and Dr Jonathan Westrup
- Several members of the department, along with leading authorities from other universities and practising politicians, have combined to produce How Ireland Voted 2007 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008), the definitive study of Ireland's 2007 election. The book was published on 9 November 2007, less than six months after the election, and was launched by John Gormley TD, Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, on 4 December 2007. Full details on the Palgrave website.
- Michael Gallagher remains head of department. A paperback edition of The Politics of Electoral Systems, which he co-edited with Paul Mitchell of the LSE, was published 10 January 2008 by Oxford University Press (22 February in the USA). Running to 662 pages (and costing a mere GB£27.50), it contains chapters on 22 countries across five continents along with comparative analysis of various aspects of electoral systems.
- A number of PhD theses have recently been successfully defended, adding to the growing list of theses to come out of the department’s PhD programme. A full list of successful graduates is to be found elsewhere on the department’s web site.