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TCD/UCD Public Lecture Series 2017-2018

The Department of Sociology at Trinity College Dublin (TCD), in collaboration with University College Dublin (UCD), has initiated a series of public lectures in which internationally acclaimed speakers will discuss contemporary sociological issues. The aim of this TCD-UCD Sociology Public Lecture Series is to promote informed and non-partisan debate and to offer new ideas on cutting-edge sociological issues including but not limited to responses to the current crisis. It provides a platform to deepen research and teaching synergies between TCD and UCD especially in light of HEA’s policy ‘Towards a Future Higher Education Landscape’. The series features two public lectures per term with one event hosted at TCD and the other at UCD.

Upcoming Speakers:

First Event

Title: The Politics of Nationalism and White Racism in the UK
Speaker: Professor Mike Savage (LSE)
Date and time: 4th October 2017, 7pm
Venue: Thomas Davis Theatre, Arts Building.

AbstractProfessor Mike Savage

The rise of populist nationalism in many parts of the developed world testifies to the resurgence of fears around intensified immigration and the renewed power of racism. My paper draws on a mixed methods study of the National Child Development study to consider, in the British case, how racist and nationalist attitudes intersect with social inequalities. My paper disputes the view that racism as a product of the ‘left behind’ white working class. I emphasise the continued power of ‘imperial nationalism’ amongst economically advantaged white Britons, and draw attention to the anti-establishment nationalism of the most disadvantaged which need not have strong racist overtones. This inter-twining of racism with other social and economic inequalities is intense and has the potential to generate increasingly visceral and volatile forms of political identification. 


Mike Savage is Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics where he is also co-director of the International Inequalities Institute. His recent books include the co-authored, and best selling Social Class in the 21st Century (2015) and Identities and Social Change in Britain since 1940: the politics of method (2010).

Second Event

Title: Nation Building: Why some countries come together while others fall apart
Speaker: Professor Andreas Wimmer (Columbia University)
Date and Time: 26th April 2018, 1pm
Venue: D418, Newman Building, UCD



In this talk, Columbia sociologist and political scientist Andreas Wimmer offers new answers to an age-old question. Why is national integration achieved in some diverse countries, while others are destabilized by political inequality between ethnic groups, contentious politics, or even separatism and ethnic war? Traversing centuries and continents from early nineteenth-century Europe and Asia to contemporary Africa, Andreas Wimmer delves into the slow-moving historical forces that encourage political alliances to stretch across ethnic divides and build national unity. 

Andreas Wimmer is Lieber Professor of Sociology and Political Philosophy and a member of the Committee on Global Thought. His research brings a long term and globally comparative perspective to the questions of how states are built and nations formed, how individuals draw ethnic and racial boundaries between themselves and others, and which kinds of political conflicts and war results from these processes. Using new methods and data, he continues the old search for historical patterns that repeat across contexts and times. He has pursued this agenda across the disciplinary fields of sociology, political science, and social anthropology and through various styles of inquiry: field research in Oaxaca (Mexico) and Iraq, comparative historical analysis, quantitative cross-national research, network studies, formal modeling, the analysis of large-scale survey data, as well as policy oriented research. His most recent book publications are Nation Building. Why Some Countries Come Together While Others Fall Apart. Princeton University Press (2018), Waves of War. Nationalism, State-Formation, and Ethnic Exclusion in the Modern World (CUP 2012) and Ethnic Boundary Making. Institutions, Networks, Power (OUP 2012).