Secrecy was identified by Arend Lijphart (1968; 1975) as one of seven ‘rules of the game’ of accommodation in deeply-divided societies. Comparative research has, however, largely overlooked the role of secrecy in the effective functioning of power-sharing government. This project accounts for the nature and practice of secrecy in the contemporary politics of Northern Ireland and assesses elite attitudes towards the functional necessity of ‘opaqueness’ in a consociational democracy. Ultimately, the Northern Irish case holds important lessons for those interesting in assessing the more ‘difficult-to-reach’ elements of power-sharing theory and practice.
This project considers the possibilities for action associated with concealment, revelation, and deception through examining how they figure into entertainment magic.
This research project is considering how hidden, subterranean spaces, such as tunnels, are products and artefacts of specific social relations. Subterranean spaces are not just the domain of essential urban infrastructure, but vital conduits for resistant actors who wish to hide from expressions of state authority.
This project navigates and critically analyses the production of Alt-Right/far-right/neo-fascist subjects in online cultural spaces of humour, popular culture and conspiracy. It aims to understand how the online as a particular and novel space of political and cultural activity has become an integral part of processes of far-right knowledge production as well as subject production.
This ESRC New Investigators-funded project examines the relationship between sound, secrecy and state-making over the last century. The project focuses on numbers stations: shortwave radio broadcasts used to send coded messages to spies abroad.
My research looks at secrecy in terms of British intelligence’s war against the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) between 1969 and 1998 in Northern Ireland. In my forthcoming book with Cambridge University press entitled The Intelligence War Against the IRA (2019), I argue against existing literature by suggesting that the IRA was not forced into peace by British intelligence.
This photographic commission explores the relationship between secrecy and ignorance. With support from SPIN, the Martin Parr Foundation, and Rising Arts Agency, this photographic series seeks to explore: what secrecy mean to individuals; who keeps secrets; what is ignorance; and, how might secrecy and ignorance be interconnected?
My work focuses on the sociology of sexuality. Focusing particularly on liminal identities including plurisexuality, bisexuality, pansexuality, and non binary gender identities, I explore how people show/hide their sexual and gender identity based on the communities around them and the perceived levels of acceptance that they will come across.
Through this project, I am attempting to rethink some of the findings from my research into the governance and treatment of maritime stowaways in global shipping through themes of secrecy, rumour and ignorance.
Rival actors of transgressors and enforcers in the organisation of heroin trafficking across the maritime space in the Indian Ocean generate their own tactical knowledge to outmanoeuvre each other.
This project explores how hunting is now the structuring metaphor of post-9/11 security.
This project presents a new concept for making sense of secrecy and its power. Re-reading and re-working the well-known concept of the panopticon and the practices and power of surveillance, the Arcanum offers a way to understand the layered compositions of secrecy as encompassing a series of interlocking practices
The realm of intelligence provides an important space to examine openness and secrecy in a democratic context. I am particularly interested in how transnational intelligence cooperation and counter-terrorism interact with practices of secrecy, accountability and oversight.