Ben Warwick

PI at PSA Annual Conference 2021

The Political Studies Association’s annual conference kicks off on Monday 29th March. Intended to be held in Belfast, the event will be conducted entirely online in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Performing Identities will be presenting two papers over the coming days; very handily, both will be happening in the same session!

Clare Rice will be presenting a solo piece of research examining the implementations of identity and governance provisions agreed in Northern Ireland’s ‘New Decade, New Approach’ deal one year on.

The second will be a joint presentation from Clare Rice, Megan Armstrong and Ben Warwick, outlining some key findings from interviews completed in Northern Ireland on the theme of identity and Brexit.

For those attending the conference, these will be happening in Panel 919 on Wednesday 31st March (9am-10.30am).

PI Panel at UACES 2020

The Performing Identities will (virtually) come together on Monday 7th September to lead a panel discussion at the UACES Virtual Conference 2020.

Initially planned to be happening in Belfast, the full conference has now moved to an online platform in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

We have planned a panel on the theme of Brexit and Northern Ireland, in which each member will outline some key aspects of the work being done within the Performing Identities project.

This will include the presentation of initial findings from interview-based research in Northern Ireland, and overviews of several forthcoming papers not yet in the public domain.

Central to our plans for the session is to provide a forum for informal discussion – on the work of the team, but also more generally on the topics being covered.

As a ‘non-traditional panel’ at the UACES conference, we had ambitious plans for this session in Belfast. While now proceeding in a virtual format, this remains a session not to be missed for anyone interested in Brexit and its impact in Northern Ireland!


Unfortunately, this panel is only open to registered participants of the conference, but we will be tweeting updates on the day from our account – @performidentity


Evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights: Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill 2020

PI team members Sylvia de Mars, Colin Murray, Aoife O’Donoghue and Ben Warwick have submitted evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights with regard to the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill 2020.

This submission focuses on Clause 2 of the bill, which relates to Irish citizens. In particular, it is highlighted that the omission within the Explanatory Notes of all reference to the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement (GFA) is concerning.

REPORT: ‘Continuing EU Citizenship “Rights, Opportunities and Benefits” in Northern Ireland after Brexit’

Four of PI’s team members – Colin Murray, Sylvia de Mars, Aoife O’Donoghue and Ben Warwick – have prepared one of two reports for the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, examining challenges to citizenship rights in the context of Brexit.

Brexit therefore creates the potential for new and more extreme gaps in the rights and protections available to different groups of people living within Northern Ireland.

This report highlights a number of pre-existing complexities with regard to citizenship laws in Northern Ireland and examines the specific challenges these give rise to in the context of Brexit. A number of recommendations are made as to how these can be addressed.

The full report is available to download here: https://www.nihrc.org/publication/detail/continuing-eu-citizenship-rights-opportunities-and-benefits-in-northern-ireland-after-brexit

ICON Conference

The research team attended and presented at the ICON Society (UK and Ireland) conference hosted by the University of Strathclyde. The papers presented were titled:

de Mars, ‘Making it (Even) More Complex: Plucking Trade from its Nest’

Murray, ‘Futureland: Northern Ireland after Brexit’

O’Donoghue, ‘Life after Brexit: Referenda, International Law and Unifying Ireland?’

Warwick, ‘Disappearing Rights under the Draft EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement’

They will find their way into written and published form shortly!

Presentations by the Research Team

As the UK approached one of its Brexit deadlines, March and Early April proved a busy period for presentation gigs! The research team presented the following papers:

  • Murray, ‘The Strange Case of Disappearing Rights in the UK-EU Withdrawal Negotiations’, Leeds University, SLSA Annual Conference (5 April 2019).
  • Warwick, ’Northern Ireland as a Perpetual Outsider’, Leeds University, SLSA Annual Conference (4 April 2019).
  • O’Donoghue, ‘Lessons from Brexit’, Wolfson College, Cambridge (29 March 2019).
  • Warwick, ‘What’s so wrong with the backstop anyway?’, Institute of Advanced Studies, Birmingham, Intercontinental Academia Programme (19 March 2019). 
  • Murray, ‘Brexit and the Common Travel Area’ NUI Galway (7 March 2019).