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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


Cera Murtagh

Cera Murtagh
Cera Murtagh
Politics and International Relations School of Social and Political Science University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
0131 651 3785
Research Interests
Post-conflict societies, Peace and conflict, Ethnicity and Identity, Nationalism and National Identity, Political parties, Social movements, gender politics

PhD Title

Fighting for the Centre: Multi-Ethnic Parties in Post-Conflict Societies in Comparative Perspective


MSc International and European Politics, University of Edinburgh

BA Political Science & Sociology and English, National University of Ireland, Galway

Working PhD Title: Fighting for the Centre: Multi-Ethnic Parties in Divided Societies in Comparative Perspective

My PhD thesis explores the under-researched field of multi-ethnic political parties operating in post-conflict environments. It investigates the stuctural barriers and opportunities that these parties face within power-sharing systems designed to accommodate rival identities. This research takes a cross-comparative approach, using Northern Ireland and Bosnia and Herzegovina as case studies.


Dr Wilfried Swenden, Dr Eve Hepburn & Dr Liliana Riga


ESRC 1+3 PhD Studentship (2011- 2015)

Shortlisted in the Feminist and Women’s Studies Association (UK and Ireland) Annual Essay Competition, 2006  


Murtagh, Cera (2016) ‘Civic Mobilization in Divided Societies and the Perils of Political Engagement: Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Protest and Plenum Movement,’ Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, 22(2), 149-171.

Murtagh, Cera (2015) 'Reaching Across: Institutional Barriers to Cross-Ethnic Parties in Post-Conflict Societies and the Case of Northern Ireland,' Nations and Nationalism, 21(3), 544–565.

Murtagh, Cera (2011) 'Consociational Theory: McGarry and O'Leary and the Northern Ireland conflict,' Regional & Federal Studies, 21(4-5), 567-569 [Book review]. 

Murtagh, Cera (2008) 'A Transient Transition: The Cultural and Institutional Obstacles Impeding the Northern Ireland Women's Coalition in its Progression from Informal to Formal Politics,' Irish Political Studies, 23(1), 21-40.

Recent Media and Commentary 

‘Analysis: The Representation of Women in the Scottish Parliament', Holyrood Magazine,’ 13 May 2016. 

‘Nil, Nada, Zilch: The Change in Women’s Representation in 2016’Gender Politics at Edinburgh, 12 May 2016. 

'Has the tide turned for women's representation in Scotland?' Democratic Audit Scotland, with Meryl Kenny and Fiona Mackay, 14 October 2015.

'Convergence the new consensus in Northern Ireland', The Scotsman, 2 July 2013.

Teaching Experience

•    Co-Convenor, Approaches to Politics and International Relations, Honours Undergraduate Course, 2016.

•    Tutor, Approaches to Politics and International Relations, Honours Undergraduate Course, 2015.

•    Teaching Assistant, Towards Scottish Independence? Understanding the Referendum, Massive Open Online Course, 2014.

•    Tutor, Scotland Society and Politics, Second Year Undergraduate Course, 2012.

Other Experience

•    Research Assistant to Professor Fiona Mackay, Gender Politics, September 2015 - present.

 •   Research Assistant to Professor Charlie Jeffery as Vice Principal (Public Policy and Impact) and Director of the Academy of Government, 2012-2014.

•    Course Organiser, Parliamentary Studies, Honours Undergraduate Course, 2013

Before commencing my PhD in 2011, I worked as a Journalist with Scottish political magazine, Holyrood and as a Political Researcher in the Scottish Parliament, as well as undertaking occasional freelance media and communications work.