The following event will take place at University College Cork, September 6th 201, 2-6pm.  All welcome and no fee.  Venue: CACCSS Seminar Room, O’Rahilly Building. For more information and to register contact: Dr. Linda Connolly, Director, ISS21,

Transforming the Crisis: Engaging Social Science

An Irish Social Sciences Platform symposium hosted by the Institute for Social Science in the 21st Century at UCC.

The fallout of recent events in Ireland (such as the Ryan Report and the Mahon Tribunal) and the legacy of the Celtic Tiger has led to a search for new understandings of both the economic and socio-cultural roots of the current ‘crisis’ or ‘crises’ in Ireland and for innovative solutions and creative thinking among public intellectuals.

This symposium aims to highlight the particular role social science/social scientists can play in transforming the crisis. Recent critical research on some of the most pressing and challenging problems in contemporary Ireland in relation to the economy, housing, media, governance, emigration, sustainability, gender and politics will be presented and explored.

2.00-3.00pm: Opening session

Engaging with the distinctiveness of Ireland’s development trajectory: Still a challenge for the social sciences
Professor Peadar Kirby (UL)

3.00-4.30pm: Unravelling ‘the Crisis’: Critical Issues

Crisis, Which Crisis? Reframing Growth in a Post-Carbon World
Dr Gerard Mullally (Department of Sociology, UCC)

Emigration Once Again? Emerging Trends in Current Irish Emigration in a Globalised Age
Dr Piaras MacEinrí (Department of Geography and ISS21, UCC)

(En)Gendering Governance: How a Gendered Analysis can contribute to Improved Decision-making in Politics
Fiona Buckley (Department of Government and ISS21, UCC)

4.45-6.00pm: Social Science, ‘the crisis’ and the public sphere

Creative Constructions – Media and Political Discourse amidst deep economic crisis in Ireland
Professor Paschal Preston (School of Communications, DCU)

Engaging Publics: Writing the Crisis
Professor Rob Kitchin (Director of NIRSA, NUIM)

Entrepreneurial Universities, Research Commercialisation and Publicly Funded Principal Investigators – Policy Rhetoric and Lived Realities
Dr. James Cunningham (Director of CISC, NUIG)


MIDSS – the NUIG based social sciences instruments databank funded as part of the ISSP research programme funded by the PRTLI4 – will be showcased at the end of the event


How can social science researchers most effectively make a contribution to public policy formation?  The recent debates surrounding how best to address the fiscal crisis facing Ireland cast a spotlight on two challenges that confront researchers who attempt to intervene in the wider public discussion.  First, there is a set of problems surrounding the ways in which evidence – particularly quantitative evidence – is mobilized by researchers and taken up by the media and others who shape public opinion.  Second, there is a more philosophical question about whether or not it is possible, or desirable, for social scientists to adopt a value-neutral position. (more…)