Chairperson & Director
Prof. Kevin Leyden

Dr. Mike Hynes and Dr. Tony Varley (joint secretaries).

Secretary & Treasurer
Dr. Mike Hynes

Dr. Judith O’Connell

Board Members

Dr. Anne Cassidy
Prof. Ricca Edmondson
Mr Liam Farrell
Prof. Mark Haugaard
Dr. Áine Macken-Walsh
Dr. Marie Mahon
Dr. Gerry Moran

Adjunct Members
Emeritus Prof. Ricca Edmondson


The Social Sciences Research Centre (SSRC) seeks to exploit the intrinsic strength of an interdisciplinary approach to research across the social sciences at NUI Galway.

Conceived initially as an attempt to cultivate and co-ordinate interdisciplinary research collaborations between social scientists, the Social Sciences Research Centre (SSRC) has provided a focus for interdisciplinary research between economists, geographers, political scientists, psychologists, and sociologists in Galway for over 50 years. Over the decades, reflecting its capacity to be adaptive and resilient, the SSRC has encouraged the creation of, and provided a home to, a number of specialised research centres. In the most recent period a number of key specialised research centres have functioned under the aegis of the SSRC

Current Directions of SSRC Research
At present, there are three key distinguishable strands of research being pursued by SSRC members:


1. Smart and livable cities and towns

The Research Objective:
Providing stronger emphasis on uniqueness in urban planning & place-making, and a focus on the importance of quality in design and quality of life for all citizens.

Principal Researchers:
Prof Kevin Leyden
Dr Mike Hynes

Current Research Projects:

1. City of Galway: Galway European Capital of Culture Bid 2020 (2014 -2016)

Prof. Kevin Leyden and Dr. Patrick Collins of the Department of Geography (NUI, Galway) have put together a NUI, Galway Team to support PHASE 1 the bid for Galway to become the European Capital of Culture in 2020. Galway was awarded European Capital of Culture for 2020 in July, 2016.

2. European Union and European Science Foundation. Cooperation in Science & Technology (COST) Transit & Urban Development Grant.

Title: TUD COST Action TU1204 People Friendly Cities in a Data Rich World. Prof. Kevin Leyden is Co-investigator in this project. Supported by a European network of candidate cities, the Action co-ordinates a trans-disciplinary network of experts and non-experts that investigate the alignment of the “hardware” and “software” of a city with user needs to promote well-being, good health, and a sustainable use of resources, within an evolving people-centred consultation framework for economic, cultural, and political development. Prof. Kevin Leyden leads and coordinates one of four work packages that is termed the Research Strategy & Roadmap (2013-2017).

3. The Environmental Protection Agency of the Republic of Ireland.

The Grant is titled: The ‘Cleaner, Greener, Leaner’ Study: Combating Climate Change through Planning for Sustainable Transport. Prof. Kevin Leyden has been Co-investigator in this project.The grant primarily supported a PhD Student for three years and some related research costs. The grant was funded under the Science, Technology, Research & Innovation for the Environment (STRIVE) Programme 2007 – 2013. The project focuses upon the relationship between neighbourhood design and the attitudes and behaviours of residents and policymakers in Dublin and its suburbs. Research is on-going.

4. Mobilities and Liveability in Galway Project

Led by Dr. Mike Hynes this innovative research project seeks to capture people’s opinions and understanding of transport, mobility and liveability in Galway City, Ireland. The research segment of the study was carried out by researchers and undergraduate students of the School of Political Science & Sociology at the National University of Ireland Galway over the summer months of June, July and August 2016.

2. Equality and Diversity
Understanding Critical Social Science Research

Research Themes/Projects:
Prof. Ricca Edmondson
Interculturality and Wisdom

Prof. Mark Haugaard
Two types of freedom and four dimensions of power

Prof. Terrence McDonough
Recurrent patterns of crisis and accumulation in capitalist history
Accumulation Theory and recent Chinese history

Dr. Kevin Ryan
Competition and control in the enterprise society
Childhood and biosocial power

3. Rural Communities and Development

Research Themes/Projects:

1. Undertaking Ireland’s National Rural Network Co-ordination so as to facilitate stakeholders and interested groups in achieving better outcomes across all the measures under the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 (Dr. Maura Farrell, Dr. Marie Mahon and Dr. John McDonagh)
2. Investigating routes to fostering innovation in rural areas which enhance the role of institutions, networks and research centres (Dr. Maura Farrell, Dr. Marie Mahon and Dr. John McDonagh
3. Investigating power and interest representation in EU meta-governance structures, taking a specific focus on agriculture and rural development (Dr. Áine Macken-Walsh)
4. Investigating routes towards diversification of the agricultural population (Dr. Anne Byrne, Dr. Peter Cush, Dr. Áine Macken-Walsh)
5. Rural collective action in the West of Ireland (Dr. Tony Varley and Prof. Chris Curtin)
6. Common pool resource theory and Connemara aquaculture (Dr. Peter Cush)


The Social Sciences Research Centre (SSRC) Annual Conference 2016
Galway: Today and Tomorrow
Thursday 20th October 2016
The Institute for Lifecourse and Society (ILAS) – NUI Galway

Website: www.ssrc.ie 

Twitter: @SSRC_Galway