Aoileann Ní Mhurchú

Aoileann Ní Mhurchú (Lecturer in International Politics; Secretary of the Critical Theory and Poststructuralism Cluster)


Aoileann joined the Politics discipline in the University of Manchester in August 2012 as a Lecturer in International Politics. Prior to this, she worked in Aberystwyth University. Aoileann completed her doctorate at Dublin City University in 2011 (funded by the Irish Government (IRCHSS)). This work is currently being revised for publication with Edinburgh University Press. She holds an MScEcon in Postcolonial Politics from Aberystwyth University as well as a BA in Business Studies and Political Science from Trinity College Dublin.

During her PhD Aoileann worked as assistant editor of the transdisciplinary online e-journal Translocations: Migration and Social Change and is a  founding member of the Dublin City university ‘Migration and Intercultural Research Cluster’ (DCU MIRC). During the 2011-12 academic year Aoileann was co-convenor of the Aberystwtyth University Citizenship Studies Research Group (CSG). 

Contact Information:

T: +44 (0) 161 276 6911


Research Interests:

My research is located at the intersection of three areas:  international migration, contemporary political thought, and critical citizenship studies. It explores the changing nature of political identity and belonging in the context of increasing global migration, by considering how modern binary spatio-temporal experiences (namely, us/them,included/excluded, citizen/migrant) are breaking down in favour of more fluid, overlapping and contingent postmodern experiences. I am interested in how contemporary political and philosophical thought helps us to engage with these alternative experiences. My work draws on poststructuralism, psychoanalysis and postcolonial studies.

My work thus far has considered how citizenship in the context of international migration involves overlapping, inconsistent ‘traces’ of us-them, self-other, inside-outside etc. which confound easy categorization. I have explored this issue in depth through specific case studies, most notably the 2004 Irish Citizenship Referendum, but also within the context of broader European Union and North American debates about birthright citizenship. I have focused in particular on the experiences of citizen children born to migrant parents (the so-called, second generation), exploring how these are people who are neither entirely included in the state as citizens nor entirely excluded from the state as migrants but caught in-between these possibilities.

Specifc Research Interests:

Cluster Research Orientations:

Studies of Citizenship, Migration and (Human) Rights

Studies of Critical Methods and the Politics of Knowledge.

Specific research interests

* Migration and Transnationalism

• Understandings of Selfhood, Subjectivity and Belonging

• Bordering Practices

• Sovereignty

• Critical Citizenship Studies (with particular emphasis on ambiguous or inbetween citizen-migrant subjectivities)

• Theories of (post)modernity and ideas of space/time

• Poststructural, psychoanalytic and postcolonial literature and theory

Current Projects (including activities, responsibilities, awards, and funding secured):

I am currenly working on several projects. One of these looks at how ‘alternative’ thinking is imagined in the field of international relations when state-centred sovereign spatio-temporal world is made the problem rather than the solution.

A second project I am working on explores the ongoing process through which politics is rethought and contested – the way in which it is constantly being (re)written through many different voices by way of their particular concerns, topics or questions. This project is linked to a seminar series entitled ‘Many Voices, Many Politics: Locating Politics across the Inter-disciplinary Spectrum’ which will run between November 2013 and October 2015.  This project has funding from the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence.

Finally, I have begun to work on a new project provisionally entitled ‘Political Geographies of the In-Between’. This project draws on psychoanalysis, poststructuralism and postcolonial theory to consider how people act as political subjects from an in-between position (living life as a border).



 Ní Mhurchú, A. Ambiguous Citizenship in an Age of Global Migration (Edinburgh University Press, Forthcoming 2014)

Book Chapters

  • · Ní Mhurchú, A. Citizenship Beyond State Sovereignty’, Routledge Handbook of Global Citizenship Studies (Routledge, Forthcoming 2014)


(ii)             Journal articles

  • Aoileann Ni Mhurchu. “Citizenship and its Constitutive Subject: Interrogating the 2004 Irish Citizenship Referendum Debate.” Citizenship Studies 15, no. 2(2011) : 161-180. eScholarID:175770 | DOI:10.1080/13621025.2011.549704
  • Aoileann Ni Mhurchu. “Beyond a ‘Realistic’ New Cosmopolitan Ideal: A Non-Sovereign Politics of Solidarity.” Translocations: Migration and Social Change 6, no. 2(2010) : 1-22. eScholarID:175773
  • Aoileann Ni Mhurchu. “Citizenship as Absolute Space, Citizenship as Contingent Trace.” Alternatives: Local, Global, Political 35, no. 4(2010) : 373-400. eScholarID:175767 | DOI:10.1177/030437541003500403


Keywords: Citizenship; migration; time; space; psychoanalysis; postcolonialism; modernity/postmodernity



Teaching (undergraduate and postgraduate modules):


The politics of (In)security [previously ‘Security Studies’]

Fear and Loathing in International Relations: The Politics of Identity and Difference [New module 2013-14]

Questions about International Politics


Graduate Seminar

Authority, Subjectivity, Temporality [New module 2013-14, team taught]

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