Dr Stephen Hopkins


School/Department: History Politics and International Relations, School of

Telephone: +44 (0)116 252 2709



Dr. Stephen Hopkins is Lecturer in Politics in the School of History Politics and International Relations at the University of Leicester. I work primarily on the politics of memory and legacy in the context of the Northern Ireland conflict with a specific emphasis upon the memoir-writing of ex-protagonists of the conflict. The Politics of Memoir and the Northern Ireland Conflict was published in paperback by Liverpool University Press in 2017. I was co-editor and author of The Northern Ireland Troubles in Britain: Impacts Engagements Legacies and Memories (Manchester University Press 2016 with Graham Dawson and Jo Dover). I am also the author of several recent articles including in International Journal of Transitional Justice Eire-Ireland Irish Studies Review and Memory Studies. I co-edited a special issue Irish Political Studies ‘The Politics of Life-writing and Legacies of Conflict in Northern Ireland’ (with Dr Connal Parr Vol. 33 No. 2; June 2018). I have also published a number of recent chapters in edited books analyzing aspects of “dealing with the past” in Northern Ireland.


I applied for a small grant from the HyPIR School research fund in summer 2018 (£600) which was successful. This enabled me to conduct a scoping exercise/pilot study into the archives in Dublin and Belfast with regard to the civil society organisations New Consensus/New Dialogue and the Peace Train which played a role in the public pressure to bring about peace in Northern Ireland during the late 1980s and early 1990s. This is my main ongoing research project (with Dr Connal Parr University of Northumbria) and we recently applied to the AHRC (£90000 approx.) to enable us to undertake interviews and conduct a Witness seminar with protagonists of the New Consensus and the Peace Train in Belfast and Dublin during 2021. Unfortunately this bid was unsuccessful. We are planning to submit a new grant application to the Irish government Reconciliation Fund during spring 2022 in order to facilitate more detailed research on this project. At present it is envisaged that at least two journal articles would form the outputs of this project.


The Politics of Memoir and the Northern Ireland Conflict (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2017), pp. 252. [New edition].

The Northern Ireland Troubles in Britain: Impacts, Engagements, Legacies and Memories (Eds.) Graham Dawson, Jo Dover and Stephen Hopkins (Manchester: Manchester University Press), 2017, pp. 369.

The Politics of Apology and the Prospects for Post-conflict Reconciliation: The Case of the Provisional Irish Republican Movement, International Journal of Transitional Justice (Vol. 14, No. 3, 2020), pp. 524-543.

The Life History of an exemplary Provisional Republican: Gerry Adams and the Politics of Biography, Irish Political Studies (Vol. 33, No. 2, 2018), pp. 259-277.

Narratives of Irish Republican Hunger Strikes: The Politics of Memoir and the Republican Family, 1923 and 1981, in Irish Review (published in special issue, The Hunger Strikes Reconsidered, edited by Dr Margaret Scull and Dr Alison Garden, No. 55, 2020).

Memory in Post-conflict Societies: From Contention to Integration?, Ethnopolitics (Vol. 16, No. 5, 2017). [co-authored with Dr Cillian McGrattan]. pp. 488-499.

The Informer and the Political and Organisational Culture of the Irish Republican Movement: Old and New Interpretations, Irish Studies Review (Vol. 25, No. 1, 2017), pp. 1-23.

Our Whole History has been Ruined! The 1981 Hunger Strike and the Politics of Republican Commemoration and Memory, Irish Political Studies (Vol. 31, No. 1, 2016), pp. 44-62. 
Book Chapters

Die Radikale Linke im heutigen Irland (2011-2020), in Cornelia Hildebrandt, Danai Koltsida and Amieke Bouma (eds.), Left Diversity zwischen Tradition und Zukunft: Linke Parteienprojekte in Europa und ihre Potenziale (Hamburg: VSA Verlag, 2021).
The Memoir-writing of Former Paramilitary Prisoners in Northern Ireland: A Politics of Reconciliation?, in Lesley Lelourec and Grainne O'Keeffe-Vigneron (eds.), Northern Ireland after the Good Friday Agreement: Building a Shared Future from a Troubled Past? (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2021), pp. 75-94.

Dublin Provisionals Remember the Northern Ireland Troubles: Irish Republican Memoir-writing and Southern Perspectives, in Fionna Barber, Heidi Hansson and Sara Dybris MacQuaid (eds.), Ireland and the North (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2019), pp. 177-200.

Ideology and Identity in the Founding Group of the Social Democratic and Labour Party: Evaluating the Life Writing of a Generation, in Thomas Paul Burgess (ed.), The Contested Identities of Ulster Catholics (Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), pp. 201-218.

Bobby Sands, Martyrdom and the Politics of Irish Republican Memory, in Quentin Outram and Keith Laybourn (eds.), Secular Martyrdom in Britain and Ireland: From Peterloo to the Present (Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), pp. 263-286.

The Irish Republican Movement and the Contested Past: Official Memory and the Politics of Dissent in Marguerite Corporaal, Chris Cusack and Ruud van den Beuken (eds.), Irish Studies and the Dynamics of Memory: Transitions and Transformations (Bern: Peter Lang, 2017), pp. 81-92.

Irish History Unidealised: The Politics of Memoir and Narratives of the Defeated and Defiant in Fabrice Mourlon, Karine Deslandes and Bruno Tribout (eds.), Civil War and Narrative (Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), pp. 59-76. 


Politics of Memory; Politics of Memoir and Life-Writing; Politics of Northern Ireland and Legacies of Conflict; Politics of Left-wing Memory


PL1012 Comparative European Politics
PL2024 Governing Societies in Conflict
PL3103 The Politics of War and Peace: Northern Ireland after 1972
PL3122 The Political Legacies of Conflict in Northern Ireland

Press and media

Politics of Northern Ireland


Political Studies Association (UK)
Political Studies Association of Ireland (PSAI)
Memory Studies Association
British Association of Irish Studies


I have presented my research at a number of conferences recently, including at the Political Studies Association of Ireland (Maynooth, October 2019); I presented some early findings from my new research project at the Political Studies Association conference (University of Nottingham, April 2019). I also presented papers at the Activist Histories of Ireland conference (Hertford College, Oxford, July 2019) and the Nation and the Radical Left conference (Scuola Normale Superiore, University of Florence, Italy, November 2019). I presented a paper at Stellenbosch university, South Africa to the conference 'Recognition, Reparation, Reconciliation' in December 2018.

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