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Queen's University

John McGarry

B.A. (Trinity College, Dublin); Ph.D. (Western Ontario); FRSC

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Department of Political Studies
Mackintosh-Corry Hall, Room C404
Phone:  (613) 533-6237
Fax:  (613) 533-6848


Research Interests

Power-sharing; federalism; conflict resolution; constitutional design; politics of deeply divided places, such as Cyprus, Iraq, Northern Ireland, etc.

Brief Biography

John McGarry is Professor of Political Studies and Canada Research Chair in Nationalism and Democracy.   Before coming to Queen's, he was Professor of Political Science at the University of Waterloo (1999-2002) and at the University of Western Ontario, King’s College (1989-99).

He is a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin (1979), and of the University of Western Ontario (1987).

McGarry’s academic work is mainly concerned with the design of political institutions in deeply divided places.  He is particularly interested in power-sharing, federalism and other forms of territorial autonomy, but has also worked on the relationship between European integration and minority rights.  He has co-authored, co-edited and edited thirteen books on these subjects, including four with Oxford University Press (UK).  In addition, he has authored and co-authored over 70 refereed articles and book chapters

McGarry’s work has had an important public policy dimension and impact.  He has appeared as an expert witness before the U.S. Congress; participated in briefings of the UN Security Council; and worked with several governments around the world. His work on policing reform in Northern Ireland, conducted with Brendan O’Leary, was singled out by the press as crucially influencing the Report of the Independent Commission on Policing Reform (the Patten Commission), which reported in 1999.  In 2008-09, McGarry served for fifteen months as  "Senior Advisor on Power-Sharing" to the United Nations (Standby Team, Mediation Support Unit). He was the first person appointed to this position. McGarry is currently the (part-time) lead advisor  on governance in the UN led negotiations in Cyprus, and has visited the island in this capacity many times. He was appointed as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2010 and won the Trudeau Fellowship Prize in 2011. In 2013 he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal by the Governor General and the Royal Society of Canada.  In 2013, he also won the Killam Prize (Social Sciences), the first political scientist to win this coveted award.

McGarry has been a regular contributor to public media, in Ireland, the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada.  He has written op-ed pages for several newspapers, including the Globe and Mail, and has also been interviewed for CBC TV, CBC Radio, National Public Radio, and TVO.

Born and brought up in Ireland, McGarry now lives in Kingston, Ontario.

Selected Publications

Tristan Mabry, John McGarry, Margaret Moore, and Brendan O'Leary, Divided Nations and European Integration. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013

John McGarry and Michael Keating eds.,  European Integration and the Nationalities Question.  London: Routledge 2006.  

John McGarry and Brendan O’Leary,  The Northern Ireland Conflict: Consociational Engagements.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.

John McGarry ed.,  Northern Ireland and the Divided World.  Oxford: Oxford UniversityPress, 2001.

Michael Keating and John McGarry eds.,  Minority Nationalism and the Changing International Order.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Course(s) taught in 2013-2014

POLS 243 - Comparative Politics: States and Nations (Fall term)


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Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000