Ethnicity and Democratic Governance

Ethnicity and Democratic Governance

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McGarry.jpgJohn McGarry

Canada Research Chair in Nationalism and Democracy
Department of Political Studies
Queen's University

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John McGarry is Professor of Political Studies and Canada Research Chair in Nationalism and Democracy in the Department of Political Studies, Queen's University, Kingston, Canada (from July 2002). Before that, 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). He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2010.

McGarry's academic work is concerned with constitutional design in divided societies. He is particularly interested in the design of power-sharing institutions, and in federalism and related forms of autonomy. He has co-authored, co-edited and edited twelve books on these subjects, including four with Oxford University Press (UK). He has also 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; and worked with a number of governments. His work on policing reform in Northern Ireland 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. He served in 2008-09 as the first 'Senior Advisor on Power-Sharing' to the United Nations (Mediation Support Unit). McGarry currently acts as the main consultant on governance in the UN-mediated negotiations on the Cyprus conflict and has visited the island twelve times in that capacity.

He 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 newpapers, including the Globe and Mail, and has also appeared on CBC TV, CBC Radio and TVO.

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


  • Design of political institutions, and of police forces, in divided societies
  • Power-sharing institutions
  • Ethnic and national conflict
  • State responses to ethnic and national diversity
  • Consociationalism
  • Federalism
  • Integrationism
  • Asymmetrical federalism
  • European integration and minority nationalism
  • Politics of Iraq
  • Politics of Northern Ireland
  • Electoral systems in divided societies
  • Policing divided societies
  • Policing reform in Northern Ireland
  • Worked with government and civil organizations including the Kurdistan Regional Government (Iraq) and the Republic of Moldova