Cera Murtagh

Biography
After graduating from the National University of Ireland, Galway with a joint degree in Politics Science & Sociology and English, Cera gained a Masters in International and European Politics from the University of Edinburgh. She has since been published in Irish Political Studies and Journal of International Women’s Studies. Cera worked as a political researcher in the Scottish Parliament and as a journalist with Scottish political publication, Holyrood Magazine, before returning to the University of Edinburgh in 2011 to start a 1+3 PhD in Politics and International Relations.

Research Project
Entitled, “Fighting for the Centre: Multi-ethnic Parties in Divided Societies in Comparative Perspective,” Cera’s PhD thesis explores the under-researched field of ‘multi-ethnic’ or ‘cross-community’ political parties operating in polarised environments. Her work is concerned with the barriers these collectives face, particularly in power-sharing systems designed to accommodate rival identities, and the strategies they develop to overcome such obstacles. This research takes a qualitative comparative approach, using Northern Ireland and Bosnia and Herzegovna as case studies. It addresses the central research question: to what extent do multi-ethnic parties in divided societies face structural barriers that limit their success?

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