Brendan O'Leary (born 19 March 1958) is an Irish political scientist,
who is Lauder Professor of Political Science at the University of
Pennsylvania. He was formerly a professor at the London School of
Economics. In 2009–10 he was the second Senior Advisor on
Power-Sharing in the Standby Team of the Mediation Support Unit of the
Department of Political Affairs of the United Nations.
O'Leary is the author of numerous influential books about the Northern
Ireland conflict, many of them co-authored with John McGarry, whom he
met when they both attended Saint MacNissi’s College. McGarry
and O'Leary's Policing Northern Ireland: Proposals for a New Start
(Blackstaff Press, 1999) is considered to have had a significant
influence on the work of the Independent Commission on Policing for
Northern Ireland. He has been an international advisor to the
Kurdistan National Assembly, responsible for advising on the
constitutional reconstruction of
Iraq and Kurdistan, with special
responsibility for federal arrangements and electoral laws. He has
also advised the United Nations, the
European Union and the UK's
Department for International Development. Previously, he was a
policy advisor to the British Labour Party, and political advisor to
Mo Mowlam and Kevin McNamara during their respective spells as Shadow
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. In the course of his
career he has supervised more than thirty doctoral dissertations,
including those of political scientists Stefan Wolff, Katharine
Adeney, Lori Thorlakson, Shelley Deane and Tristan James Mabry.
In both his own writings and those with John McGarry, O'Leary has long
backed consociationalism as a method of conflict management for
Northern Ireland, and is supportive of the Good Friday
Agreement. In this regard,
Arend Lijphart has been a significant
influence on O'Leary's work. In 2009, a book entitled
Consociational Theory: McGarry and O'Leary and the Northern Ireland
Conflict was published, edited by Rupert Taylor. He is also the
author of How to Get Out of
Iraq with Integrity (University of
Pennsylvania Press, 2009). Recent books include "Power-Sharing in
Deeply Divided Places" (co-edited with J. McEvoy), "Divided Nations
and European Integration" (co-edited with T.Mabry, J.McGarry and M.
Moore), and "Courts and Consociations" (coauthored with Christopher
^ "Brendan O'Leary". Penn Program in Ethnic Conflict. Retrieved
^ a b c McDermott, Peter (2009-02-11). "Ethnic conflict specialist
Iraq withdrawal". Irish Echo. Retrieved
2009-04-02. [dead link]
^ Barry White (1999-09-18). "Patten...finding the gems in the detail".
^ a b "Brendan O'Leary, CV" (PDF). University of Pennsylvania
Political Science Department. Archived from the original (PDF) on
2006-12-31. Retrieved 2008-08-15.
^ O'Leary, Brendan (1989). "The limits to coercive consociationalism
in Northern Ireland". Political Studies. 37 (4): 562–587.
^ a b McGarry, John; O'Leary, Brendan (2006). "Consociational theory,
Northern Ireland's conflict, and its Agreement. Part 1: What
consociationalists can learn from Northern Ireland" (PDF). Government
and Opposition. 41 (1): 43–63.
^ Taylor, Rupert, ed. (2009). Consociational Theory: McGarry and
O'Leary and the Northern
Ireland Conflict. London: Routledge.
Biography at the University of Pennsylvania
Works by or about
Brendan O'Leary in libraries (
ISNI: 0000 0001 1022 4815
BNF: cb12259263f (data