Siobhan Byrne

Assistant Professor and Director of the Peace and Post Conflict Studies Certificate 
Department of Political Science

Ph.D.: Queen's University
MA:  Queen's University
BA (Hons):  Carleton University (Journalism and Political Science)

*Fall 2015 courses

POL S 445: Identity and Ethnicized Conflict, Thursdays 9:30-12:20

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This senior undergraduate seminar explores the interrelationship between social identities and violent ethnicized conflicts in a globalized world. Drawing on case studies of intrastate conflicts in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, we begin by engaging with a range of approaches to the study of social identities in conflict, developed across disciplines and fields such as political science, social psychology and sociology. Next, we analyze the internal and external dynamics of violent intrastate conflict, exploring the role of local political forces and assessing the impact of international actors and global processes on ethnonational politics. In the remainder of the course, we critically examine theories of conflict regulation and conflict resolution, developed primarily at the nexus of the International Relations and Comparative Politics fields. Here, we evaluate conflict regulation and resolution practices in selected contemporary case studies. Specific themes and topics developed in the course include: theories of ethnic and national identities; the role of cross-cutting social cleavages such as race, class, sexuality and gender; ethnic conflict and partition; power-sharing and consociational institutional designs; transitional justice mechanisms (such as truth and reconciliation processes, gender justice and security sector reform; the experiences of social groups such as indigenous peoples, national minorities, and immigrants in deeply divided societies; conflict transformation and post-conflict institution-building; and the role of national, regional and international actors in resolving conflict. By the end of the course, students will have a thorough knowledge of key theories and debates concerning the origins and management of ethnicized conflicts. Through critical analyses of selected case studies, students will also gain detailed knowledge about the complex relationship between social identities and conflict resolution practices in the contemporary world.

POL S 459: Gender, Conflict and Security, Tuesdays 9:30-12:20

: This seminar examines the gendered impacts of an apparent rise in violent intrastate conflict, transnational terrorism and post-9/11 national security practices on women.  Drawing on feminist and other critical frameworks in the International Relations and International Political Economy subfields, the seminar addresses competing definitions of security, considers the relationship between militarism and constructions of femininity and masculinity and examines feminist methodologies for conducting research on gender and other interlocking identities in conflict.  We draw on selected case studies of conflict and conflict resolution processes as well as examples of new national and international security measures.  Readings focus on the experience of women and local and transnational feminist activism in a post -9/11 global security context.

*For more information, please visit:

Campus address:
Office: 11-6A HM Tory Building
Ph: 780-492-2066

Mailing Address:
Department of Political Science
10-16 HM Tory Building
University of Alberta
Edmonton, AB T6G 2H4