22nd – 24th November 2012


The theme of the 2012 school was the ‘Double Transition’:

“Societies in transition from violence to peace or forms of authoritarian rule to more democratic systems also experience an economic transition which has been characterised by a transition from social democratic, corporatist or managed economies to economies run on the broad principles understood as neo-liberal.”

It is evident that the current crisis is providing ample opportunity for this transition to be implemented in peaceful states as well as those emerging from conflict. The school investigated the impact of this transition on the stability and security of those societies with a focus on:

  • Labour rights as human rights
  • Austerity and Inequality
  • Democracy and alternative futures
  • The state of the Union

 Speakers were:

  • Dr Andrew Baker – Reader in Political Economy at QUB
  • Dr John Barry – Centre for Progressive Economics,School of Politics QUB
  • John Douglas – General Secretary of Mandate Union
  • Professor John Hendy QC – Leading QC and Vice president of the International Centre for Trade Unions Rights
  • Dr Brian Kelly – Reader in History at GUB and a labour historian
  • Dr Conor McCabe – Historian and author
  • Peter McColl – Rector of the University of Edinburgh
  • Paul MacFlynn – Economist working at the NEVIN Economic Research Institute
  • Mary Murphy – Lecturer in Irish Politics and Society and co-author of Towards the Second Republic; Irish Politics after the Celtic Tiger.
  • Sinead Pentony – Former Head of Policy as TASC, an independent think tank

Betty Sinclair:

Betty Sinclair was born into a working-class Protestant family in the Ardoyne area of North Belfast in 1910. Active in the outdoor relief protests in 1932 she was a founding member of the Communist Party of Ireland in 1933. She was secretary of the Belfast and District Trade Union Council from 1947 to 1975.  Betty was the Trades Council’s representative at talks which founded the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA) in 1967, serving as its first Chairperson. She died in 1981.