Dr Walt Kilroy is the Associate Director of the Institute and also Assistant Professor at the School of Law and Government in Dublin City University. His research interests include development, conflict, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding, and the interactions between these processes. His teaching has included these topics, as well as international media and reporting. His postdoctoral fellowship was funded by the Irish Research Council.
His PhD looked at the way in which ex-combatants were dealt with after the wars in Sierra Leone and Liberia in West Africa, through the programmes for Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR). Field work for the thesis involved interviews with a wide range of actors in both countries, from local community representatives to international agency staff. The views of ex-combatants were also gathered through interviews, a survey, and focus group discussions in a variety of locations in Sierra Leone and Liberia. His thesis was awarded the Basil Chubb Prize for best PhD dissertation in political science in Ireland in 2012. The book based on it was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2015.
Current research includes the protection of civilians by peacekeeping operations, with field work in Mali and South Sudan. He coordinated a three-year €1 million project called PESTUGE. This brought together eight universities to further develop the teaching of peace studies in the Republic of Georgia.
Walt previously worked in the Horn of Africa for the development organisation, Trócaire, on conflict and advocacy (2004-06). This focused on the on the Darfur conflict in Sudan, again involving research in the field. Prior to that, he worked in journalism for print, radio, and television, and was Deputy Foreign Editor at the Irish public service broadcaster, RTE. He reported from conflict zones such as Afghanistan and the Balkans, as well as carrying out the more routine international reporting assignments. He received the National Science and Technology Journalism Award (Television Category) for his reporting on climate change for RTE News.
His undergraduate studies were in psychology (UCD), with postgraduate studies in journalism and an MA in International Relations (DCU).
Outside of work, his interests include flying gliders, gardening, and choral singing.
- ‘South Sudan’. In Gëzim Visoka, John Doyle, Edward Newman (eds) Routledge Handbook of State Recognition (Routledge, 2019).
- ‘The evolution of civilian protection in peacekeeping mandates: the reality of UNMISS operations in South Sudan’, Irish Studies in International Affairs, Vol 29.
- ‘Social Capital Made Explicit: The Role of Norms, Networks, and Trust in Reintegrating Ex-combatants and Peacebuilding in Liberia‘, International Peacekeeping, 2018, 25:3, 349-372 (with Helen S. A. Basini).
- Reintegration of Ex-combatants after Conflict: Participatory Approaches in Sierra Leone and Liberia, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015, in the ‘Rethinking Peace and Conflict Studies’ series edited by Oliver P Richmond. ISBN: 9781137428981.
- ‘Does a more participatory approach to reintegrating ex-combatants lead to better outcomes? Evidence from Sierra Leone and Liberia’, Conflict Security and Development, July 2014, Vol 14 No 3, pp 275–308. (DOI:10.1080/14678802.2014.923151).
- ‘From conflict to ownership: Participatory approaches to the reintegration of ex-combatants in Sierra Leone’, Irish Studies in International Affairs, Vol. 22, 2011, pp. 127–144.