President of the British Sociological Association
Area of Expertise: Civil Society, Minority Rights, Religion, Terrorism
Geographical Expertise - Region: Europe, Subsaharan Africa
Geographical Expertise - Country: Northern Ireland
Field of Work: Academia, Author/Novelist
Professor John Brewer is the Sixth-Century Professor in Sociology at the University of Aberdeen, and President of the British Sociological Association.He is an expert on the Northern Ireland peace process, particularly the role of religion and civil society in ending the conflict.
Professor Brewer formerly held positions at Queen’s University Belfast, the University of East Anglia, and, while doing research in South Africa, at the University of Natal, Durban. He has held visiting appointments at Yale University (1989), St John’s College Oxford (1992), Corpus Christi College Cambridge (2002) and the Research School of Social Sciences at the Australian National University (2003). He was awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship for 2007-2008 to write up research for his book on the sociology of peace processes.
In 1998 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, in 2003 an Academician in the Academy of Social Sciences and in 2004 a Member of the Royal Irish Academy, at that point only the third sociologist in the Academy’s 217-year history. In 2008 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He is one of only a handful of people world-wide elected to both the Royal Irish Academy and the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
He is President of the British Sociological Association (2009-2012). He has been Chair of the British Sociological Association (2004-2006), and sat on its National Executive Committee (2001-2007). He has formerly been on the National Committee for Economics and Social Science of the Royal Irish Academy (1997-1999), and a member of the ESRC’s Training and Development Board (2005-2007) and its Viritual Research College (2006-2010). He was a member of the International Assessment Panel of the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (2002-2007) and in 2008 was appointed to its Council.
With respect to teaching, in 2001 he became a member of the Institute of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education.
He is author and co-author of twelve books, including: Inside the RUC, After Soweto, Black and Blue, Crime in Ireland 1945-95, Police, Public Order and the State, Anti-Catholicism in Northern Ireland 1600-1998, Ethnography and C. Wright Mills, Ending of Violence, and Peace Processes: A Sociological Approach. He is also editor of Can South Africa Survive? and Restructuring South Africa both with Macmillan and co-editor of the A-Z of Social Research with Sage. His latest book is entitled Religion, Civil Society and Peace in Northern Ireland, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2011.