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Clifford Stevenson

Clifford Stevenson


School of Social Sciences

Staff Group(s)
Psychology Nottingham Civic Exchange


Clifford is a Professor of Social Psychology and a member of the Groups, Identities and Health research group.

His research examines how the groups to which people belong serve to shape their perception and experience of social reality as well as providing them with collective resilience and the ability to respond to adversity and challenge.

He teaches on the modules ‘Research in Context’ and ‘Research Methods 2’ and supervises students at undergraduate and post-graduate level.

Career overview

Clifford undertook his PhD in Social Psychology at Lancaster University before taking up research posts at Lancaster and Queen’s University Belfast. He was lecturer at Limerick University 2007-2012, Senior Lecturer at Queen’s University Belfast 2012-2015 and Reader at Anglia Ruskin University 2015-2016.

Research areas

The first strand of Clifford's research uses the Applied Social Identity Approach to investigate how sharing a group identity enables members of marginalised communities to deal with adversity. It also examines how prejudice and discrimination serves to erode this resilience and how stigma impedes and deters marginalised groups from accessing support services.

In a unique application of this approach, Clifford now leads an interdisciplinary programme of research into how local communities deal with population shifts and the stresses of intergroup contact. His work examines how community support can facilitate incomers’ successful integration into new neighbourhoods and how community identity can help existing residents cope with the challenges of an influx of different groups.

A second research strand investigates the group dynamics of political engagement. It explores how crowd behaviour reflects, enacts and transforms political identities as well as how different types of political identity serve to shape group members’ perception, decision-making and everyday interactions. It also investigates how real and imagined dialogue between groups can shape intergroup relations.

External activity

  • Graduate member of the British Psychological Society
  • Member of the European Association of Social Psychology
  • Member of the International Society of Political Psychology

Clifford is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Social and Political Psychology and a Consultant Editor for the British Journal of Social Psychology.  He also acts as a peer reviewer for a number of journals, publishers, and grant agencies within the fields of social and political psychology

Sponsors and collaborators

External Collaborators:

  • Dr Leda Blackwood, University of Bath
  • Dr John Drury, University of Sussex
  • Prof John Garry, Queens University Belfast
  • Dr Debra Gray, University of Winchester
  • Prof Nick Hopkins, University of Dundee
  • Prof Steve Reicher, St Andrews University
  • Dr Ian Shuttleworth, Queens University Belfast
  • Thia Sagherian-Dickey, Queens University Belfast

Recent grants:

  • Power-Sharing and Voting: Conflict, Accountability and Electoral Behaviour at the 2015 Northern Ireland Assembly Election (ESRC £507,000) Nov 2014 – Oct 2016. PI: Prof John Garry; CIs: Prof John Coakley, Prof Geoffrey Evans; Prof Sara Hobolt;Prof Brendan O’Leary; Dr Clifford Stevenson;  Prof James Tilly
  • Randomly Selected “Politicians”: Transforming Democracy in the Post-Conflict Context. (ESRC Transformative Research Grant £186,000) Jul 2014 – Dec 2015. PI: Prof John Garry: CIs: Dr Adele Marshall, Dr Cillian McBride, Prof Brendan O'Leary, Dr Fabian Schuppert & Dr Clifford Stevenson.
  • Exploring the Quality of Shared Housing in Belfast (Community Relations Council, £10,000). Mar 2014 – May 2015. PI: Dr Clifford Stevenson; CI: Prof John Dixon
  • Intergroup contact in a parenting reconciliation initiative in Northern Ireland (South Eastern Education and Library Board- Northern Ireland, £10,000). May 2013-Nov 2013. PI: Dr Clifford Stevenson.
  • Common Metrics for Monitoring Social Change (Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, £5,000). Dec 2013-Mar 2014. PI:Dr Clifford Stevenson.
  • Collective participation and social identification: A study of the individual, interpersonal and collective dimensions of attendance at the Magh Mela. (ESRC, £444,000). Sept 2009 - Jun 2012. PI: Dr Nick Hopkins; CIs: Prof Steve Reicher; Dr Mark Levine; Dr Gozde Ozakinci; Dr Clifford Stevenson.
  • Embodying the Imagined Community: The role of collective participation in the transformation of Irish identities. (ESRC/IRCHSS, £440,000). Sept 2008 – Aug 2011.PIs: Prof Orla Muldoon & Dr Dominic Bryan; CIs: Prof Steve Reicher; Dr Clifford Stevenson
  • Revitalising Communities: A framework for assessing social change. (IRCHSS, €97,000). Jan 2009 – Dec 2010. PI: Dr Clifford Stevenson. CI: Prof Orla Muldoon.
  • Flagging Identities: The display and regulation of political symbols in Northern Ireland. (Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, £175,000). May 2006 – May 2010. PI: Dr Dominic Bryan,CI: Dr Clifford Stevenson.
  • St Patrick's Day in Belfast 2006; 2007. (Belfast City Council, £6,000). Feb 2006 – Apr 2007. PI: Dr Dominic Bryan, CI: Dr Clifford Stevenson.


Stevenson, C. & Sagherian-Dickey, T. (in press). Territoriality and Migration in a Divided Society: Lay Theories of Citizenship and Place in Northern Ireland. Qualitative Psychology.

Shayleigh, J., Drury, J. & Stevenson, C. (2016). Listen to the band! How sound realizes group identity and enacts intergroup domination British Journal of Social Psychology. [Early View]doi:10.1111/bjso.12175.

Stevenson, C. & Sagherian-Dickey, T. (2016). Collectively Coping with Contact: The role of ingroup support in dealing with the challenges of intergroup mixing in residential contexts. British Journal of Social Psychology 55(4), 681-699. doi: 10.1111/bjso.12150.

Khan, S., Hopkins, N., Reicher, S. Tewari, S., Srinivasan, N. & Stevenson, C. (2015). Shared identity predicts enhanced health at mass gatherings. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations. doi: 10.1177/1368430214556703

Stevenson, C., McNamara, N., & Muldoon, O. (2014). Stigmatised identity and service usage in disadvantaged communities: Residents', community workers' and service providers' perspectives. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 24(6), 453-466. doi: 10.1002/casp.2184

Pandey, K., Stevenson, C., Shankar, S., Hopkins, N. P., & Reicher, S. D. (2014). Cold comfort at the Magh Mela: Social identity processes and physical hardship. British Journal of Social Psychology. 53 (4), 675-690. doi: 10.1111/bjso.12054

Pehrson, S., Stevenson, C., Muldoon, O. T., & Reicher, S. (2014). Is everyone Irish on St Patrick's Day? Divergent expectations and experiences of collective self‐objectification at a multicultural parade. British Journal of Social Psychology. 53(2), 249-264. doi: 10.1111/bjso.12029

Shankar, S., Stevenson, C., Pandey, K., Tewari, S., Hopkins, N. P., & Reicher, S. D. (2013). A calming cacophony: Social identity can shape the experience of loud noise. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 36, 87-95. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvp.2013.07.004

McNamara, N., Stevenson, C. & Muldoon, O. (2013). Community Identity as Resource and Context: A mixed method investigation of coping and collective action in a disadvantaged community. European Journal of Social Psychology. 43 (5), 493 – 503. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.1953

See all of Clifford Stevenson's publications...

Press expertise

My expertise spans identity and resilience in marginalised communities, community diversity and integration in residential settings, crowd behaviour.