Ronan Mc Dermott

  • Researcher

I hold a BA (International) in Legal Science, Sociology and Political Science from the National University of Ireland, Galway (2009) and an MSc in Social Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science (2010).  Before joining the Centre I was involved in adult education.

In 2014 I was awarded a PhD by University College Dublin.  My doctoral thesis concerned how risk perceptions on the part of government officials influences compliance with legal frameworks of relevance to disaster management.

My research to date has been conducted from the perspective of the inter-disciplinary field of socio-legal studies.  I am interested in how law and policy relating to humanitarian action are created within broader social, economic and political contexts and, in turn, how such contextual factors influence compliance with law and policy in disaster and armed conflict settings.  I am also currently collaborating with colleagues at the Centre and other organisations in a multi-annual EU-funded research project concerning urban disaster preparedness and resilience.  More generally, I am interested in the history of humanitarian action as well as normative standards within the sector.

At the Centre I currently contribute to teaching in public international law, disaster law, international human rights law, international humanitarian law, and social research methods.  I have also taught, in various capacities, at University of Groningen, Humboldt University Berlin, Trinity College Dublin and Gadjah Mada University.  I constantly reflect on my teaching philosophy, which has been influenced by the work of Paulo Freire among others.

I am involved in the administration of the Journal of International Humanitarian Action and have acted as reviewer for several other academic journals.  I am also actively involved with legal preparedness initiatives within the EU and its member states and, together with my colleagues at the Centre, in Ireland’s contribution to the World Humanitarian Summit process.

In my spare time I enjoy exploring the great outdoors and travelling.

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

  • McDermott, R. & P. Gibbons (confirmed) ‘Human rights and pro-active displacement in natural disaster settings: determining the appropriate balance between the duty to protect and the right to remain’, Disasters
  • McDermott, R. & P. Gibbons (confirmed) ‘Risk and Compliance with Normative Frameworks relating to Disaster Management: Exploratory Case Studies from Indonesia and Ireland’, Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies
  • Heintze, H.-J., A. Zwitter & R. McDermott (forthcoming) ‘The humanitarian challenge and the aims and scope of the Journal of International Humanitarian Action’, Journal of International Humanitarian Action
  • McDermott, R., P. Gibbons, H. Spieker & S. Malesevic (2015) ‘Cross-border Disaster Response and the Law,’ Irish Journal of Legal Studies, Vol. 5: 2: 1-23.

Book Chapters

  • McDermott, R. (forthcoming) ‘Disaster Law’, in J. Herman, H.-J. Heintze and P. Thielbörger (eds), Humanitarian Action in a Nutshell: Advanced Introduction to the Core Competencies and Learning Stations of Humanitarian Action, Interdisciplinary Textbook to Humanitarian Action, Springer
  • McDermott, R. (2017)‘The human rights approach in the works of the International Law Commission on the Protection of persons in the event of disasters’, Giustiani, F., Bertolini, E. Sommario (eds) Human Rights and Disasters, London: Routledge.

Conference Papers

  • ‘Risk and Rights: Domestic Compliance with Normative Frameworks in Disaster Management,’ Socio-Legal Studies Association Annual Conference 2015, University of Warwick, United Kingdom, March 2015
  • ‘International Law and Disasters’, Development Studies Association of Ireland Humanitarian Action Working Group Panel Discussion, September 2014 [Convenor of Panel Discussion].
  • ‘Measuring Human Rights Compliance during Natural Disasters: The Case of Mount Merapi, Indonesia,’ Development Research Week, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland, 2013
  • ‘Compliance with Normative Frameworks in Disaster Management: A Comparative Study of Indonesia and Ireland’, World Conference on Humanitarian Studies, Istanbul, Turkey, 2013
  • ‘Monitoring Human Rights Compliance in Government Disaster Risk Reduction Initiatives’, Indonesian Humanitarian Action Forum, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, 2012
  • ‘Rights and Risk – towards a Human Rights Impact Assessment Tool for National Disaster Risk Reduction Policies’,  Postgraduate Conference of the Centre for Criminal Justice and Human Rights, University College Cork, Ireland, 2012

Policy Reports/Other

  • Centre for Humanitarian Action, University College Dublin/Concern Worldwide (2016) Measuring the Impact of Concern Ethiopia’s Interventions on the Level of Poverty in Damot Woyde, Dublin: UCD/Concern
  • Centre for Humanitarian Action, University College Dublin/ Irish Aid, Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (2015) Recommendations from the Irish Consultative Process ahead of the World Humanitarian Summit
  • Centre for Humanitarian Action, University College Dublin/Irish Aid, Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (2015) Irish Consultative Process to the World Humanitarian Summit core papers on the views of academia, diaspora, NGOs, and the public sector concerning the re-shaping of the humanitarian system
  • Irish Red Cross Society, A Study for Strengthening the Legal and Policy Framework for International Disaster Response in Ireland (Dublin: Irish Red Cross, 2014)
  • Contributing Consultant on behalf of the Network on Humanitarian Action (NOHA) to the European Commission Directorate General Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection’s Stakeholder Consultation – The Union’s humanitarian aid: Fit for purpose?, 2013