Dr Niamh McCrea


Lecturer/director of SocialCORE

Department of Humanities, Carlow Campus

e: niamh.mccrea@setu.ie      t: 059 9175387

ORCID ID: 0000-0001-5178-7913    

  • Research Interests
  • Publications
  • Research Supervision
  • Engagement and Collaboration

Research Interests

My research to-date has focused primarily on the politics of philanthropy and, in particular, how philanthropy shapes the egalitarian purposes, practices and outcomes of community development. I have published on this topic and have co-edited a volume for Policy Press on the politics of funding for community development more generally. In 2017, I also co-edited and contributed to a special issue of the Community Development Journal on social movements and community development. Together with colleagues from Maynooth University and University College Dublin, I have also co-edited another special issue of the same journal on the implications for community development of the rise of finance capitalism. I am also currently developing a paper on the democratic implications of policy-focused philanthropy. Along with Dr Daire O’Broin of gameCORE, I am co-PI on a design study (2020-2021), funded by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, which will establish a digital system to support academic writing among postgraduate research students.

In addition, I have undertaken research on behalf of youth organisations. In 2016, I co-authored a report commissioned by Canal Communities Regional Youth Service and the National Youth Council of Ireland on the needs of ‘1.5’ and second generation migrant young people and the role of youth work in relation to same.

I am book reviews editor for the Community Development Journal, and serve on its editorial board.


Books and Book Chapters

McCrea, N. and Finnegan, F. (eds) (2019) Funding, Power and Community Development, Bristol: Policy Press.

Finnegan, F. and McCrea, N. (2019) ‘Funding, Power and Community Development: an Introduction’, in N. McCrea and F. Finnegan (eds) Funding, Power and Community Development, Bristol: Policy Press.

McCrea, N. (2016) ‘Community Development, Venture Philanthropy and Neoliberal Governmentality: a Case from Ireland’ in R.R. Meade, M. Shaw and S. Banks (eds) Power, Politics and Community Development, Bristol: Policy Press.

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

Finnegan, F. McCrea, N. and Ní Chasaide, N. (2021) Community development and  financialization: making the connections, Community Development Journal, 56(1), https://doi.org/10.1093/cdj/bsaa057

Niamh McCrea, Rosie R. Meade, Mae Shaw, Solidarity, organizing and tactics of resistance in the 21st century: social movements and community development praxis in dialogue, Community Development Journal, Volume 52, Issue 3, July 2017, Pages 385–404, https://doi.org/10.1093/cdj/bsx029

Niamh McCrea, Rosie R. Meade, Mae Shaw, Practising solidarity: challenges for community development and social movements in the 21st century, Community Development Journal, Volume 52, Issue 3, July 2017, Pages 379–384, https://doi.org/10.1093/cdj/bsx028

Conference Proceedings and Papers

The Implications for Participatory Democracy of State and Philanthropic Funding of Community Development (with A. Visser), Why Community Development? Continuity and Innovation, University of Edinburgh, 1-3 July, 2015.

‘Foundations, Performativity and Relations of Love, Care and Solidarity’, Social Justice Philanthropy: Implications for Policy and Practice, University of Kent, 1 March 2013.

‘Foundations in the Migrants’ Rights Sector in Ireland: Enablers of Political Equality?’, 9th International Conference of the International Society for Third-Sector Research (ISTR), Istanbul, 7-10 July 2010.

Published Reports

Mahon, M. and McCrea, N. (2016) How do I get the Balance in my Head? : Exploring the Role of Youth Work in the Lives of Young People from Ethnic Minority Communities, Dublin: Canal Communities Regional Youth Services/National Youth Council of Ireland.

McCrea, N. (2005) Going Global! Good Practice Guidelines for Development Education in Youth Work, Dublin: NYCI.

Book Reviews

Lester M. Salamon (2014) ‘New Frontiers of Philanthropy: A Guide to the Tools and Actors Reshaping Global Philanthropy and Social Investing’ in Community Development Journal, (2016) 4 (4), 585-588.

Jeremy Brent (2009) ‘Searching for Community: Representation, Power and Action on an Urban Estate’ in Community Development Journal, (2010) 45 (4) 523-527.

Joe R. Feagin (2006) ‘Systematic Racism: A Theory of Oppression’ in Community Development Journal, (2007) 42 (1) 134-136. 

Global Connections (2005) ‘The Young Global Citizens Passport Scheme (2nd ed.) in Policy and Practice: A Development Education Review, (2005) 1, 81-8.


Research Supervision

Tom Manning: Gaming as Youth Work: Exploring the Role of Gaming as a Creative Tool for Fostering Social and Emotional Learning among Socially Isolated Young People (with Dr Daire O’Broin, gameCORE; funded by the Irish Research Council)

Angela McCullough: An Examination of the Relevance and Effectiveness of Contemporary Housing Policy for Women Experiencing, or at Risk of, Homelessness in Ireland

Muireann Ranta: Education for Sustainable Development in Early Childhood Education and Care: A Children’s Rights Perspective (with Dr Sheila Long)

Liam Dwyer: The Impact of the Local Government Reform Act, 2014 on the Community Development Sector in Ireland (graduated 2018)


Engagement and Collaboration

I am involved in a number of community and activist groups.