Professor Conor O’Reilly

Professor Conor O’Reilly


I joined the School of Law in September 2015 as Associate Professor in Transnational Crime and Security at the Centre for Criminal Justice Studies. I am currently also Co-Director of the Centre for Criminal Justice, and Pathway Director for Security, Conflict and Justice within the White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership.

Previously, I have held positions at Durham University, the University of Porto and the University of Oxford, the latter as an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for Criminology. I remain an Affiliate Professor at the School of Criminology, University of Porto and have been a Visiting Scholar at John Jay College for Criminal Justice in New York (2008) and at the Centre for International and Comparative Criminology at the University of Montréal (2019). My doctoral research was conducted at Queen’s University Belfast and focused upon the transnational security consultancy industry.

I am currently finalising a monograph entitled Policing Global Risks: The Transnational Security Consultancy Industry (Hart Publishing). I have edited a compilation on Colonial Policing and the Transnational Legacy: The Global Dynamics of Policing Across the Lusophone Community (Routledge Publishing) and my peer-reviewed articles have been published in leading journals, including: British Journal of Criminology; Theoretical Criminology; International Political Sociology; Crime, Law and Social Change; and, Police Quarterly.

My funded research projects are focussed upon global challenges and insecurities. As PI of the Newton Fund (Mexico) Project M.A.K.E. ‘Mobile Solutions to the Mexican Kidnapping Epidemic: Beyond Elite Counter-Measures, Towards Citizen-Led Innovation’, Iled work to explore the under-researched but pervasive problem of kidnapping in Mexico. From landmark academic gatherings that have focussed attention on this illicit practice ( to co-producing counter-kidnapping tools for ordinary Mexican citizens (an app and a graphic novel), our project has forged innovative interventions to combat this illicit phenomenon. This research is now being taken further through the joint Leeds-Exeter ESRC Impact Acceleration Account project ‘Amor Secuestado (‘Kidnapped Love’): Transmedia Storytelling Through Telenovelas to Break Taboos and Catalyse Counter-Kidnapping Action in Mexico’. In collaboration with grassroots filmmakers from Mexico City, we are co-designing, co-writing and co-producing a web-series about kidnapping to foster increased public awareness and societal engagement around confronting this insecurity ( I was recently also Co-I on the ESRC Transformative project ‘Data Justice in Mexico’s Multiveillant Society: How Big Data is Reshaping the Struggle for Human Rights and Political Freedoms’.

Previous projects have included participation in international and interdisciplinary teams awarded funding from Brazilian and Portuguese research councils to investigate ‘Policing Urban Imaginaries: New Security Formats in Southern Cities’ (FAPESP/FCT) and ‘COPP-LAB – Circulations of Police Officers in Portugal, Lusophone Africa and Brazil’ (FCT). Other funded research has included an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship, and awards/scholarships from, amongst others: the British Council (UK) / FAPESP (Sao Paulo State, Brazil); Santander; FCT (Portugal); and GERN (France).

I am a member of various professional associations and academic networks, including: the British Society of Criminology; the European Society of Criminology; the International Association for Portuguese-Speaking Criminology (Permanent Member and Member of the International Advisory Council); the International Network for the Everyday Political Economy of Plural Policing; and, the Urban Violence Research Network. I have also served as an Editorial Board member for ‘Sistemas de Justiça e Sociedade’ (‘Justice Systems and Society’), Editora da UNICAMP, Brazil, as a Selector for the ‘Security and Intelligence History Series’, Stout Research Centre, Victoria University, New Zealand and am on the International Advisory Board of Emerald Studies in Plural Policing.

My research has been presented to various national and international audiences. This has included events in Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Mexico, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and the USA, with over 60 presentations over the last decade. My research has also attracted attention both within foreign language outlets (Portuguese written press and Colombian National Radio), as well as in the international scientific magazine, New Scientist.


  • Co-Director, Centre for Criminal Justice Studies
  • Pathway Director for Security, Conflict and Justice - White Rose Doctoral Partnership

Research interests

With research interests that are focussed upon the transnational dynamics of crime, policing and security, my work is oriented towards employing interdisciplinary approaches towards global security challenges. At present, I have research interests in:

  • Kidnapping and crimes of (im)mobility;
  • Transnational crime, policing and security;
  • Border crime and insecurity;
  • Pluralization of high policing;
  • Branding security;
  • Security and mobility;
  • Colonial policing
  • Policing across the Lusophone community
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Student education

I am currently module director for the UG module LAW2095 Transnational and Comparative Criminology and teach on the PGT module LAW5301M Security, Conflict and Justice

 I have previously also taught in the following subject-areas:

  • Policing;
  • Criminal law;
  • Organised crime;
  • Globalization & criminology;

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Criminal Justice Studies

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>The school welcomes enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>