combing admirable clarity of writing with a natural ability to communicate his feelings … A major virtue of the book under review is the introduction of solid scholarship into an area which has been for too long prone to sectarian disputes”.
P. W. Klein, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, 1991, XXXIV, 4, pp. 365-6, writes “one cannot help being impressed by the sharp analytical wit .. employed in his unrelenting and cool endeavours to get at the crux of the matters at issue”.
Theories of the State: The Politics of Liberal Democracy, 1987. With Patrick Dunleavy.
Professor R. Fincer, Environment and Planning: Society and Space, 7, 1989: 119-21 writes ‘an admirable text… thorough, conscientiously well-organized and presented’.
Dr Mike Campbell, Critical Social Policy, 21, Spring 1988, 104-7 writes ‘Each of these chapters provides a very systematic, clear, lucid and, largely, accurate account of the different approaches, together with their major merits, and deficiencies. It is also the first time that all these approaches are to be found covered in one text in such an extended fashion. It is also a valuable contribution of the book that each approach is examined largely without polemic’.
‘Theories of the State is the type of text that undergraduates reading social sciences (or simply taking one of them as an option) have been crying out for.’ Dino Joannides, West European Politics, 1989, 12, 1., p. 211.
‘The authors’ contribution is an outstanding one and deserves to be read in detail… Dunleavy & O’Leary’s work is an important contribution to the Social Sciences’, Dr. Gil Shildo, Journal of Interdisciplinary Economics, 2, 3, 1988, pp. 254-5.
Professor John Dunn, University of Cambridge, Government and Opposition, 22, 4, 1987, 516-21 writes ‘Dunleavy and O’Leary present a careful textbook treatment, very much in the modern social science idiom, of the politics of capitalist democracies…most of what they say is sensible and some of it quite deftly put’.
Professor Peter Jones, Newcastle University, Journal of Commonwealth and Comparative Politics, pp. 216-7 writes ‘It aims to give ‘the most compelling and clearest account possible’ of each of the five theories, and it succeeds to a remarkable degree in achieving that aim.’
Professor Martin Harrop, Newcastle University, Political Studies, xxxvi, 1, March, 1988, pp. 195-6 writes ‘This book lays out the options in impressive style.’
REVIEWS of ARTICLES AND CHAPTERS in recent edited volumes
• Chapter in J. McGarry (ed.) Northern Ireland and the Divided World 2001.
“John McGarry and a distinguished group of comparativists have produced a volume important not only for scholars interested in the study of Northern Ireland but also for those concerned with ethnic conflict and nationalism generally…. In an insightful analysis of the 1998 agreement, Brendan O'Leary emphasizes the need for a consociational and confederal settlement in such circumstances as the Northern Ireland conflict. He argues that one significant flaw in the agreement is the British Parliament's capacity to override its provisions, as it did in temporarily suspending the
Northern Irish Assembly in the year 2000. O'Leary also takes issue with Arend Lijphart's work on the optimal electoral mechanisms within consociational frameworks”, David. E. Schmidt, Northeastern University, American Political Science Review (2002), 96: 857-858.
“O’Leary’s analysis of the Agreement is a major strength of this volume … His conclusion is both straightforward and convincing..”, Prof. Sumantra Bose, Nations and Nationalism, (2002) 8, 4: 565.
• Chapter in Pippa Norris (ed.) Britain Votes 2001.
“But the chapter on Northern Ireland – by Mitchell, O’Leary and Evans – is excellent, providing substantial insights into the events in the one part of the country where major changes took place, and which have significant implications”, Prof. Ron Johnston, Party Politics, 8 (September 2002.
• Chapter on Gellner in J.A. Hall (ed.) The State of the Nation (1998).
“Brendan O’Leary presents a magisterial critique in a fifty page paper. ….This masterful essay, which every sociologist should read, is followed by several focused critiques”. Pradeep Bandyopadhyay, Canadian Journal of Sociology Online January - February 2000.
“The reader will probably find that Brendan O’Leary’s chapter provides an excellent, overall discussion of Gellner’s approach to nationalism”. Josep R. Llobera, The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 5, 4: 662.