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Lessons from the Northern Ireland Peace Process

Edited by Timothy J. White; Foreword by Martin Mansergh

Publication Year: 2013

From the early 1970s through the mid-1990s, Northern Ireland was the site of bitter conflict between those struggling for reunification with the rest of Ireland and those wanting the region to remain a part of the United Kingdom. After years of strenuous negotiations, nationalists and unionists came together in 1998 to sign the Good Friday Agreement. Northern Ireland's peace process has been deemed largely successful. Yet remarkably little has been done to assess in a comprehensive fashion what can be learned from it.
            Lessons from the Northern Ireland Peace Process incorporates recent research that emphasizes the need for civil society and a grassroots approach to peacebuilding while taking into account a variety of perspectives, including neoconservatism and revolutionary analysis. The contributions, which include the reflections of those involved in the negotiation and implementation of the Good Friday Agreement, also provide policy prescriptions for modern conflicts.
            This collection of essays in Lessons from the Northern Ireland Peace Process fills a void by articulating the lessons learned and how—or whether—the peace processes can be applied to other regional conflicts.

Published by: University of Wisconsin Press


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-x

This valuable collection of studies edited by Timothy J. White seeks to distill from the experience of the Irish peace process many of the aspects of its relative success that may be of potential interest, relevance, or inspiration in other unresolved conflict situations. ...

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pp. xi-xii

I first want to thank the contributors to this volume. Their work has inspired me to rethink many assumptions regarding the peace process in Northern Ireland as well as the process of making peace more generally. ...

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1. Lessons from the Northern Ireland Peace Process: An Introduction

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pp. 3-33

Amid continuing ethnic and communal strife in much of the world, there is a need to draw the appropriate conclusions from the much applauded peace process in Northern Ireland. While the peace process has had many challenges and problems, Northern Ireland has clearly moved beyond the period of the “Troubles,” ...

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2. “Look at Northern Ireland”: Lessons Best Learned at Home

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pp. 34-60

Like other peace processes that are widely regarded as “successful,” Northern Ireland is frequently cited as a worthy example for peacemaking in other parts of the world. For as John Darby has pointed out, there is considerable “borrowing and lending” among peace processes owing to the many constructive insights that can be gleaned from their varied experiences.1 ...

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3. Peace from the People: Identity Salience and the Northern Irish Peace Process

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pp. 61-93

Of all the attempts made to resolve deep-rooted ethno-sectarian conflicts over the last few decades, only Northern Ireland has been moderately successful in implementing an agreement that calls for power sharing. The fact that its peace process has held, despite many fits and starts, is notable and worth study. ...

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4. Ulster-Scots Diaspora: Articulating Politics of Identification after “the Peace” in Northern Ireland

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pp. 94-116

This chapter explores the emerging Ulster-Scots identity in the context of the peace process in Northern Ireland. The peace process offered unionists and loyalists an opportunity to rethink their political positions as well as reimagine their identity.1 ...

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5. The Victory and Defeat of the IRA? : Neoconservative Interpretations of the Northern Ireland Peace Process

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pp. 117-147

The Northern Ireland peace process appears to represent a successful case of two democratic governments—the British and Irish—negotiating with “terrorists” to achieve an accommodation. The peace process has achieved an inclusive power-sharing accommodation that has led Sinn Féin and the Irish Republican Army (IRA) to moderate their political positions, ...

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6. The Transformation of Policing in Postconflict Societies: Lessons from the Northern Ireland Experience

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pp. 148-172

The issues of power and status went to the heart of the conflict in Northern Ireland. Most symbolically and fundamentally this was represented in the debate on the constitutional status of Northern Ireland. However, the conflict also centered on the nature of governance, economic and social inequalities, ...

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7. The Lessons of Third-Party Intervention? : The Curious Case of the United States in Northern Ireland

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pp. 173-197

Since the signing of the Belfast, or Good Friday, Agreement in 1998, a veritable cottage industry has emerged seeking to export Northern Ireland’s “lessons.” One of the most frequently cited lessons is the role of “internationalization”1 in conflict resolution and the importance of aligning international influence.2 ...

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8. Peacebuilding, Community Development, and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland: The Role of the Belfast Agreement and the Implications for External Economic Aid

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pp. 198-226

“Peacebuilding” is a term that incorporates a number of various initiatives and approaches, including reducing violence, conducting peacekeeping operations, and promoting capacity building and reconciliation, conflict transformation, and humanitarian and economic assistance.1 ...

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9. Extending Peace to the Grassroots: The Need for Reconciliation in Northern Ireland after the Agreement

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pp. 227-267

The dramatic reduction of violence since the signing of the Belfast Agreement suggests that the peace process in Northern Ireland has been generally successful. Nonetheless, this need not imply that the parties have resolved the conflict with finality. ...

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10. Sources of Peace: The Decline of Revolutionary Nationalism and the Beginning of the Peace Processes in Northern Ireland and the Middle East

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pp. 268-288

Until the negotiations that led to the Agreement in 1998, the conflict in Northern Ireland seemed intractable. It appeared as if it would continue well into the future, perpetuating the centuries-old violent struggles between the Protestants and Catholics. ...

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11. Conclusion

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pp. 289-296

While the peace process has been successful in reducing sectarian violence in Northern Ireland, this volume has highlighted the challenges that lay ahead. Even though this peace process is far from perfect, its successes are worth noting. ...


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pp. 297-300


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pp. 301-309

E-ISBN-13: 9780299297039
E-ISBN-10: 0299297039
Print-ISBN-13: 9780299297046
Print-ISBN-10: 0299297047

Page Count: 321
Illustrations: 15 tables & charts
Publication Year: 2013