The legacy of political violence
in Conflict to peace
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The effort to bring about reconciliation in post-conflict societies is the question of how to deal with the victims of violence. The resolution of this issue is often considered the litmus test of a successful peace endeavour for societies emerging from conflict. This chapter focuses on the nature and extent of victimhood in Northern Ireland and public attitudes towards how to deal with the injustices inflicted on them in the past. It outlines the nature of the 1998 Belfast Agreement with reference to the rights of victims. Using a range of official government statistics and the extensive collection of public opinion surveys, the chapter examines both the nature and extent of victimhood and the main perpetrators of the violence. Building on this examination, the chapter investigates public attitudes towards dealing with the violent legacy of the past, particularly in terms of the rights of victims.

Conflict to peace

Politics and society in Northern Ireland over half a century



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