Sandra Buchanan
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Social and economic context of the Northern Ireland conflict
in Transforming conflict through social and economic development
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This chapter examines Northern Ireland and the Border Counties from a social and economic development perspective - some understanding of this and the extent of its contributory role in the conflict is deemed useful in understanding social and economic development (and the progress made by the three programmes) as a transforming factor. Social and economic development is also at the heart of the three transformation tools, suggesting that deprivation, poverty and social exclusion are viewed by the EU and the Irish and British governments as part of the conflict’s legacy. With the normalisation of politics in Northern Ireland, the economy has begun to take centre stage indicating the transformation process as a whole will not succeed without a specific concentration on this area. A key consideration is whether the ongoing transformation process has made any substantial difference to the social and economic lives of the peoples of this region. A very brief overview of the conflict from 1600 until the ceasefires in 1994 is provided, followed by an examination of the effects of the conflict on the region’s social and economic development in terms of the economy, unemployment, educational disadvantage and poverty and social exclusion.

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Transforming conflict through social and economic development

Practice and policy lessons from Northern Ireland and the Border Counties


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