A ‘new politics’ of participation?
in Everyday life after the Irish conflict
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This chapter focuses on Northern Ireland, with Scotland as a point of comparison and outlines efforts in Northern Ireland to try to ensure that citizens can shape the 'normalisation' of political life. It examines the short-lived Civic Forum and the statutory duties in the Northern Ireland Act 1998 as forms of inclusive policy-making. The significance of the voluntary and community sector in policy-making is connected to sectarianism in local formal politics, the 'democratic deficits' of direct rule by Westminster and the conditions for receipt of funding from the European Union (EU). The tradition of participation and EU-inspired district partnerships led the transversal party, the Northern Ireland Women's Coalition (NIWC), to propose the constitutional innovation of a Civic Forum. The chapter deals briefly with the motivations for and the contexts of reform; some similarities and differences in institutions and procedures; and the depth of 'new politics'.

Everyday life after the Irish conflict

The impact of devolution and cross-border cooperation

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