Introduction
in Breaking peace
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The introduction sets out the big picture themes of the book, the central arguments within it and the main structure.

It maps out the wider context and sets up several of the core arguments, namely that no one saw Brexit coming –or really understood its implications. This introductory chapter outlines how Brexit represents the biggest political and economic challenge for Northern Ireland since its foundation in 1921. But in the context of Northern Ireland’s troubled history, Brexit sits as a counterpoint to partition, separated by nearly 100 years but the two events bookending generations of political strife, cultural division and economic instability.

This chapter argues that Brexit connects the present and future of Ireland to the past in a number of ways that are not understood within a British context. The introductory chapter uses the Irish border as an example of the way in which Brexit carries a different set of issues in the Irish context than it does within Britain.

This chapter concludes with short summaries of each of the seven chapters that follow and how they relate to the central themes within the book.

Breaking peace

Brexit and Northern Ireland

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