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Catholic human rights discourse in Northern Ireland in the 1980s
Maria Power

Liberal scholars have historically stressed the role of NGOs, including churches, in world politics. Recently, scholars have also stressed the normative influence of religious actors as agents in international relations. The seventh chapter examines the role of the Catholic Church in the Northern Ireland peace process by analysing the theological basis of Catholic attitudes and beliefs regarding peace and the manifestations of these teachings as applied by bishops in Northern Ireland. The chapter demonstrates that faith creates action and explains how an important religious tradition in Northern Ireland promoted peace by recognizing and responding to the new kind of wars and political conflicts that have emerged in recent decades. As the nature of conflict changed from a state-centred model into one which saw civil wars and ethnic-conflict becoming the norm, so too did Catholic responses; national Churches began to realise that protest and non-violent action was no longer enough to create a more peaceful world. Consequently, the Catholic hierarchy in Northern Ireland sought to achieve peace by working for justice, especially for political prisoners and those who suffered discrimination.

in Theories of International Relations and Northern Ireland
Sandra Buchanan

Chapter ten explores the role of external economic aid in conflict resolution and since the signing of the Agreement to promote peacebuilding. In moving from violence to peace, most efforts have concentrated on the removal of direct violence through top level political engagement, usually over the short-term. However, a number of external funding programmes have focused their efforts on all levels of society, supporting the Northern Ireland peace process over the long-term through social and economic development. By focusing on the local, they have attempted to redress the root cause of conflict in Northern Ireland. Under the guise of the International Fund for Ireland and the EU Peace programmes (I, II, III), they have been responsible for a huge increase in grassroots level involvement in the region’s conflict transformation process, prompting previously unforeseen levels of citizen empowerment and local ownership of the process. Consequently this has assisted in sustaining the peace process during its most challenging political periods.

in Theories of International Relations and Northern Ireland
P. J. McLoughlin

This chapter examines the importance of ideas and agency in the Northern Ireland peace process by focusing on the former leader of the SDLP and joint Nobel Peace Prize Winner, John Hume. Hume was one of the most important and long-standing elites in Northern Ireland conflict. He emerged first as a civil rights leader at the outset of the Troubles, was a founding member of the SDLP, and was central to the negotiations that led to the Good Friday Agreement. Moreover, Hume played a unique dual role in his career. First, he was a political thinker, or perhaps more accurately an articulator, of a new approach to the Northern Ireland problem. Second, Hume was a key negotiator and political broker, most significantly helping to persuade militant republicans to adopt a peaceful political strategy, continually engaging with British and Irish political elites, and even guiding external actors like the US government and the EU in their respective inputs to the Northern Ireland peace process.

in Theories of International Relations and Northern Ireland
Abstract only
Northern Ireland and International Relations theory
Timothy J. White

The concluding chapter summarizes the major points of the chapters and identify some common themes that emerge from the analysis provided by the contributors. This chapter explains how International Relations theory is furthered by the attempt to apply the case study method to explore the causal mechanisms associated with different theories. While the Northern Ireland case confounds the theoretical predictions of multi-lateral governance and the literature on decommissioning, certain theoretical approaches, especially those emanating from constructivism, proved useful in explaining the arrival of a peace settlement in Northern Ireland. Constructivism has the advantage of allowing the researcher to focus on the unique characteristics of the actors involved and the ideas and ideologies they devised and employed to pursue their interests, including peace.

in Theories of International Relations and Northern Ireland
Timothy J. White

The eleventh chapter assesses the utility of cooperation theory to explain the peace process in Northern Ireland. This theory stresses the interconnectedness of leaders’ decision-making and the complexity associated with the emergence of cooperation. This theoretical approach stresses the possibility of actors learning to cooperate with others who have differing or competing interests, thus, emphasizing adaptive rather than rational policy-making. Negotiators representing different states and groups in Northern Ireland came to their decisions and policy choices based on the expected reaction of others. The complexity of this interaction came to be appreciated by the actors themselves. While historically cooperation theory explained state behaviour, the cooperation that led to the signing and implementation of the Agreement required a pattern of coordinated cooperation among numerous actors, including historic rivals.

in Theories of International Relations and Northern Ireland
Máire Braniff
and
Sophie Whiting

Scholars have increasingly focused on the role of gender in international relations and in particular the role of gender in conflict and peacebuilding. Chapter six explores the important role gender plays in the context of the Northern Ireland peace process. IR scholars have increasingly recognized that women experience insecurity differently from men and participate in conflict resolution and peacebuilding differently as well. This chapter links the latest research on gender and security with developments in Northern Ireland, contending that the peace process has privileged the masculine, marginalizing the role of women. The chapter’s findings highlight the historic small role women played as elected representatives in Northern Ireland. When women attempted to assert themselves as actors forming the Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition (NIWC) in 1996, their failure to become part of the formal political process meant that a decade later the organization dissolved, a victim of the continuing male dominated structures that shape post-Agreement Northern Ireland.

in Theories of International Relations and Northern Ireland
Abstract only
Timothy J. White

There is a long history of case study research in the field of International Relations. This introductory chapter summarizes the benefits that derive from case study research and summarizes the insight and analysis that come from the chapters in the edited collection. Case study research is an attempt to develop theory or seek an answer to an apparent anomaly by the intensive study of a single case or group of cases. The principal advantage of this methodology is it is particularly good at exploring causal mechanisms. While some sight the problem of external validity when focusing on a single case study, the researchers in this volume are careful not to over-generalize from the single case. The chapters in this volume explain various aspects of the Northern Ireland peace process and further our understanding of various theories of International Relations related to conflict resolution and peacebuilding.

in Theories of International Relations and Northern Ireland
Reaching settlement in Northern Ireland
Andrew P. Owsiak

How do actors settle contentious territorial issues – particularly the delimitation of their mutual borders? This chapter uses interview data to examine this broad question within the context of Northern Ireland. The issue-based approach to conflict suggests that states handle territorial disputes via more aggressive foreign policies than disputes over non-territorial issues. This perspective therefore predicts protracted negotiations and violence in Northern Ireland, but Irish nationalists redefined the territorial basis of the conflict to allow a peace agreement to emerge. Selectorate theory predicts that leaders will be constrained in negotiations by what their constituencies want. The interview data in this chapter suggests that political elites negotiating the Agreement were very conscious of the need to both lead and follow their constituencies in the peace process.

in Theories of International Relations and Northern Ireland
Applying a theory of multi-level governance
Mary C. Murphy

Chapter eight analyses the relevance of the theory of multi-level governance (MLG) to explain the role of the European Union (EU) in Northern Ireland and contends that the EU successfully engages Northern Ireland as a region of a member state without threatening that state’s sovereignty or power. The EU has increasingly become successful because of its accommodation with the British state, and the British state allows the EU as a mechanism to reconcile communities in Northern Ireland. MLG emphasises the multi-level nature of EU politics and attaches significance to the role played by subnational units and supranational institutions in the policy process. The model also proposes new forms of governance which offers a specific conception of EU politics based on an altered relationship between state and non-state actors, where the latter have become increasingly influential. The MLG model may not fully capture some of the internal constraints, complexities, and divisions which are characteristic of Northern Ireland’s recent political experience and which are reflected in its evolving relationship with the EU.

in Theories of International Relations and Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland’s regional experience of globalised trends
Katy Hayward
and
Eoin Magennis

Chapter nine explores the role of NGOs in assessing business and the private sector in promoting peace in Northern Ireland. Analyses of Northern Ireland’s peace process tend to concentrate on the public or non-profit sector. The role of the private sector has been more or less ignored. The lack of scholarly focus may reflect the traditional gap in comprehension and cooperation between business and peace. This, however, is changing. Liberal IR assumptions about the spillover effects of economic development have morphed into analysis of the potential for globalisation to improve international connections, thus making the recourse to violence less likely. At a sub-state level, the same liberal premises are present in the concept of business-based peacebuilding, which identifies a natural complementarity between the objectives of private sector actors and the maintenance of a stable, sustainable peace.

in Theories of International Relations and Northern Ireland