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A constructivist realist critique of idealism and conservative realism
Paul Dixon

continue to dog Northern Ireland. Consociationalism’s conservative realism makes the unrealistic assumptions that the people are deferential to their benign political elites and that these elites reach agreement and then simply deliver their ethnic group to any deal. Idealism’s reluctance to accept and value pluralism, its wishful thinking, and its hostility and moralising attitude to politics leaves it ill equipped to explain the politics of the peace process. Realism enjoys considerable advantages over idealism: emphasis on power, acceptance of value pluralism, the

in Theories of International Relations and Northern Ireland