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An interview with Sean O hUiginn
Graham Spencer

Graham Spencer: How far back was it when you started to pick up signs that a peace process could be emerging? Sean O hUiginn: It would have been in the late 1980s. The Hume–Adams dialogue, as reflected in the exchanges between the SDLP and Sinn Fein published in 1988, gave a very significant pointer to something new. The traditional republican view derived a supposed authority from a doctrine as arcane as that of the hidden Imam, which would have been comical except that some people felt justified in

in Inside Accounts, Volume I
Sandra Buchanan

10 Assessing external funding supports for the Northern Ireland peace process Sandra Buchanan In moving from violence to peace, most practical (and theoretical) efforts have concentrated on the removal of direct violence through top-level political engagement, usually over the short term. Academic narratives of the Northern Ireland (NI) peace process have, in the main, been no different. However, conflict transformation requires a long-term approach not over years but rather decades, or indeed, as Richmond notes, ‘generations and life spans. Otherwise, it runs

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

11 Cooperation theory and the Northern Ireland peace process Timothy J. White Cooperation theory stresses the interconnectedness of leaders’ decision-­ making.1 Recent research has highlighted how a process of dynamic change can lead to cooperation and peace among historic rivals. This chapter employs a theory of cooperation first conceived by Axelrod and later developed by others and applies it to explain the Northern Ireland peace process. Scholars who have analysed Northern Ireland have tended to focus on the evolution of a single actor’s policy, especially

in Theories of International Relations and Northern Ireland
A constructivist realist critique of idealism and conservative realism
Paul Dixon

1 The ‘real’ and ‘dirty’ politics of the Northern Ireland peace process: a constructivist realist critique of idealism and conservative realism Paul Dixon The Northern Ireland peace process has been an astonishing achievement that was unanticipated when the Irish Republican Army (IRA) declared its ceasefire in 1994. Less than four years later the principal political parties accepted a deal, and this has been the foundation for a much more peaceful Northern Ireland. The Good Friday (or Belfast) Agreement was built on the negotiations and leadership of moderate

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

4 Assessing the importance of ideas and agency in the Northern Ireland peace process P. J. McLoughlin Both the outbreak of the Northern Ireland conflict in the late 1960s, and the gradual movement towards a peaceful settlement from the early 1990s, resulted from significant structural changes – both in the region itself, and a wider British–Irish space. Indeed, major changes in the political economy of both the UK and Ireland in the post-Second World War period, particularly the development of the British welfare state, created a new opportunity structure for

in Theories of International Relations and Northern Ireland
A veiled threat
Thomas J. Butko

–Israeli peace process as well as an instrument of political protest against an indigenous Arab regime. Hamas is an excellent case study with which to demonstrate the role religion performs in political conflict. Currently, Hamas is gaining in popular support due to renewed violence in the Middle East and the Palestinian population’s increased endorsement of suicide or ‘martyrdom’ operations against

in Redefining security in the Middle East
Author: Graham Spencer

This second of two volumes on the Irish Government’s role in forging the Good Friday Agreement of 1998 and implementing the political power-sharing mechanisms and institutions that followed provides the most expansive account yet of the peace process from the Irish perspective. Drawing from extended interviews with key officials and political leaders, this volume details the challenges faced in managing the peace process to reach agreement, before working to oversee the establishment and implementation of the institutions that resulted from agreement. The interviews in this volume address key areas such a building relationships, trust, confidence, strategic management, pragmatism, engaging militant protagonists and meeting the challenges of leadership, to create a definitive picture of the issues faced by the Irish Government in the attempt to end conflict in Northern Ireland.

The peace process in Northern Ireland is associated with the signing of the Good Friday or Belfast Agreement, the arduous and lengthy implementation of this Agreement, and the continuing sectarianism in Northern Ireland. Despite the numerous and various studies about this case, no collection of scholarly analysis to date has attempted to assess a wide variety of theories prominent in International Relations (IR) that relate directly to the conflict in Northern Ireland, the peace process, and the challenges to consolidating peace after an agreement. IR scholars have recently written about and debated issues related to paradigms, border settlement and peace, the need to provide security and disarm combatants, the role of agents and ideas, gender and security, transnational movements and actors, the role of religions and religious institutions, the role of regional international organizations, private sector promotion of peace processes, economic aid and peacebuilding, the emergence of complex cooperation even in the world of egoists, and the need for reconciliation in conflict torn societies. How do the theories associated with these issues apply in the context of Northern Ireland’s peace process? Theories of International Relations and Northern Ireland explores primarily middle-range theories of International Relations and examines these theories in the context of the important case of Northern Ireland.

The Irish Government and Peace in Northern Ireland, from Sunningdale to the Good Friday Agreement
Author: Graham Spencer

This study is the most comprehensive account yet of how the Irish Government worked to bring the Northern Ireland conflict to an end. Based on single long-form interviews with key officials it throws new light on how tensions and problems that emerged in the search for peace were confronted and overcome to bring about the Good Friday Agreement of 1998. This first of two volumes looks at previous attempts to develop peace as with Sunningdale and the Anglo-Irish Agreement before focusing on the foundations of the peace process that followed. The interviews reveal the iterative nature of the peace process and through the voices of those on the inside provide the most dramatic and authoritative picture yet of how that process came to change the course of history. Taking the reader into the heart of the negotiating room, this study provides an invaluable series of testimonies about Irish Government efforts to end conflict in Northern Ireland.

Former political prisoners and reconciliation in Northern Ireland

Drawing on more than 150 interviews with former IRA, INLA, UVF and UFF prisoners, this book is a major analysis of why Northern Ireland has seen a transition from war to peace. Most accounts of the peace process are ‘top-down’, relying upon the views of political elites. This book is ‘bottom-up’, analysing the voices of those who actually ‘fought the war’. What made them fight, why did they stop and what are the lessons for other conflict zones? Using unrivalled access to members of the armed groups, the book offers a critical appraisal of one-dimensional accounts of the onset of peace, grounded in ‘mutually hurting stalemate’ and ‘ripeness’, which downgrade the political and economic aspects of conflict. Military stalemate had been evident since the early 1970s and offers little in explaining the timing of the peace process. Moreover, republicans and loyalists based their ceasefires upon very different perceptions of transformation or victory. Based on a Leverhulme Trust project, the book offers an analysis based on subtle interplays of military, political, economic and personal changes and experiences. Combined, these allowed combatants to move from violence to peace whilst retaining core ideological beliefs and maintaining long-term constitutional visions. Former prisoners now act as ambassadors for peace in Northern Ireland. Knowledge of why and how combatants switched to peaceful methodologies amid widespread skepticism over prospects for peace is essential to our understanding of the management of global peace processes.