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.

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Politics and society in Northern Ireland over half a century

After three decades of violence, Northern Ireland has experienced unprecedented peace. It is now generally accepted that the peace accord which ended the Northern Ireland conflict, the 1998 Belfast Agreement, is an exemplar of this trend. This book examines the impact of the 1998 Agreement which halted the violence on the Northern Irish people. It covers changes in public opinion across all areas of society and politics, including elections, education, community relations and national identity. The surveys presented show that despite peace, Protestants and Catholics remain as deeply divided as ever. The book examines the development of the theory of consociationalism and how it has been woven into the intellectual debate about the nature of the Northern Ireland conflict. The role of religion in conflict transformation has emerged as an important issue in Northern Ireland. Ethnonationalism in Northern Ireland is fuelled by its multifaceted and complex nature. The constitutional position of Northern Ireland has been the topic of recurring debate since partition in 1920. The role of education in promoting social cohesion in post-conflict societies is often controversial. The book explores both the nature and extent of victimhood and the main perpetrators of the political violence. The key elements of a consociational approach include a grand coalition representing the main segments of society; proportionality in representation; community (segmental) autonomy; and mutual vetoes on key decisions. The main lesson of peace-making in Northern Ireland is that political reform has to be accompanied by social change across the society as a whole.

A critical analysis of the work of John Burton
Author: Tarja Väyrynen

This book is a critical study of John Burton's work, which outlines an alternative framework for the study of international conflict, and re-examines conflict resolution. It argues that culture has a constitutive role in international conflict and conflict resolution. The book provides an overview of the mediation literature in order to locate problem-solving workshop conflict resolution within the context of peaceful third-party involvement. It analyses human needs thinking and examines the similarities between it and Burton's thinking. The book also examines the logic of Burton's argument by means of metaphor analysis, by analysing the metaphors which can be found in his human needs theory. It studies further Burton's views of action and rationality, and moves into phenomenology and social constructionism. The book takes as its starting-point a totalist theory of international conflict resolution, namely Burton's sociobiologically-oriented conflict theory, and demonstrates the logic of argument and the denial of culture underlying his problem-solving theory. It explains the dimensions of the social world in order to lay a foundation for the study of conflict and conflict resolution from the social constructionist perspective. The book presents a phenomenological understanding of conflict and problem-solving conflict resolution. Finally, it argues that problem-solving workshop conflict resolution can be best understood as an attempt to find a shared reality between the parties in conflict.

Regional integration and conflicts in Europe from the 1950s to the twenty-first century
Author: Boyka Stefanova

This book is about the European Union's role in conflict resolution and reconciliation in Europe. Ever since it was implemented as a political project of the post-World War II reality in Western Europe, European integration has been credited with performing conflict-resolution functions. The EU allegedly transformed the long-standing adversarial relationship between France and Germany into a strategic partnership. Conflict in Western Europe became obsolete. The end of the Cold War further reinforced its role as a regional peace project. While these evolutionary dynamics are uncontested, the deeper meaning of the process, its transformative power, is still to be elucidated. How does European integration restore peace when its equilibrium is broken and conflict or the legacies of enmity persist? This is a question that needs consideration. This book sets out to do exactly that. It explores the peace and conflict-resolution role of European integration by testing its somewhat vague, albeit well-established, macro-political rationale of a peace project in the practical settings of conflicts. Its central argument is that the evolution of the policy mix, resources, framing influences and political opportunities through which European integration affects conflicts and processes of conflict resolution demonstrates a historical trend through which the EU has become an indispensable factor of conflict resolution. The book begins with the pooling together of policy-making at the European level for the management of particular sectors (early integration in the European Coal and Steel Community) through the functioning of core EU policies (Northern Ireland).

The media and international intervention
Author: Philip Hammond

The first major post-Cold War conflict, the 1991 Gulf war, indicated how much had already changed. Saddam Hussein had enjoyed Western support in Iraq's war against Iran in the 1980s, but was abruptly cast as the 'new Hitler' after his invasion of Kuwait in August 1990. This book is about how the media have interpreted conflict and international intervention in the years after the Cold War. By comparing press coverage of a number of different wars and crises, it seeks to establish which have been the dominant themes in explaining the post-Cold War international order and to discover how far the patterns established prior to the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks have subsequently changed. The key concern is with the legitimacy of Western intervention: the aim is to investigate the extent to which Western military action is represented in news reporting as justifiable and necessary. The book presents a study that looks at UK press coverage of six conflicts and the international response to them: two instances of 'humanitarian military intervention' (Somalia and Kosovo); two cases in which the international community was criticised for not intervening (Bosnia and Rwanda); and two post-9/11 interventions (Afghanistan and Iraq). There were a number of overlapping UN and US interventions in Somalia in the early 1990s. Operation Restore Hope was the first major instance of post-Cold War humanitarian military intervention, following the precedent set by the establishment of 'safe havens' for Iraqi Kurds and other minorities at the end of the 1991 Gulf war.

Addressing the consequences of conflict and trauma in Northern Ireland
Author: David Bolton

Conflict poses considerable challenges for services that support communities, and in particular those affected by violence. This book describes the work undertaken in Omagh against the background of the most recent period of violent conflict in Ireland, and specifically it draws upon the work following the Omagh bombing. The bombing came just four months after the Northern Ireland peace agreement, known formally as the Belfast Agreement of 1998, and more informally as the Good Friday Agreement. The book describes the impact of the bomb and the early responses. Local trade unions, employers and the business community played key roles at times, particularly in underlining the need for solidarity and in identifying themselves with the desire for peace. The book looks at the outcome of needs-assessments undertaken following the Omagh bombing. The efforts to understand the mental health and related impact of the violence associated with the Troubles in Northern Ireland over the period 1969 to 2015 are focused in detail. The later efforts to build services for the benefit of the wider population are described, drawing upon the lessons gained in responding to the Omagh bombing. The developments in therapy, in training and education, and in research and advocacy are described with reference to the work of the Northern Ireland Centre for Trauma and Transformation (NICTT). The book draws together key conclusions about the approaches that could be taken to address mental health and well-being as an essential component of a peace-building project.

The book explores how we understand global conflicts as they relate to the ‘European refugee crisis’, and draws on a range of empirical fieldwork carried out in the UK and Italy. It examines how global conflict has been constructed in both countries through media representations – in a climate of changing media habits, widespread mistrust, and fake news. In so doing, it examines the role played by historical amnesia about legacies of imperialism – and how this leads to a disavowal of responsibility for the reasons people flee their countries. The book explores how this understanding in turn shapes institutional and popular responses in receiving countries, ranging from hostility – such as the framing of refugees by politicians, as 'economic migrants' who are abusing the asylum system – to solidarity initiatives. Based on interviews and workshops with refugees in both countries, the book develops the concept of ‘migrantification’ – in which people are made into migrants by the state, the media and members of society. In challenging the conventional expectation for immigrants to tell stories about their migration journey, the book explores experiences of discrimination as well as acts of resistance. It argues that listening to those on the sharpest end of the immigration system can provide much-needed perspective on global conflicts and inequalities, which challenges common Eurocentric misconceptions. Interludes, interspersed between chapters, explore these issues in other ways through songs, jokes and images.

If walls could talk

Northern Ireland is regarded as one of the most successful 'post conflict' societies in the world. The reimaging of Belfast as a 'post conflict' city tends to gloss over these persistent divisions. This book provides a thought provoking and comprehensive account of teenagers' perceptions and experiences of the physical and symbolic divisions that exist in 'post conflict' Belfast. Despite Northern Ireland's new status as one of the most successful examples of the resolution of what was once seen as an intractable conflict, the peace walls which separate Protestant and Catholic areas remain in place. The book examines the micro-geographies of young people and draws attention to the social practices, discourses and networks that directly or indirectly (re)shape how they make sense of and negotiate life in Belfast. It focuses is on the physical landscape enclosing interface areas and the impact that it has on the perceptions and actions of young people living in these areas. The book explores how physical divisions are perceived and experienced by young people who live in interface areas and how they view the architecture of division. It pays attention to the impact of place on teenagers' social relations within and between the localities in which they reside. The city centre of Belfast epitomises the city's status as a 'post conflict' city. A recurring argument is that identity does not exist 'out there'. The book shows how social relationships are inherently spatial and how identities are influenced by place and impact on it.

Practice and policy lessons from Northern Ireland and the Border Counties
Author: Sandra Buchanan

Transforming Conflict examines lessons learned from the Northern Ireland and Border Counties conflict transformation process through social and economic development and their consequent impacts and implications for practice and policymaking, with a range of functional recommendations produced for other regions emerging from and seeking to transform violent conflict. It provides, for the first time, a comprehensive assessment of the region’s transformation activity, largely amongst grassroots actors, enabled by a number of specific funding programmes, namely the International Fund for Ireland, Peace I and II and INTERREG I, II and IIIA. These programmes have facilitated conflict transformation over more than two decades, presenting a case ripe for lesson sharing. In focusing on the politics of the socioeconomic activities that underpinned the elite negotiations of the peace process, key theoretical transformation concepts are firstly explored, followed by an examination of the social and economic context of Northern Ireland and the Border Counties. The three programmes and their impacts are then assessed before considering what policy lessons can be learned and what recommendations can be made for practice. This is underpinned by a range of semi-structured interviews and the author’s own experience as a project promoter through these programmes in the Border Counties for more than a decade.

Author: Ilan Danjoux

Cartoon analysis is the study of a non-elite communication. Ilan Danjoux examined over 1200 Israeli and Palestinian editorial cartoons to explore whether changes in their content anticipated the outbreak of the Al-Aqsa Intifada in October of 2000. Political Cartoons and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict provide readers an engaging introduction to cartoon analysis and a novel insight into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Conflict researchers benefit from paying attention to popular fears because they influence the policies of career-minded politicians and autocratic leaders seeking to placate domestic dissent. The book begins by outlining the rationale for this research project, while explaining the choice of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a case study. It identifies the challenges of cartoon research and outlines the methodological approaches available to researchers. After laying the framework for this study, the book details the collapse of the Israel-Palestinian Peace Process into full-scale violence by October 2000. A description of Israeli and Palestinian media production follows. The book demonstrates the cartoon's ability to chronicle changes in conflict. Not only did both Israeli and Palestinian cartoons change their focus with the outbreak of violence, the mood of cartoons also shifted. It also shows that Israeli and Palestinian cartoons also changed the way that each portrayed the other. Changes in both Israeli and Palestinian cartoons corresponded with, but did not precede, the outbreak of the Al-Aqsa Intifada.