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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.

An agenda for change?

of the Labour government being both contradictory and uncertain at times. Yet the mood music, notwithstanding the occasional discordant note, was softer in tone. There was, it appeared, the potential for a more vibrant local politics. In this context, the chapter focuses on nine key aspects of the reform of local democracy over the last fifteen years: local democracy and the New Labour reform agenda; the constitutional position of local government; double devolution; the citizen engagement, neighbourhood and empowerment agenda; civic engagement, neighbourhood

in Local democracy, civic engagement and community
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. Demand for self-government in Scotland In this section, I first give a brief historical overview of Scotland’s constitutional position within the United Kingdom and of its demand for self-government, including both devolution and independence. Subsequently, I review the literature dealing with the two periods which are the object of this study and with the results of the two referendums in 1979 and 1997 in particular. The last section reviews the role assigned to the European dimension in such a literature. Brief

in Between two Unions
From disaster to devolution and beyond

9 Peter Lynch The Scottish Conservatives, 1997–2001 The Scottish Conservatives, 1997–2001: from disaster to devolution and beyond Peter Lynch William Hague’s four years of leadership of the Conservative Party coincided with a revolution in the political opportunity structure of Scottish Conservatism. First, the Scotish Tories were wiped out at the 1997 general election, their worst electoral performance of all time and their lowest share of the vote since 1865. Second, the party’s constitutional position was heavily defeated at the devolution referendum of

in The Conservatives in Crisis

one of £759. 8s. 5d. The total annual yield of the English lands of the Herefordshire branch of the family during Walter’s minority between 1186 and 1189 was £91. 6s. 0d.113 Wightman contends that so large a discrepancy between the average annual yield of Walter’s English lands from 1186 to 1189 and the render at the Norman exchequer in 1198 proves that the total in 1198 would have had to include the lucrative Irish lordship of Meath. Wightman assumes Ireland’s constitutional position, and that profits from Meath would have filled Richard’s coffers in 1198. The

in Lordship in four realms
From New Labour to the Big Society

There is a widespread view that local democracy in Britain is in deep trouble and that people face a crisis of civic engagement and political participation. This book counterweighs the many negative accounts that seek to dominate the political discourse with talks on political apathy and selfish individualism. It commences with an examination of theoretical debates as to the meaning of local democracy and related concepts. The book looks at the policy agenda around local democracy in the context of the developing nature of central/local relations since 1979. It considers the available evidence on level of political participation and civic engagement by looking at eight themes. These include the state of formal politics, forms of civic engagement, community identity and the emerging world of the internet/world wide web. The book also looks at nine key aspects of the reform of local democracy over the last fifteen years, including local democracy and the New Labour reform agenda; the constitutional position of local government; and double devolution. It focuses on the so-called 'crisis of formal democracy' at the local level. The book ascertains the recent developments beyond the realm of elections, political parties and formal political institutions. It then concentrates on local services and policy attempts to widen public participation in the shaping and delivery of such services. Finally, the book discusses the concept of sustainability and regeneration strategies to build sustainable communities, both physical and social.

constitutional position, they were not only defending their rights as ‘freeborn Englishmen’, they were also developing the idea of propaganda as a liberating force. From the Reformation and the Dutch Revolt onwards, printing provided a means by which oppressed could attack oppressor, a medium of liberation and revolution of such power that it inevitably demanded the twin response of counterpropaganda and censorship from the authorities. Although both James I and Charles I had tried to continue Elizabeth’s censorship system, they were unable to stem the rising influence of the

in Munitions of the Mind

development of Northern Ireland … leadership has been the comfortable leadership of flags and slogans.’ However, whilst eager for the Nationalist Party to move beyond its obsession with partition, Hume did not surrender the essential aspiration to a united Ireland. Instead, he questioned the means by which nationalists had traditionally sought to achieve this goal: If one wishes to create a United Ireland by constitutional means, then one must accept the constitutional position. … Such an attitude, too, admits the realistic fact that a United Ireland, if it is to come, and

in John Hume and the revision of Irish nationalism

the office and with the status and standing of that office. The constancy of change 3 The distinction between office and office-holder is a continual theme of this exploration and defence of councillors. Pressure for change on local government exerted by other levels of government – whether that is central, regional or state governments – is a powerful force in determining the nature of the responsibilities that rest with the office of councillor and the balance between the soft and hard powers at their disposal. The constitutional position of local government

in In defence of councillors

within the United Kingdom. Although Northern Ireland has long been considered an integral part of the United Kingdom, the constitutional position has been the topic of recurring debate since partition in 1920. Following the 1920 Government of Ireland Act, British policy was dominated by a desire for noninvolvement in the domestic affairs of the region (O’Leary and Arthur, 1990

in Conflict to peace