An Interview with Caroline Abu Sa’Da, General Director of SOS MEDITERRANEE
depoliticising effect. SOS is an
emergency initiative that nonetheless provides opportunity for people who seek to engage
politically. JF: The arrival of more than one and a half million refugees and migrants on the
shores of Europe since 2015 has tested the idea of a ‘humanitarian Europe’. It has
tested the self-identity of many Europeans. To what extent do these younger activists see their
political engagement as part of a struggle against ethno-nationalisms to define European
identity? CAS: Switzerland is interesting in this regard. During the Yugoslav
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.
Negotiating gender identities after the Good Friday Agreement
The politics of identity in
Northern Ireland has received considerable academic attention and
yet, despite the saturation of such studies, the focus is
overwhelmingly (and understandably) on the ethno-national divide.
The significance of Protestant and Catholic, British, Irish and
Northern Irish identities preoccupies the academic imagination, at
advancement in an empire stratifying access to power around religion not ethnicity or race, created a new Muslim South Slav ethno-religious identity among these men's descendants. ‘Bosnian Muslim’ identity, with South Slav linguistic heritage but Islamic religious identity/traditions, increasingly paralleled Serb (Orthodox) and Croat (Catholic) ethno-national identities during the twentieth century, even if it had first indexed a class/religion intersection; Tito's Yugoslavia institutionalised Muslim ethnicity by including it as a census ‘nation’ (nacija) in 1971 (Markowitz
boundaries and practices of exclusion and inclusion based on generation
and teen subcultures. At the same time, when young people from interface
areas visit city-centre spaces, ethno-national identities often simmer
beneath the surface.
impressions of Belfast
It is worth starting this chapter by
drawing on some of the essays that the young people produced on the good
physical markers on the young people who grow up and live in these
areas. The chapter discusses young people’s attitudes to the
marking of territory through a range of visual ethno-national emblems
and assesses the extent to which this influences their spatial
Of course, most cities are divided along some dimension or
another. For example, some cities contain
social networks, all of which have
beneficial consequences for the ability of cities to maintain stability
while encompassing diversity. However, segregation can also have
negative effects when it leads to low social interaction between groups
and, in the process, fuels mistrust and prejudice.
In interface areas of Belfast, ethno-national divisions
between the two communities, using religion as a
defence of the status quo, the loyalist view. The interpretation and
self-interpretation of any group is complex: the formal articulation of
their views is never the whole story. 1 Ethno-national issues must be seen within the
wider framework of the Symbolic, Imaginary and Real. The interplay of
all three orders results in totalising socio-ideological fantasies based
on self-idealisation and illusion that hide both communities
The book examines the role of the elite representatives of ‘the last Yugoslav generation’ from the spheres of media, art, culture and politics in rearticulating and redefining Yugoslav socialism and the youth’s link to the state. It argues that the Yugoslav youth elite of the 1980s essentially strove to decouple Yugoslavism and dogmatic socialism as the country faced a multi-level crisis where old and established practices and doctrines began to lose credibility. Hailed as ‘a new political generation’, they sought to reinvent institutional youth activism, to reform and democratise the youth organisation and hence open up new spaces for cultural and political expression. One line of argumentation targeted the ruling elite, exposed its responsibility for the poor implementation of socialist self-management and the necessity to thoroughly revise the socialist model without abandoning its basic principles; and a later trend in which experimentation with liberal concepts and values became dominant. The first type of critique - reform socialism - was almost completely abandoned during the very last years of the decade, as more and more dominant players in the youth sphere started to turn away from socialism and came to appropriate the discourse of human rights, pluralism, free market and European integration. The book maintains that this generation embodied a particular sense of citizenship and framed its generational identity and activism within the confines of what the author refers to as ‘layered Yugoslavism’, where one’s ethno-national and Yugoslav sense of belonging were perceived as complementary, rather than mutually exclusive.
This book examines how the conflict affects people's daily behaviour in reinforcing sectarian or ghettoised notions and norms. It also examines whether and to what extent everyday life became normalised in the decade after the 1998 Good Friday Agreement (GFA). Cross-border commerce has been the stuff of everyday life ever since the partition of Ireland back in 1921. The book outlines how sectarianism and segregation are sustained and extended through the routine and mundane decisions that people make in their everyday lives. It explores the role of integrated education in breaking down residual sectarianism in Northern Ireland. The book examines the potential of the non-statutory Shared Education Programme (SEP) for fostering greater and more meaningful contact between pupils across the ethno-religious divide. It then focuses on women's involvement or women's marginalisation in society and politics. In considering women's political participation post-devolution, mention should be made of activities in the women's sector which created momentum for women's participation prior to the GFA. The book deals with the roles of those outside formal politics who engage in peace-making and everyday politics. It explores the fate of the Northern Irish Civic Forum and the role of section 75 of the 1998 Northern Ireland Act in creating more inclusive policy-making. Finally, the book explains how cross-border trade, shopping and economic development more generally, also employment and access to health services, affect how people navigate ethno-national differences; and how people cope with and seek to move beyond working-class isolation and social segregation.