An Interview with Caroline Abu Sa’Da, General Director of SOS MEDITERRANEE
‘NGO-isation’ in Palestine, which has had a depoliticising effect. SOS is an
emergency initiative that nonetheless provides opportunity for people who seek to engage
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
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.
The Good Friday Agreement is widely celebrated as a political success story, one that has brought peace to a region previously synonymous across the globe with political violence. The truth, as ever, is rather more complicated than that. In many respects, the era of the peace process has seen Northern Irish society change almost beyond recognition. Those incidents of politically motivated violence that were once commonplace have become thankfully rare, and a new generation has emerged whose identities and interests are rather more fluid and cosmopolitan than those of their parents. In many other regards, however, Northern Ireland continues to operate in the long shadow of its own turbulent recent past. Those who were victims of violence, as well as those who were its agents, have often been consigned to the margins of a society clearly still struggling to cope with the traumas of the Troubles. Furthermore, the transition to ‘peace’ has revealed the existence of new, and not so new, forms of violence in Northern Irish society, not least those directed towards women, ethnic minorities and the poor. In Northern Ireland a generation after Good Friday, we set out to capture the complex, and often contradictory, realities that have emerged more than two decades on from the region’s vaunted peace deal. Across nine original essays, the book provides a critical and comprehensive reading of a society that often appears to have left its violent past behind but at the same time remains subject to its gravitational pull.
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
‘Brexit means Brexit’ solemnly declared by Theresa May, who replaced Cameron as Conservative Party leader and prime minister in July 2016.
Northern Ireland reacts
The reaction to the referendum result in Northern Ireland was intense, if predictable, given the positions of the main parties before the vote. The result sucked all remaining air out of the idea that Brexit was an issue that complicated the ethnonational divide. The DUP argued that Brexit represented an opportunity to be grasped, both for Northern
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
Sarita Malik, Churnjeet Mahn, Michael Pierse, and Ben Rogaly
archives, storytelling or digital media. We researched the production of particular forms of creativity in each setting, as well as being involved in producing new creative work. In this introduction we begin by outlining our definition of a ‘hostile world’ in the UK and beyond, and consider the way in which ethno-nationalism and the neoliberal envisioning of resilience have made the lives of people at various kinds of margins more and more impossible. We then move on to an account of our project and introduce some of the voices that shaped it.
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