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Peace Building in Northern Ireland: A Role for Civil Society

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Knox, Colin (2010) Peace Building in Northern Ireland: A Role for Civil Society. Social Policy and Society, 10 (1). pp. 13-28. [Journal article]

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Abstract

Northern Ireland has witnessed significant political progress with devolution and a powersharing Executive in place since May 2007. These political achievements, however,conceal a highly polarised society characterised by sectarianism and community divisions,the legacy of a protracted conflict. This paper is located in the theoretical discoursebetween consociationalists who argue that antithetical identities cannot be integrated andadvocates of social transformation who support greater cross-community peace-buildinginitiatives through the involvement of civil society. This theoretical debate is taking placein a policy vacuum. The Northern Ireland Executive has abandoned its commitment tothe previous (direct rule) administration’s A Shared Future policy and is now consideringalternatives broadly described as community cohesion, sharing and integration. Usinga case study of a Protestant/Catholic interface community, this paper offers empiricalevidence of the effectiveness of one social transformation initiative involving communitygroups in a highly segregated area of West Belfast.

Item Type:Journal article
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Criminology, Politics and Social Policy
Research Institutes and Groups:Institute for Research in Social Sciences
Institute for Research in Social Sciences > Social Work & Social Policy
ID Code:16730
Deposited By:Professor Colin Knox
Deposited On:21 Dec 2010 10:17
Last Modified:21 Dec 2010 10:17

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