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Beyond Sectarianism? Comparative Perspectives on Current Conflicts in Northern Ireland

National University of Ireland
15 February 2013

Fifteen years after the Good Friday Agreement, are we looking at a gradual fading away of conflict? Is what John Hume called a ‘healing process’ underway, to be furthered as political stability and an end to violence is ensured and - more problematically - economic growth begun? This is the political hope and the political expectation. Is it too optimistic? Is there a cultural problem remaining, a level of antagonism rooted in personal and social values and expectations that are inappropriate to a peaceful (and a healthy) society? How widespread, and among which sub-groups? If so, what is to be done? How far can targeted interventions give incentives and resources for change.

IBIS is an institute dedicated to liaising between academic research and political life. In this workshop we broadened debates on the continuing conflicts within contemporary Northern Ireland by bringing together comparative specialists, community leaders, NGOs and policy actors. The work of the day consisted in drawing out the relevance of debates in the academic literature for understanding and policy in Northern Ireland.

Click here for the Workshop Report

IBIS is grateful to the Dept of Foreign Affairs and Trade for its support of this roundtable