Publications

Institutional change and conflict regulation: the Anglo-Irish Agreement (1985) and the mechanisms of change in Northern Ireland

ABSTRACT: The mechanisms of institutional change identified in comparative studies of industrial policy and welfare state development are also to be found in processes of intergovernmental ethnic conflict regulation. This article shows how the 1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement set in place a very thin layer of intergovernmental institutions which started an institutional momentum, opening new political opportunities, changing political expectations, and thus paving the way for the much more radical political and institutional changes that were to follow. It uses new data to show how the elites who initiated the process conceived of it and to identify the mechanisms producing change.

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