This report considers the relationship between LGB&T equality and one of the core objectives of conflict transformation, the cessation or reduction of levels of societal violence. Placing LGB&T equality issues within a conflict transformational framework, the author conducted 14 focus groups with LGB&T friendship and support groups in Northern Ireland to explore the effects of conflict transformation on LGB&T equality in the region.
Brown, K., & Ní Aoláin, F. Good Fences Make Good Neighbours: Assessing the Role of Consociational Politics in Transitional Justice (PSRP Working Paper), 2016
This working paper reflects on the relationship of transitional justice theory and practice with consociational theory examining how both interact with respect to enabling or limiting conflict transformation in deeply divided ethnic polities. The paper explores the ways in which, despite substantive acknowledgement of the limits of consociationalism, it continues to be the preferred solution offered by internationally and bilaterally mediated peace negotiations as a means to address the governance crisis of deeply divided societies.
This research briefing examines the political commemoration of periods of conflict as an important aspect of political activity that impacts on peacebuilding and the stewardship of political settlements within deeply divided societies. Commemoration is particularly important where the lines of fracture correspond to ethno–national identity. The paper argues that commemoration serves as an internal communal means to manage and maintain ethno–national constituencies during periods of peacebuilding–whether in a peace process or political ‘unsettlement’.
A ‘Trust Fund’ or ‘Multi Donor Trust Fund’ (MDTF) is a multi-agency funding mechanism, designed to receive contributions from more than one donor (and often also the recipient government), that is held in trust by an appointed administrative agent. This PSRP Spotlight draws a number of lessons from the experience of Trust Funds in Northern Ireland. Its goal is to help identify salient issues to inform the founding and functioning of funding mechanisms in other conflict-affected settings.
McNicholl, K., Stevenson, C., & Garry, J. How the “Northern Irish” National Identity Is Understood and Used by Young People and Politicians, 2018
The conventional understanding of the nation within social psychology is as a category of people or “imagined community.” However, work within the discursive tradition shows that citizens tend to discuss nationhood in a variety of modes, including the use of nonhuman categories such as references to the physical landscape of the country. This article aims to give a more comprehensive overview of how young people understand the Northern Irish identity, a new and potentially inclusive national category in a divided society, and how politicians articulate it in rhetoric.
McWilliams, M. Women at the Peace Table: The Gender Dynamics of Peace Negotiations, 2015
Where violence and conflict have become the norm, negotiating an agreement built on peace and justice can be a challenging prospect for those involved. Since 2000, with the introduction of Security Council Resolutions on women, peace, and security, the United Nations has asserted that the environment enabling peace agreements become more inclusive of women and that gender perspectives be taken into account throughout the peace building process. This chapter draws on examples from the Northern Ireland peace process to show the changes that took place when a group of women moved out of the political activism of civic society to become engaged in the more formal politics of peace negotiations.
This working paper considers the relationship of international gender equality norms to the treatment of gender in local peacemaking political settlements through the case study of the recent Report of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Transitional Justice on Northern Ireland. The paper contends that the Report has impacted the local peacemaking political settlement by establishing an intrinsic connection between the two ostensibly separate objectives of, firstly, devising a process to deal with the past that meets the needs of victims (an objective which does have some elite buy-in) and, secondly, addresses gender (an objective currently without significant elite buy-in).
O’Rourke, C. & Swaine, A. Learning from Northern Ireland? Making gains for gender equality at the UN Security Council, 2021
As Ireland prepares to begin its tenure of the UN Security Council in January 2021, Dr Catherine O’Rourke and Dr Aisling Swaine examine the lessons of inclusive peacebuilding from Northern Ireland and how these might inform the UN Security Council’s work on gender equality.
This Working Paper explains how a local conversation about transitional justice in North Belfast became the basis for designing a toolkit that is available for use by people in other settings. The Transitional Justice Grassroots Toolkit (Rooney, 2014) is a local justice response to the immediate and over time challenges of transition from violent conflict in disadvantaged communities. The article makes a contribution to a growing interest in grassroots activism within transitional justice and development studies and feminist praxis.