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Title: You have a future in this society!: discourses of peace building in Northern Ireland
Author: Komarova, M. P.
Awarding Body: Queens University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2008
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Abstract:
This thesis explores discourses on peace-building among representatives of the voluntary and community sector, politicians and government in Northern Ireland. The research question is how the meaning of 'peace', and of the relationships between civil and political society, is constructed in different discourses. Conceptually, I approach the research question through debates on civil society and the public sphere. I explore the notion of 'civil society' and ask whether in a Northern Irish context civil society has the ability to transcend the territorial and cultural borders of state and community? In the empirical part of the thesis I analyse interview and documentary discourses of participants in the ED Peace II Programme. The findings demonstrate contrasting discourses on the aims and means of 'peace-building' in Northern Ireland. The 'civic' discourse of large voluntary organisations challenges ethnonationalist politics and relationships between communities, and advocates an idea of 'civil society' as a politically engaged public sphere. However, some in the 'grass-roots' of the community sector prefer to stick to separate communal spaces and distrust the larger organisations in the voluntary sector. In their discourses, many politicians neglect the need for developing a collective vision of an integrated society, and sideline the role of civil society as participatively engaging with political society. The conclusions emphasise the degree of stratification of associational civil society in Northern Ireland and the importance of civil society as a shared public sphere that scrutinises the nature of collective identities, and questions the conditions for a democratic relationship between publics, across the standard 'state - society' division.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.491700  DOI: Not available
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