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Title: Your space or mine? : the politics and policy of negotiating "shared" space in Belfast
Author: Rallings , Mary Kathryn-Louise
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2013
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In Northern Ireland, the concept of 'shared space' has evolved through a number of policy documents to indicate what is generally regarded as an aspirational objective to develop spaces that all sections of society can use and share in a society that remains divided along ethno-national lines. Societal cohesion and the transformation of conflict cannot take place without addressing the territorial dimension of the conflict itself. In ethno nationally divided cities, issues of space and territory become magnified, representative of and mapped onto the conflict itself. The way people negotiate space in divided cities is central to the way that conflict is rehearsed and manufactured, reified and transformed. The production of shared space is therefore an important element for the reconciliation of conflict. This dissertation explores how shared space is produced in Belfast by examining policy, the physical environment and the social construction of space, interrogating the relationship between these elements. I examine the way that space is understood culturally in Northern Ireland and the way that these understandings inform spatial narratives and practices. By employing ethnographic methods combined with a critical policy approach, policy is explored not only in terms of a textual analysis, but also in terms of the social and political contexts in which specific policy documents emerged and the policy process itself. Utilising three case studies that are socially and materially distinct from one another, this dissertation illustrates the challenges of producing shared space in different contexts and highlights the ways in which policy narratives can influence the production of space. Ultimately, I argue that space is best understood as flu idly existing along a spectrum, with 'shared space' not necessarily determined by the material environment, but by the quality of interaction that occurs within it.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available