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Title: The Belfast peace walls : problems, politics and policies of the troubles architecture
Author: Byrne, Jonny
ISNI:       0000 0004 2719 2161
Awarding Body: University of Ulster
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2011
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Since the first paramilitary ceasefires in 1994 the peace and political processes in Northern Ireland have addressed several politically sensitive issues such as policing, paramilitary decommissioning, and power sharing. However, one issue that has been absent from both processes is that of the peace walls. These physical lines of demarcation were constructed by the British government from 1969 in response to sectarian violence and disorder. No peace walls have ever been removed, and they continue to dominate the landscapes of Loyalist and Republican working class communities. However, for the first time in recent history, Northern Ireland's elected representatives, through the recently devolved Ministry of Justice, have policy responsibility. for the peace walls. To date, there has been no locally developed policy framework or strategy on the peace walls, nor does it appear that peace walls are even on the NI Executive's agenda. There is no evidence to suggest that the physical barriers will simply disappear and so public policy decisions will, at some point, have to be taken in relation to the future of these walls. Mindful of this reality, this dissertation seeks to place the issue of peace walls into the narrative of the Northern Ireland conflict and the subsequent peace and political processes through the lens of public policy theory and practice. Using Belfast's peace walls as a case study, the thesis applies Kingdon's Multiple Streams Approach to explore the problems, policies and politics that surround the issue of peace walls, while also considering the necessary conditions required to generate a window of opportunity to place peace walls onto the decision-making agenda of the NI Executive. As the research shows, for a window of opportunity to emerge there needs to be collective agreement at the micro level between Loyalist and Republican communities that peace walls are a problem that require some form of government intervention. Furthermore, there needs to be a willingness to take ownership of the operational delivery and implementation of a policy process for the peace walls at the meso level involving local government and private investors with local knowledge, expertise and innovation driving the process. And finally, at the macro level there also needs to be a moratorium on the construction and strengthening of peace walls, along with and a cross party consensus on the need to develop a policy framework that provides communities and local government with the confidence and political legitimacy to participate in a policy process on peace walls.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available