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Title: Advancing peace in deeply divided societies; the case of Northern Ireland
Author: Charles, Andrew David
ISNI:       0000 0004 6056 7885
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2016
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Ending some thirty years of political instability, civil unrest and murder on the streets of Northern Ireland (NI), the Belfast Agreement ushered in a new era after many years of the existence of a political vacuum and of direct rule in 1972. While wide-scale violence has ceased, NI remains a place apart with sectarian divisions ever more present, limiting the mobility of its citizens. This is reflected on the ground through the existence of a significant number of ©peace walls©, segregation in housing and in education and the continued existence of political parties defined as either ©Unionist© or ©Nationalist©. Despite the progress seen in the development of policies aimed at breaking down sectarian barriers, with millions of pounds spent per annum on community relations work, much of this is yet to bear fruit. Utilising Putnam©s theory of social capital (2000; 2003), this paper seeks to explain the relationships between both sides of the community on the ground. NI is argued to possess high levels of bonding capital and lack significant levels of bridging capital. At the centre of bridging capital is trust between either group, which has an effect on interpersonal relationships as well as trust in political leaders. Trust is also lacking within and between both Unionist and Nationalist blocks. This Thesis argues that there are serious failings with the policies being pursued, the very basis of which are centred on primordial assumptions, ingrained into the political system. The author argues that primordial assumptions do not offer a progressive way forward for NI
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available