Book Chapter Details
Mandatory Fields
Peter Shirlow & Colin Coulter
2007 January
The Long Road to Peace in Northern Ireland: Peace Lectures from the Institute of Irish Studies at Liverpool University, Second Edition
Enduring problems: The Belfast agreement and a disagreed Belfast
Liverpool University Press
Optional Fields
© 2002, 2007 Liverpool University Press. All Rights Reserved. There is a common concern to explain why the ‘long war’ in Northern Ireland became the ‘long peace’. Such analyses are important but most of them have been driven by an examination of political actors and their actions, and have under-examined the significance of factors such as social class, habituation and the experience of violence in undermining the delivery of meaningful ‘mutual respect’. Evidently at the political level several obvious stalemates have been broken with regard to the main political parties. They all now either accept (in some cases reluctantly) the principle of consent or (cautiously) endorse the validity of power-sharing. Political problems endure but even the most durable of these, the Democratic Unionist Party's (DUP) ‘requirement’ that Sinn Féin (SF) must divest itself of military linkage, is slowly dissolving. Within the ranks of the DUP the clarion call of ‘Not an Inch’ has been transformed into a process of inching slowly towards a devolved power-sharing administration.In this chapter we seek not only to explore some of the limitations of the Belfast Agreement but also to highlight how the social reality of enduring segregation maintains ethno-sectarian relationship. Such relationships undermine the development of shared space. Territorial entrapment remains and is a forceful reminder that the political process may be advancing but not in the manner required to challenge the nature of spatial separation and thus much of what constitutes identity formation.
Marianne Elliott
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