Attitudes to community relations in Northern Ireland: signs of optimisim in the post-cease fire period?

J. Hughes, Caitlin Donnelly

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    8 Citations (Scopus)


    This article uses attitudinal data to explore Catholic and Protestant perspectives on community relations and equality since the paramilitary cease fires in 1994. Although attitudes tend to fluctuate with the‘headline grabbing'events of the day, the article argues that there are signs that some fundamental changes have taken place in the post cease fire period. Of particular importance in this regard is the positive response recorded by the Catholic community towards government measures to tackle disadvantage and inequality. Equally significant is the protestant response to many of these measures which is often one of ambivalence rather than derision. In so far as the data appear to challenge the‘zero-sum'game that traditionally underpins relations between the two communities in Northern Ireland, they provide some grounds for optimism. Yet such optimism is tempered somewhat by the seeds of discontent which are manifest within the protestant community, particularly around issues of equality in employment and cultural traditions. Despite the more positive assessment of community relations and equality in 2002, it is argued that further monitoring will be required to determine the long-term effects of policy reform on relationships between the two communit
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)567-592
    Number of pages26
    JournalJournal of Terrorism and Political Violence
    Publication statusPublished - 2004

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