The Northern Ireland conflict has been described as one of the most over-researched conflicts in the world. However, this is a relatively recent development. For many years, when the conflict was most intense, social scientists in Northern Ireland were silent and not vocal. The sectarian violence that dominated the life in Northern Ireland as well as the fact that the country was a fundamentally unjust society contributed to this silence. However, since the peace process began in the mid 1990s, a growing number of qualitative studies have been published, utilising one-to-one interviews and focus group discussions, in order to "make people's voices heard" and deal with the consequences of the so-called "Troubles". This paper looks into the emergence of a qualitative social research landscape in Northern Ireland beyond the conflict and explores issues so far neglected. It is argued that a number of factors have contributed to this, among them the availability of research funding to voluntary and community sector organisations that use their data to influence policy-making and equality legislation in a country which is still deeply divided along socio-religious lines.
|Journal||Forum: Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 2005|