Deliberative Democracy in Northern Ireland: Opportunities and challenges for consensus in a consociational system

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Abstract

The 1998 Multiparty Agreement established a consociational system that contains within it an explicit dualism: unionist/nationalist, north and south of Ireland, and British and Irish. But although this formula has facilitated relatively stable and devolved governance, it is based on a distorted representation of a society in which there are much more complex divisions and, indeed, many common problems. Citizen-led efforts towards deliberative democracy since the 1980s have demonstrated both the will and the capacity for alternative, consensual political expressions. This chapter examines the challenges and opportunities facing these citizen-led initiatives in a political environment which, despite the significant decline in violence and terror, seems stubbornly resistant to the idea of broadening the various means of democratic participation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDemocratic Deliberation in Deeply Divided Societies: From Conflict to Common Ground
EditorsJuan Ugarizza, Didier Caluwaerts
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Pages11-34
Number of pages24
ISBN (Print)9781137357809
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014

Keywords

  • Democracy and Democratic Processes, Northern Ireland, Consociationalism, Consensus, National GovernmentPolitical Analysis, Conflict Resolution

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  • Cite this

    Hayward, K. (2014). Deliberative Democracy in Northern Ireland: Opportunities and challenges for consensus in a consociational system. In J. Ugarizza, & D. Caluwaerts (Eds.), Democratic Deliberation in Deeply Divided Societies: From Conflict to Common Ground (pp. 11-34). Palgrave Macmillan. http://www.palgrave.com/page/detail/democratic-deliberation-in-deeply-divided-societies-juan-ugarriza/?K=9781137357809