Identity and Conflict in Northern Ireland

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


For almost 30 years, Northern Ireland society was torn apart by a conflict based along competing ethno-religious lines. The signing of the Good Friday (Belfast) Agreement in 1998, however, promised a peace process that would bring an end to the militancy of previous decades and the establishment of new political arrangements that would see the competing groupings of Irish Nationalism and Ulster Unionism share power in a devolved Northern Ireland assembly. Despite much progress in the 20 years since the Agreement, many problems remain, and often bitter sectarian tensions continue to blight Northern Irish society and block progress toward full implementation of both the Good Friday Agreement and the subsequent St Andrews Agreement of 2007. This chapter will examine the nature of these ongoing divisions and highlight the role that competing identities have come to play in maintaining a sectarian divide since 1998. Arguing that Northern Ireland has yet to confront a legacy of “Othering” between the two conflicting communities, it will be stressed that much work remains to be done to fulfill the promise and optimism of 1998 and to create a Northern Ireland at peace with its diversity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Ethnicity
EditorsSteven Ratuva
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages1
ISBN (Electronic)978-981-13-0242-8
Publication statusEarly online date - 31 Jan 2019


  • Northern Ireland
  • Othering
  • Peace Process
  • Reconciliation
  • Identity
  • Sectarianism


Dive into the research topics of 'Identity and Conflict in Northern Ireland'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this