Lives, Landscapes and the Legacy of the Past

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Despite recent efforts to examine economic, social and cultural rights violations during and post-conflict, the issue of land has often been on the periphery of transitional justice debates. Indeed, in Northern Ireland, the issue of segregation and land ownership has been seen as a separate issue to broader ‘legacy’ issues, often being overshadowed by debates on victims’ rights to justice, truth and reparation. Focusing on the historic role that land and housing have played in Northern Ireland’s conflict and ongoing political breakdown and social disorder, this article seeks to correct this omission. Based on qualitative research with those on the receiving end of displacement and exile during the Northern Ireland conflict – including victims and survivors, planners and community leaders, this article develops a fourfold analysis of the relationship between violence,land, identity and dealing with the past in a transitional context. The following themes are explored: displacement, identity and uprootedness; displacement, place and space;displacement, victimhood and trauma; and displacement, redress and the past in the present. The conclusions are relevant for Northern Ireland and other transitional contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-148
JournalDealing with the Legacy of Conflict in Northern Ireland through Engagement & Dialogue
Publication statusPublished - 01 Mar 2021


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