Northern Ireland

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary


Northern Ireland has been considered a conflict-resolution success story. The 1998 Belfast/Good Friday Agreement provided a framework for managing a long-standing ethnonational conflict, and has ushered in relative political stability. The consociational features of the Northern Ireland Assembly can be seen either as necessary for managing conflict or as institutionalizing sectarianism so that politics along left–right lines cannot emerge. Although there is evidence for the development of a “Northern Irish” identity to counter competing British and Irish identities, Northern Ireland is a long way from transcending the sectarian structures that shape almost all aspects of social and political life. Northern Ireland remains segregated along religious lines and is also prone to tensions around the anniversaries of atrocities and the public use of symbols and rituals. The failure to systematically “deal with the past” through public information recovery and truth-telling mechanisms also seems to have hindered progress toward reconciliation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity and Nationalism
EditorsJohn Stone, Rutledge M. Dennis, Polly Rizova, Anthony D. Smith, Xiaoshuo Hou
ISBN (Electronic)9781118663202
ISBN (Print)9781405189781
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016


  • conflict;reconciliation;religion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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