The article surveys the interrupted experience of devolution in Northern Ireland since 1999 and draws a number of comparisons between the first devolved Assembly and Executive and their successors elected in 2007. It underlines the significance of the changed political, electoral and paramilitary context in the period leading up to the 2007 Assembly election which, together with a number of procedural changes effected by the 2006 St Andrews Agreement, enabled the restoration of power-sharing devolution to occur. Against the background of its legislative and policy record and the wider altered state of Northern Ireland, it concludes that the contrived consociational model of governance can work, up to a point, but perhaps as much because of the politics of constraint than consociationalism's much vaunted promise to reflect and engender the politics of accommodation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science