Peacebuilding and Covid in Northern Ireland

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Although attention on peace in Northern Ireland often focuses on negotiations, power sharing and(dis)agreements at a political level, some of the most difficult and critical processes of building peace occurs at a societal and interpersonal level through sustained work to build and maintain relationships between individuals and communities. This work, which is often variably labelled peacebuilding, reconciliation, and/or community relations work, is dispersed, varied and much of it is undertaken within the community and voluntary sector. It comprises different methods and activities, engages different demographics, and is orientated towards a range of specific objectives, however the core of this work lies in bringing people together, whether within social groups or across communal divides, to address the direct and/or indirect legacies of conflict and to build relationships and transform conditions to develop a stable, sustainable peace. This report outlines the findings of a study examining how organisations engaged in peacebuilding work responded and adapted to the immediate impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic on their ability to ‘bring people together’. The study also examined the structures and constraints which impacted their responses, and participants’ early reflections on the impacts of this period on peacebuilding and community relations in the shorter and longer term
Original languageEnglish
PublisherSchool of Social Sciences Education and Social Work, Queen's University Belfast
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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