The British government has a fraught relationship with former combatants in Northern Ireland. It simultaneously benefits from former combatants’ peace-building efforts, whilst denying them statutory recognition and funding. Drawing on interviews and focus groups with politically motivated former loyalist combatants and statutory representatives in Belfast, this paper explores the complex and sometimes contradictory relationship between them. It argues that that a lack of legitimacy is the biggest obstacle to good working relationships, and that positive engagement may be crucial in order to promote the implementation of peace in the most difficult to reach and volatile constituencies in Northern Ireland.
|Number of pages||19|
|Journal||Irish Political Studies|
|Publication status||Published - 2008|