This paper examines the potential of international actors to contribute to conflict resolution by analysing the evolving role of the European Union (EU) in embedding Northern Ireland's peace process. Scrutiny of the EU's approach to conflict resolution in Northern Ireland offers useful insights into the scope and potential of soft power for facilitating behavioural change from governmental to grass-roots levels. This paper traces the development of the EU's approach to conflict resolution in Northern Ireland from one concentrated on encouraging state-level agreement, to nurturing peace through multilevel funding, through now to consolidating the peace by facilitating regional-level empowerment. The core argument is that, in sum, the most critical element of the EU's contribution to peace in Northern Ireland has been, quite simply, that of enduring commitment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Political Science and International Relations
- Cultural Studies