Claims of labour market discrimination against Catholics run to the heart of the Northern Ireland conflict. This paper assesses British Government led moves to promote fair employment in the region. It argues that initial policies to promote labour market balance were weak and ineffectual but that since 1989 a meaningful anti-discrimination institutional regime has been put in place. However, underlying economic and social conditions are not favourable to a big institutional push toward fair employment. Thus the quest to end Catholic disadvantage in the labour market is caught between a positive institutional regime and negative ground level circumstances. The paper concludes that the unpredictable outcome of this tension will be better managed in conditions of peace.
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ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Economics and Econometrics