The United States Department of State and Northern Ireland 2001 – 2007
: how the bureaucratic dynamics of an executive branch of the federal government affected American intervention in the peace process.

  • Richard Hargy

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This thesis offers a new analysis of the US State Department’s role as a third-party actor in foreign conflicts, using Northern Ireland as a case study. 2001 to 2007 was a critical time, not only for the Northern Ireland peace process but also internationally, with the aftermath of 9/11 and America’s response dominating events. It is within this context that I will examine the State Department’s organisational framework, determining how the sources and operations of decision-making authority affected Northern Ireland and impacted wider geopolitical events.

Richard Haass and Mitchell Reiss, as autonomous actors in the George W. Bush administration, were able to alter US intervention in Northern Ireland during this period. Their roles have not been fully appreciated. This subject and period have had limited scholarly scrutiny. There is little mention of either man in the published writings of some of the central players of the peace process. Moreover, there are few references to Northern Ireland in academic texts examining the foreign policy record of the George W. Bush presidency. This contrasts with those covering Bill Clinton.

The conceptual lenses of the Bureaucratic Politics Model are particularly suited in this context as I am probing substantial bureaucratic involvement in an area of US foreign policy where minimal Presidential input existed.

Thesis is embargoed until 31 July 2027.
Date of AwardJul 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Queen's University Belfast
SupervisorPeter McLoughlin (Supervisor) & Richard English (Supervisor)


  • United States
  • Northern Ireland
  • conflict
  • diplomacy

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