Circle of friends: unravelling the networks of peacebuilding in Northern Ireland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ridding societies of the scourge of violence is a primary concern for practitioners, funders and observers of peace processes. Addressing, in a comprehensive way, segregation, division and deep-seated mistrust requires targeted and penetrating application of models of change in terms of the structural and relationship bases of conflict. Predicated on the interwoven relationships that bind macro, meso and micro actors to the common purpose of building peace we argue that the fruitfulness of relationships serves to create enterprise, employment and activity yet the consequence of peacebuilding remains ambiguous. We contend that the withdrawal of the macro level – international donors – from the Northern Ireland context has prompted concerns that are both new-fangled and problematic: the tools, language and instruments of peacebuilding are being redressed to fit a context which is characterised by the persistence of conflict dynamics coupled with a vast reduction in funding for the community and voluntary sector peacebuilders.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-63
Issue number1
Early online date14 Feb 2014
Publication statusPublished online - 14 Feb 2014


  • peacebuilding
  • Northern Ireland
  • post-conflict
  • funding
  • competition
  • gatekeepers


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