This article examines the role of ‘constructive ambiguity’ in the 1998 Belfast Agreement and in its implementation, and demonstrates how it offers a particularly illuminating lens for analysing the persistence and then conclusion of political instability during the years 1998–2007. It begins with a description of what constructive ambiguity is and how it works. After outlining how constructive ambiguity featured in the Agreement, it then explores the manner in which the main political parties fashioned constructively ambiguous implementation strategies in response to the ambiguities of the post‐Agreement context. The conclusion discusses the legacy of constructive ambiguity in Northern Ireland, noting how it has aided political progress whilst being unhelpful to the improvement of inter‐communal relationships.
|Journal||Irish Political Studies|
|Publication status||Published (in print/issue) - 1 Sept 2009|