Intergovernmental relations and political parties in Northern Ireland

Derek Birrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Intergovernmental relations (IGR) as a political principle and a mechanism of governance have played a major and distinctive role in Northern Ireland's political and constitutional development. This distinctiveness is apparent in the interpretation and scope of IGR, in party representation in intergovernmental fora and in the meaning and context of party incongruence. This article seeks to analyse the development and nature of IGR since the restoration of devolved government in 1999 but particularly since 2007, in light of this distinctiveness. It sets out the wide range and nature of the processes and institutions of IGR involving the Northern Ireland government and its form of consociational representation. The article then examines how the different political parties have engaged in IGR.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)270-284
JournalBritish Journal of Politics and International Relations
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 May 2012


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