Probation Practice and Citizenship, Good Relations and the Emerging European Intercultural Agenda

Derick Wilson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Good Relations practice in the contested society of Northern Ireland demands that staff work to a mental model where people are seen as equal and different citizens rather than members of partisan traditions. This is a demanding personal and professional challenge aided by working to a value base of securing equity, valuing difference and promoting interdependence (Eyben et al. 1997) and the values underpinning A Shared Future (OFMDFM 2005). Building Good Relations between people from ‘different religious beliefs, political opinions and racial groups’ (NI Act 1998, Section 2) means that staff working for a public body need support in maintaining a critical distance from their personal traditions and the communities they serve if, professionally, they are to work towards a model of citizenship not partisanship.From 2003 to 2006 the Probation Board for Northern Ireland committed an across-grade development group of staff to consider how the service can support Good Relations and build a society based on ‘citizenship’. The Good Relations tasks of staff were understood to be to promote personal development and grow an ease with meeting difference within the agency and with clients (Wilson 2006).When present-day relationships, in both contested and secure societies, can so readily be dominated by fears of difference, we can no longer expect individuals and small groups to risk all to protect those different from them. It is now time to invite people in political life, civic life, faith, trade unions and public life to show ‘civic courage’ (Shriver 2005) and to build civic-minded organisations and public institutions that become blocks to the toleration of demeaning behaviours and establish Good Relations between our diverse citizens as an intercultural and citizenship-based necessity.The securing of an agreed law and order system, and the experience of being equal and different citizens under that law, are deeply intertwined (Wright 1987, 1996). It is imperative that criminal justice agencies see the goals of wider Good Relations and delivering a service to different citizens as central to their practice.
    LanguageEnglish
    Pages46-62
    JournalIrish Probation Journal
    Volume4
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2007

    Fingerprint

    probation
    citizenship
    citizen
    staff
    political opinion
    law and order
    public institution
    trade union
    interdependence
    small group
    faith
    Values
    equity
    Group
    justice
    act
    anxiety
    Law
    present
    society

    Keywords

    • Good Relations
    • citizenship
    • sectarianism
    • racism
    • organisational learning
    • interculturalism
    • equity
    • diversity
    • interdependence
    • equality.

    Cite this

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    title = "Probation Practice and Citizenship, Good Relations and the Emerging European Intercultural Agenda",
    abstract = "Good Relations practice in the contested society of Northern Ireland demands that staff work to a mental model where people are seen as equal and different citizens rather than members of partisan traditions. This is a demanding personal and professional challenge aided by working to a value base of securing equity, valuing difference and promoting interdependence (Eyben et al. 1997) and the values underpinning A Shared Future (OFMDFM 2005). Building Good Relations between people from ‘different religious beliefs, political opinions and racial groups’ (NI Act 1998, Section 2) means that staff working for a public body need support in maintaining a critical distance from their personal traditions and the communities they serve if, professionally, they are to work towards a model of citizenship not partisanship.From 2003 to 2006 the Probation Board for Northern Ireland committed an across-grade development group of staff to consider how the service can support Good Relations and build a society based on ‘citizenship’. The Good Relations tasks of staff were understood to be to promote personal development and grow an ease with meeting difference within the agency and with clients (Wilson 2006).When present-day relationships, in both contested and secure societies, can so readily be dominated by fears of difference, we can no longer expect individuals and small groups to risk all to protect those different from them. It is now time to invite people in political life, civic life, faith, trade unions and public life to show ‘civic courage’ (Shriver 2005) and to build civic-minded organisations and public institutions that become blocks to the toleration of demeaning behaviours and establish Good Relations between our diverse citizens as an intercultural and citizenship-based necessity.The securing of an agreed law and order system, and the experience of being equal and different citizens under that law, are deeply intertwined (Wright 1987, 1996). It is imperative that criminal justice agencies see the goals of wider Good Relations and delivering a service to different citizens as central to their practice.",
    keywords = "Good Relations, citizenship, sectarianism, racism, organisational learning, interculturalism, equity, diversity, interdependence, equality.",
    author = "Derick Wilson",
    note = "Available freely on Irish Probation Journal Website http://www.probation.ie/pws/websitepublishing.nsf Reference text: Byrne, J., Hansson, U. and Bell, J. (2006), Shared Living: Mixed Residential Communities in Northern Ireland, Belfast: Institute for Conflict Research Eyben, K. Keys, L., Morrow, D. and Wilson, D. A. (2002), ‘Learning Beyond Fear: New Events Seeking New Habits’, Reflections, vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 42–51 Eyben, K., Morrow, D. and Wilson, D. A. (1997), A Worthwhile Venture: Practically Investing in Equity, Diversity and Interdependence in Northern Ireland, Coleraine: University of Ulster Fitzduff, M. (1989), ‘From Ritual to Consciousness’, D.Phil. thesis, University of Ulster Girard, R. (1977), Violence and the Sacred, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Girard, R. (1978), To Double Business Bound, Essays on Literature, Mimesis and Anthropology, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins ICR (2005), Hate Crime Project, A project for the Equality Directorate of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister. This involved studies of racist, homophobic and sectarian violence and harassment, Belfast: Institute of Conflict Research Jarman, N., Keys, L., Pearce, J. and Wilson, D. A. (2005), Community Cohesion: Applying Learning from Groundwork in Northern Ireland, London: Groundwork UK Lorenz, W. (1994), Social Work in a Changing Europe, London: Routledge Morrissey, M. ( 2006), ‘Some Thoughts on a Good Relations Plan for Belfast’, unpublished consultation paper for Belfast City Council’s Good Relations Steering Panel Morrow, D., Eyben, K., Keys, L. and Wilson, D. A. (2002), ‘Future Ways Submission on Community Relations Policy’, submitted to the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister, Belfast Niebuhr, R. (1952), The Irony of American History, New York: Charles Scribner &Sons OFMDFM (2005), A Shared Future, Belfast: Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister. OFMDFM (2006) A Racial Equality Strategy for Northern Ireland, Belfast: Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister Ouseley, H. (2001), Community Pride not Prejudice, Making Diversity Work in Bradford, Bradford: Bradford Vision Senge, P. (1994), The Fifth Discipline, London: Nicholas Brealey Shriver, D. (2005), Honest Patriots, London: Oxford University Press Sondhi, R. (2006), ‘Interculturality’, unpublished formal response at the launch of the Race Equality Strategy by the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister, Grosvenor Hall, Belfast, March Watt, P. and McGaughey, F. (2006), Public Authorities and Minority Ethnic Groups – Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Scotland, Belfast: NCCRI and Institute of Conflict Research Wilson, D. A. (1994), ‘Learning Together for a Change’, D.Phil. thesis, School of Education, University of Ulster Wilson, D. A. (2005), ‘The Practice of Good Relations’, a talk to Belfast City Council, available online at: www.community-relations.org.uk/about_the_council/background_info/good_relations/ Wilson, D. A. (2006), ‘Good Relations and Probation: An Outline of a developmental Initiative by the Probation Board for Northern Ireland’, Irish Probation Journal, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 56–70 Wilson, D. A. and Morrow, D. J. (1996), Ways Out of Conflict, Belfast: Corrymeela Press Wilson, D. A. and Tyrell, J. (1995), ‘Institutions for Conciliation and Mediation’, in Dunn, S, (ed), Facets of the Conflict in Northern Ireland: London: Macmillan Press Wright, F. (1987), Northern Ireland: A Comparative Analysis, Dublin: Gill & Macmillan Wright, F. (1988), ‘Reconciling the Histories of Catholic and Protestant in Northern Ireland’, in A. Falconer and J. Liechty (eds), Reconciling Memories, Dublin: Columba Press Wright, F. (1996), Two Lands on One Soil, Dublin: Gill & Macmillan and The Understanding Conflict Trust",
    year = "2007",
    month = "9",
    language = "English",
    volume = "4",
    pages = "46--62",
    journal = "Irish Probation Journal",
    issn = "1649-6396",
    number = "1",

    }

    Probation Practice and Citizenship, Good Relations and the Emerging European Intercultural Agenda. / Wilson, Derick.

    In: Irish Probation Journal, Vol. 4, No. 1, 09.2007, p. 46-62.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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