Reconciliation and After in Northern Ireland: The Search for a Political Order in an Ethnically Divided Society

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Since Westphalia, territoriality has been a critical element in the political management of violence. Where legitimacy was contested, as in the area that became Northern Ireland, territorial disputes often escalated into significant violence. The importance to human futures of controlling violence is the central theme of the work of Rene Girard. This article explores the implications of Girardian thinking for understanding both the escalation of violence in Northern Ireland after the 1960s and efforts to escape the dictates of territoriality in the peace that followed. In particular, it explores the concept of reconciliation and its application amidst endemic political rivalry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-117
JournalNationalism and Ethnic Politics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2017



  • Ethnic Groups
  • Nationalism
  • Northern Ireland
  • Girard

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