Sport for peace in Northern Ireland? Civil society, change and constraint after the 1998 Good Friday Agreement

David Mitchell, Ian Somerville, Owen Hargie

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    2 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Using the case of Northern Ireland, this article examines how post-conflict transition impacts sports organisations which have traditionally underpinned societal division, and what factors facilitate or restrain such organisations fulfilling peacebuilding functions. The article identifies three peacebuilding functions of sport: in-group socialisation, promoting social cohesion, and symbolically representing new identities. Then, after outlining the sporting and political context in Northern Ireland, the article explores changes within the sporting environment stemming from the peace process as well as persistent socio-political barriers to sport’s capacity to encourage reconciliation and integration, especially symbolic contestation and territorial segregation. The analysis draws on a public attitudes survey (n = 1210) conducted by the authors as part of a major government-funded study. The findings demonstrate the potential of the three peacebuilding functions of sport, yet also, crucially, the constraints imposed by the distinct and divided political context. Avenues for further and comparative research are identified.
    LanguageEnglish
    JournalBritish Journal of Politics and International Relations
    VolumeOnline
    Early online date6 Jul 2016
    DOIs
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Jul 2016

    Fingerprint

    civil society
    sport
    peace
    Sports
    peace process
    public attitude
    Socialisation
    comparative research
    social cohesion
    cohesion
    reconciliation
    segregation
    Group

    Keywords

    • Sport
    • peacebuilding
    • Northern Ireland
    • civil society
    • civil conflict

    Cite this

    @article{bedd11f78f034d22b7d1c150b5e4fafa,
    title = "Sport for peace in Northern Ireland? Civil society, change and constraint after the 1998 Good Friday Agreement",
    abstract = "Using the case of Northern Ireland, this article examines how post-conflict transition impacts sports organisations which have traditionally underpinned societal division, and what factors facilitate or restrain such organisations fulfilling peacebuilding functions. The article identifies three peacebuilding functions of sport: in-group socialisation, promoting social cohesion, and symbolically representing new identities. Then, after outlining the sporting and political context in Northern Ireland, the article explores changes within the sporting environment stemming from the peace process as well as persistent socio-political barriers to sport’s capacity to encourage reconciliation and integration, especially symbolic contestation and territorial segregation. The analysis draws on a public attitudes survey (n = 1210) conducted by the authors as part of a major government-funded study. The findings demonstrate the potential of the three peacebuilding functions of sport, yet also, crucially, the constraints imposed by the distinct and divided political context. Avenues for further and comparative research are identified.",
    keywords = "Sport, peacebuilding, Northern Ireland, civil society, civil conflict",
    author = "David Mitchell and Ian Somerville and Owen Hargie",
    note = "Reference text: Allport, G. (1954) The Nature of Predjudice. (Cambridge: Perseus Books). Bairner, A. (1999) ‘Soccer, masculinity and violence in Northern Ireland: between hooliganism and terrorism’, Men and Masculinities, 1:3, 284-301. Bairner, A. (2013) Sport, the Northern Ireland peace process, and the politics of identity’, Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, 5:4, 220-229. Belfast Telegraph (2012) GAA and IFA partnership boost. Available at: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/sport/gaa/gaa-and-ifa-partnership-boost-16147807.html [accessed 29 January 2013]. Belloni, R. (2008) ‘Civil society in war-to-democracy transitions’, in A. K. Jarstad and T. D. Sisk (eds.), From War to Democracy: Dilemmas of Peacebuilding (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), 182-210. Brewer, J. (2010) Peace Processes: A Sociological Approach (Cambridge: Polity). Brewer, J., G. Higgins and F. Teeney (2011) Religion, Civil Society and Peace in Northern Ireland (Oxford: Oxford University Press). British Broadcasting Corporation (2011) ‘Caral Ni Chuilin attends NI match at Windsor Park’, BBC News website. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-14466874. Byrne, J., C. Gormley-Heenan and G. Robinson (2012) Attitudes to Peace Walls: Research Report to Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister, ARK website. Available at: http://www.ark.ac.uk/peacewalls2012/peacewalls2012.pdf. Byrne, S. (2001) ‘Consociational and civic society approaches to peacebuilding in Northern Ireland’, Journal of Peace Research, 38:3, 327-352. C{\'a}rdenas, A. (2012) ‘Exploring the use of sports for peacebuilding and conflict resolution’, Working Paper Series no. 1. Archbishop Desmond Tutu Centre for War and Peace Studies, Liverpool Hope University. Available at: http://tutu.hope.ac.uk/media/liverpoolhope/contentassets/documents/desmondtutucentre/media,10802,en.pdf. Chambers, S. and J. Kopstein (2001) ‘Bad civil society’, Political Theory, 29:6, 837-865. Clerkin, M. (2015) ‘Ireland’s Call: standing tall for twenty years’, Irish Times website, 31 January. Available at: http://www.irishtimes.com/sport/rugby/ireland-s-call-standing-tall-for-20-years-1.2085759. Cochrane, F. (2013) Northern Ireland: The Reluctant Peace (New Haven: Yale University Press). Cronin, M. (2001) ‘Catholics and sport in Northern Ireland: exclusiveness or inclusiveness?’, International Sports Studies, 20:1, 25-41. Darby, J. (2008) ‘Borrowing and lending in peace processes’, in J. Darby and R. Mac Ginty (eds.), Contemporary Peacemaking (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan), 339-351. Darby, J and R. Mac Ginty (2000) ‘Conclusion: the management of peace’ in J. Darby and R. Mac Ginty (eds.), The Management of Peace Processes (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan), 228-261. 26 Darnell, S. (2012) Sport for Development and Peace: A Critical Sociology (London: Bloomsbury Academic). Dorokhina, O., M. Hosta and J. van Sterkenburg (2011) Targeting Social Cohesion in Post-Conflict Societies Through Sport. Council of Europe. Available at: http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/epas/Publications/publications_collection_handbook_en.asp. Gasser, P. and A. Levinson (2004) ‘Breaking post-war ice: Open Fun Football Schools in Bosnia and Herzegovina’, Sport in Society, 7:3, 467-472. Giullianotti, R. (2012) ‘The Sport for Development and Peace sector: an analysis of its emergence, key institutions and social possibilities’, Brown Journal of World Affairs, 18:11, 279-293. Giulianotti, R. (2011) ‘Sport, peacemaking and conflict resolution: a contextual analysis and modelling of the Sport, Development and Peace sector’, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 34, 207-228. Guelke, A. (2012) Politics in Deeply Divided Societies (Cambridge: Polity). Hargie, O, I. Somerville and D. Mitchell (2015) Sport and Social Exclusion in Northern Ireland: A Report of Research Funded by the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister (Belfast: Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister). Hassan, D. (2002) ‘A people apart: soccer, identity and Irish nationalists in Northern Ireland’, Soccer and Society, 3:4, 65-83. Hassan, D. (2005) ‘The GAA, Rule 21 and police reform in Northern Ireland’, Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 29:1, 60-78. Hassan, D. and P. O’Kane (2012) ‘Terrorism and the abnormality of sport in Northern Ireland’, International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 47:3, 397-413. Hassan, D. and R. Telford (2014) ‘Sport and community integration in Northern Ireland’, Sport in Society, 17:1, 89-101. Higson, R. (2008) ‘Anti-consociationalism and the Good Friday Agreement: a rejoinder’, Journal of Peace, Conflict and Development, 12. Available at: http://www.brad.ac.uk/ssis/peace-conflict-and-development/issue-12/Anti-consociationalism-and-the-Good-Friday-Agreement,-A-Rejoinder.pdf. H{\"o}glund, K. and R. Sundberg (2008) ‘Reconciliation through sports? The case of South Africa’, Third World Quarterly, 29:4, 805–818. 27 Keim, M. (2003) Nation-Building at Play – Sport as a Tool for Social Integration in Post-Apartheid South Africa (Aachen: Meyer and Meyer). Kidd, B. (2008) ‘A new social movement: sport for development and peace’. Sport in Society, 11:4, 370–380. Lederach, J.P. (1997) Building Peace: Sustainable Reconciliation in Divided Societies (Washington D. C.: United States Institute of Peace). Liechty, J. and C. Clegg (2001) Moving Beyond Sectarianism: Religion, Conflict and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland (Dublin: Columba). Lijphart, A. (1977) Democracy in Plural Societies: A Comparative Exploration (New Haven: Yale University Press). Mac Ginty, R. (2011) International Peacebuilding and Local Resistance: Hybrid Forms of Peace (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan). McClancy, J. (1996) Sport, Identity and Ethnicity (Oxford: Berg). McCall, C. (2006) ‘From “long war” to “war of the lilies”: “post-conflict” territorial compromise and the return of cultural politics’, in M. Cox, A. Guelke and F. Stephen (eds.), A Farewell to Arms?: Beyond the Good Friday Agreement, second edition (Manchester: Manchester University Press), 302-316. McGarry, J. and B. O’Leary (1993) The Politics of Antagonism: Understanding Northern Ireland (London: Athlone Press). McGarry, J. and B. O’Leary (2009) ‘Power shared after the deaths of thousands’, in R. Taylor (ed.), Consociational Theory: McGarry and O’Leary and the Northern Ireland Conflict. (Abingdon: Routledge), 15-84. Mallon, S. (2013) Attendance at Live Sports Events by Adults in Northern Ireland. Department for Culture Arts and Leisure. Available at: https://www.communities-ni.gov.uk/sites/default/files/publications/dcal/attendance-at-live-sports-events-by-adults-in-northern-ireland-201112_0.pdf [accessed 31 January 2015] Merkel, U. (2008) ‘The politics of sport diplomacy and reunification in divided Korea: one nation, two countries and three flags’, International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 43:3, 289-311. Mitchell, D. (2015) Politics and Peace in Northern Ireland: Political Parties and the Implementation of the 1998 Agreement (Manchester: Manchester University Press). 28 Nolan, P. (2014) Northern Ireland Peace Monitoring Report: Number Three. Community Relations Council. Available at: http://www.community-relations.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Peace-Monitoring-Report-2014.pdf. Nolan, P., D. Bryan, C. Dwyer, K. Hayward, K. Radford and P. Shirlow (2014) The Flag Dispute: Anatomy of a Protest (Belfast: Queen’s University). Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister (2013) Together: Building a United Community. Available at: https://www.executiveoffice-ni.gov.uk/sites/default/files/publications/ofmdfm_dev/together-building-a-united-community-strategy.pdf [accessed 20 June 2016]. . Paffenholz, T. (2014) ‘International peacebuilding goes local: analysing Lederach’s conflict transformation theory and its ambivalent encounter with 20 years of practice’, Peacebuilding, 2:1, 11-27. Paffenholz, T. (ed.) (2010) Civil Society and Peacebuilding: A Critical Assessment (Boulder: Lynne Reiner). Paffenholz, T. and C. Spurk (2010) ‘A comprehensive analytical framework’, in T. Paffenholz (ed.), Civil Society and Peacebuilding: A Critical Assessment (Boulder: Lynne Reiner), 65-78. Paris, R. (2004) At War’s End: Building Peace After Civil Conflict (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Parry, J. (2012) ‘The power of sport in peacemaking and peacekeeping’, Sport in Society, 15:6, 775-787. Putnam R (2000) Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. (New York: Simon and Schuster). Reiche, D. (2011) ‘War minus the shooting? The politics of sport in Lebanon as a unique case in comparative politics’, in Third World Quarterly, 32:2, 261-277. Ruane, J. and J. Todd (1996) The Dynamics of Conflict in Northern Ireland: Power, Conflict, and Emancipation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Spurk, C. (2010) ‘Understanding civil society’, in T. Paffenholz (ed.), Civil Society and Peacebuilding: A Critical Assessment (Boulder: Lynne Reiner), 2-28. Sugden, J. and A. Bairner (1993) Sport and Sectarianism in a Divided Ireland (Leicester: Leicester University Press). 29 Sugden, J. and A. Bairner (eds.) (2000) Sport in Divided Societies (Aachen: Meyer and Meyer). Sugden, J. (2010) ‘Critical left-realism and sport interventions in divided societies’, International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 45:3, 258-272. Taylor, R. (2009) ‘The injustice of a consociational solution to the Northern Ireland problem’, in R. Taylor (ed.), Consociational Theory: McGarry and O’Leary and the Northern Ireland Conflict (Abingdon: Routledge), 309-330. Tonge, Jonathan (2014) Comparative Peace Processes (Cambridge: Polity). Tuohey, B. and B. Cognato (2011) ‘Peace Players International: a case study on the use of sport as a tool for conflict transformation’, SAIS Review, 31:1, 51-63. Varshney, A. (2001) ‘Ethnic conflict and civil society: India and beyond’, World Politics, 53:3, 362-398. Wilson, R. (2005) Football for All: a baseline study. CAIN Web Service. Available at: http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/issues/sport/docs/wilson1205.pdf. Wilson, R. (2010) The Northern Ireland Experience of Conflict and Agreement: A Model for Export? (Manchester: Manchester University Press). Wilson, Robin (2011) Evaluating Football for All. Belfast: Irish Football Association. Wood, S. (2013) ‘Football after Yugoslavia: conflict, reconciliation and the regional football league debate’, Sport in Society, 16: 8, 1077-1090.",
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    Sport for peace in Northern Ireland? Civil society, change and constraint after the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. / Mitchell, David; Somerville, Ian; Hargie, Owen.

    In: British Journal of Politics and International Relations, Vol. Online, 06.07.2016.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Sport for peace in Northern Ireland? Civil society, change and constraint after the 1998 Good Friday Agreement

    AU - Mitchell, David

    AU - Somerville, Ian

    AU - Hargie, Owen

    N1 - Reference text: Allport, G. (1954) The Nature of Predjudice. (Cambridge: Perseus Books). Bairner, A. (1999) ‘Soccer, masculinity and violence in Northern Ireland: between hooliganism and terrorism’, Men and Masculinities, 1:3, 284-301. Bairner, A. (2013) Sport, the Northern Ireland peace process, and the politics of identity’, Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, 5:4, 220-229. Belfast Telegraph (2012) GAA and IFA partnership boost. Available at: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/sport/gaa/gaa-and-ifa-partnership-boost-16147807.html [accessed 29 January 2013]. Belloni, R. (2008) ‘Civil society in war-to-democracy transitions’, in A. K. Jarstad and T. D. Sisk (eds.), From War to Democracy: Dilemmas of Peacebuilding (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), 182-210. Brewer, J. (2010) Peace Processes: A Sociological Approach (Cambridge: Polity). Brewer, J., G. Higgins and F. Teeney (2011) Religion, Civil Society and Peace in Northern Ireland (Oxford: Oxford University Press). British Broadcasting Corporation (2011) ‘Caral Ni Chuilin attends NI match at Windsor Park’, BBC News website. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-14466874. Byrne, J., C. Gormley-Heenan and G. Robinson (2012) Attitudes to Peace Walls: Research Report to Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister, ARK website. Available at: http://www.ark.ac.uk/peacewalls2012/peacewalls2012.pdf. Byrne, S. (2001) ‘Consociational and civic society approaches to peacebuilding in Northern Ireland’, Journal of Peace Research, 38:3, 327-352. Cárdenas, A. (2012) ‘Exploring the use of sports for peacebuilding and conflict resolution’, Working Paper Series no. 1. Archbishop Desmond Tutu Centre for War and Peace Studies, Liverpool Hope University. Available at: http://tutu.hope.ac.uk/media/liverpoolhope/contentassets/documents/desmondtutucentre/media,10802,en.pdf. Chambers, S. and J. Kopstein (2001) ‘Bad civil society’, Political Theory, 29:6, 837-865. Clerkin, M. (2015) ‘Ireland’s Call: standing tall for twenty years’, Irish Times website, 31 January. Available at: http://www.irishtimes.com/sport/rugby/ireland-s-call-standing-tall-for-20-years-1.2085759. Cochrane, F. (2013) Northern Ireland: The Reluctant Peace (New Haven: Yale University Press). Cronin, M. (2001) ‘Catholics and sport in Northern Ireland: exclusiveness or inclusiveness?’, International Sports Studies, 20:1, 25-41. Darby, J. (2008) ‘Borrowing and lending in peace processes’, in J. Darby and R. Mac Ginty (eds.), Contemporary Peacemaking (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan), 339-351. Darby, J and R. Mac Ginty (2000) ‘Conclusion: the management of peace’ in J. Darby and R. Mac Ginty (eds.), The Management of Peace Processes (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan), 228-261. 26 Darnell, S. (2012) Sport for Development and Peace: A Critical Sociology (London: Bloomsbury Academic). Dorokhina, O., M. Hosta and J. van Sterkenburg (2011) Targeting Social Cohesion in Post-Conflict Societies Through Sport. Council of Europe. Available at: http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/epas/Publications/publications_collection_handbook_en.asp. Gasser, P. and A. Levinson (2004) ‘Breaking post-war ice: Open Fun Football Schools in Bosnia and Herzegovina’, Sport in Society, 7:3, 467-472. Giullianotti, R. (2012) ‘The Sport for Development and Peace sector: an analysis of its emergence, key institutions and social possibilities’, Brown Journal of World Affairs, 18:11, 279-293. Giulianotti, R. (2011) ‘Sport, peacemaking and conflict resolution: a contextual analysis and modelling of the Sport, Development and Peace sector’, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 34, 207-228. Guelke, A. (2012) Politics in Deeply Divided Societies (Cambridge: Polity). Hargie, O, I. Somerville and D. Mitchell (2015) Sport and Social Exclusion in Northern Ireland: A Report of Research Funded by the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister (Belfast: Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister). Hassan, D. (2002) ‘A people apart: soccer, identity and Irish nationalists in Northern Ireland’, Soccer and Society, 3:4, 65-83. Hassan, D. (2005) ‘The GAA, Rule 21 and police reform in Northern Ireland’, Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 29:1, 60-78. Hassan, D. and P. O’Kane (2012) ‘Terrorism and the abnormality of sport in Northern Ireland’, International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 47:3, 397-413. Hassan, D. and R. Telford (2014) ‘Sport and community integration in Northern Ireland’, Sport in Society, 17:1, 89-101. Higson, R. (2008) ‘Anti-consociationalism and the Good Friday Agreement: a rejoinder’, Journal of Peace, Conflict and Development, 12. Available at: http://www.brad.ac.uk/ssis/peace-conflict-and-development/issue-12/Anti-consociationalism-and-the-Good-Friday-Agreement,-A-Rejoinder.pdf. Höglund, K. and R. Sundberg (2008) ‘Reconciliation through sports? The case of South Africa’, Third World Quarterly, 29:4, 805–818. 27 Keim, M. (2003) Nation-Building at Play – Sport as a Tool for Social Integration in Post-Apartheid South Africa (Aachen: Meyer and Meyer). Kidd, B. (2008) ‘A new social movement: sport for development and peace’. Sport in Society, 11:4, 370–380. Lederach, J.P. (1997) Building Peace: Sustainable Reconciliation in Divided Societies (Washington D. C.: United States Institute of Peace). Liechty, J. and C. Clegg (2001) Moving Beyond Sectarianism: Religion, Conflict and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland (Dublin: Columba). Lijphart, A. (1977) Democracy in Plural Societies: A Comparative Exploration (New Haven: Yale University Press). Mac Ginty, R. (2011) International Peacebuilding and Local Resistance: Hybrid Forms of Peace (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan). McClancy, J. (1996) Sport, Identity and Ethnicity (Oxford: Berg). McCall, C. (2006) ‘From “long war” to “war of the lilies”: “post-conflict” territorial compromise and the return of cultural politics’, in M. Cox, A. Guelke and F. Stephen (eds.), A Farewell to Arms?: Beyond the Good Friday Agreement, second edition (Manchester: Manchester University Press), 302-316. McGarry, J. and B. O’Leary (1993) The Politics of Antagonism: Understanding Northern Ireland (London: Athlone Press). McGarry, J. and B. O’Leary (2009) ‘Power shared after the deaths of thousands’, in R. Taylor (ed.), Consociational Theory: McGarry and O’Leary and the Northern Ireland Conflict. (Abingdon: Routledge), 15-84. Mallon, S. (2013) Attendance at Live Sports Events by Adults in Northern Ireland. Department for Culture Arts and Leisure. Available at: https://www.communities-ni.gov.uk/sites/default/files/publications/dcal/attendance-at-live-sports-events-by-adults-in-northern-ireland-201112_0.pdf [accessed 31 January 2015] Merkel, U. (2008) ‘The politics of sport diplomacy and reunification in divided Korea: one nation, two countries and three flags’, International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 43:3, 289-311. Mitchell, D. (2015) Politics and Peace in Northern Ireland: Political Parties and the Implementation of the 1998 Agreement (Manchester: Manchester University Press). 28 Nolan, P. (2014) Northern Ireland Peace Monitoring Report: Number Three. Community Relations Council. Available at: http://www.community-relations.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Peace-Monitoring-Report-2014.pdf. Nolan, P., D. Bryan, C. Dwyer, K. Hayward, K. Radford and P. Shirlow (2014) The Flag Dispute: Anatomy of a Protest (Belfast: Queen’s University). Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister (2013) Together: Building a United Community. Available at: https://www.executiveoffice-ni.gov.uk/sites/default/files/publications/ofmdfm_dev/together-building-a-united-community-strategy.pdf [accessed 20 June 2016]. . Paffenholz, T. (2014) ‘International peacebuilding goes local: analysing Lederach’s conflict transformation theory and its ambivalent encounter with 20 years of practice’, Peacebuilding, 2:1, 11-27. Paffenholz, T. (ed.) (2010) Civil Society and Peacebuilding: A Critical Assessment (Boulder: Lynne Reiner). Paffenholz, T. and C. Spurk (2010) ‘A comprehensive analytical framework’, in T. Paffenholz (ed.), Civil Society and Peacebuilding: A Critical Assessment (Boulder: Lynne Reiner), 65-78. Paris, R. (2004) At War’s End: Building Peace After Civil Conflict (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Parry, J. (2012) ‘The power of sport in peacemaking and peacekeeping’, Sport in Society, 15:6, 775-787. Putnam R (2000) Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. (New York: Simon and Schuster). Reiche, D. (2011) ‘War minus the shooting? The politics of sport in Lebanon as a unique case in comparative politics’, in Third World Quarterly, 32:2, 261-277. Ruane, J. and J. Todd (1996) The Dynamics of Conflict in Northern Ireland: Power, Conflict, and Emancipation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Spurk, C. (2010) ‘Understanding civil society’, in T. Paffenholz (ed.), Civil Society and Peacebuilding: A Critical Assessment (Boulder: Lynne Reiner), 2-28. Sugden, J. and A. Bairner (1993) Sport and Sectarianism in a Divided Ireland (Leicester: Leicester University Press). 29 Sugden, J. and A. Bairner (eds.) (2000) Sport in Divided Societies (Aachen: Meyer and Meyer). Sugden, J. (2010) ‘Critical left-realism and sport interventions in divided societies’, International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 45:3, 258-272. Taylor, R. (2009) ‘The injustice of a consociational solution to the Northern Ireland problem’, in R. Taylor (ed.), Consociational Theory: McGarry and O’Leary and the Northern Ireland Conflict (Abingdon: Routledge), 309-330. Tonge, Jonathan (2014) Comparative Peace Processes (Cambridge: Polity). Tuohey, B. and B. Cognato (2011) ‘Peace Players International: a case study on the use of sport as a tool for conflict transformation’, SAIS Review, 31:1, 51-63. Varshney, A. (2001) ‘Ethnic conflict and civil society: India and beyond’, World Politics, 53:3, 362-398. Wilson, R. (2005) Football for All: a baseline study. CAIN Web Service. Available at: http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/issues/sport/docs/wilson1205.pdf. Wilson, R. (2010) The Northern Ireland Experience of Conflict and Agreement: A Model for Export? (Manchester: Manchester University Press). Wilson, Robin (2011) Evaluating Football for All. Belfast: Irish Football Association. Wood, S. (2013) ‘Football after Yugoslavia: conflict, reconciliation and the regional football league debate’, Sport in Society, 16: 8, 1077-1090.

    PY - 2016/7/6

    Y1 - 2016/7/6

    N2 - Using the case of Northern Ireland, this article examines how post-conflict transition impacts sports organisations which have traditionally underpinned societal division, and what factors facilitate or restrain such organisations fulfilling peacebuilding functions. The article identifies three peacebuilding functions of sport: in-group socialisation, promoting social cohesion, and symbolically representing new identities. Then, after outlining the sporting and political context in Northern Ireland, the article explores changes within the sporting environment stemming from the peace process as well as persistent socio-political barriers to sport’s capacity to encourage reconciliation and integration, especially symbolic contestation and territorial segregation. The analysis draws on a public attitudes survey (n = 1210) conducted by the authors as part of a major government-funded study. The findings demonstrate the potential of the three peacebuilding functions of sport, yet also, crucially, the constraints imposed by the distinct and divided political context. Avenues for further and comparative research are identified.

    AB - Using the case of Northern Ireland, this article examines how post-conflict transition impacts sports organisations which have traditionally underpinned societal division, and what factors facilitate or restrain such organisations fulfilling peacebuilding functions. The article identifies three peacebuilding functions of sport: in-group socialisation, promoting social cohesion, and symbolically representing new identities. Then, after outlining the sporting and political context in Northern Ireland, the article explores changes within the sporting environment stemming from the peace process as well as persistent socio-political barriers to sport’s capacity to encourage reconciliation and integration, especially symbolic contestation and territorial segregation. The analysis draws on a public attitudes survey (n = 1210) conducted by the authors as part of a major government-funded study. The findings demonstrate the potential of the three peacebuilding functions of sport, yet also, crucially, the constraints imposed by the distinct and divided political context. Avenues for further and comparative research are identified.

    KW - Sport

    KW - peacebuilding

    KW - Northern Ireland

    KW - civil society

    KW - civil conflict

    U2 - 10.1177/1369148116656987

    DO - 10.1177/1369148116656987

    M3 - Article

    VL - Online

    JO - British Journal of Politics and International Relations

    T2 - British Journal of Politics and International Relations

    JF - British Journal of Politics and International Relations

    SN - 1369-1481

    ER -