It has become customary in recent years to represent the successes of the Northern Ireland peace process internationally as a model to be seriously considered in other conflict-ridden or transitional societies. A healthy academic scepticism about such claims has not prevented politicians and media commentators in particular from presenting the transformation in Northern Ireland as miraculous. If such an intransigent conflict as the long-standing Irish one could be thus solved, why not other such conflicts? This chapter seeks to examine this wisdom in depth, looking particularly at the British state's role during the distinct periods of violent political conflict dating from the late 1960s and the subsequent peace process from the 1990s to the present day. Specifically, it will interrogate the state's own claims about its contribution both to conflict management in the earlier period and conflict resolution in the more recent period. On the basis of that interrogation, the question of the exportability of the lessons of Northern Ireland can perhaps be assessed in a more sober fashion.
|Title of host publication||The Ashgate Research Companion on Political Violence|
|Place of Publication||Farnham|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|
Rolston, B. (2012). The State’s Role in the Management and Resolution of Violent Conflict: Learning from Northern Ireland? In M. Breen-Smyth (Ed.), The Ashgate Research Companion on Political Violence (pp. 467-492). Ashgate Publishing.