Reconciliation and Peacebuilding
: The Integration of Theory, Policy and Practice in Northern Ireland

  • Grainne Kelly

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This thesis reviews the contribution of the author’s listed publications to the improved understanding of the concept of reconciliation and its practical application in a society emerging from violent conflict. The outputs presented in part submission of a PhD by Published Work represent a body of empirical research conducted in Northern Ireland over a fourteen-year period (2004–2018), including the conduct of over 100 in-depth interviews with key change-makers in the society. The thesis establishes how the outputs submitted for consideration represent a significant and coherent contribution to knowledge in the interdisciplinary field of peace and conflict studies and outlines the importance of this work in terms of wider societal impacts. The thesis illuminates the author’s explorations of two overarching research questions. Firstly, how has reconciliation been understood, designed, implemented and promoted within a society emerging from violent conflict, and how has the concept evolved within that society? Secondly, how can the field of peacebuilding seek to improve and enhance the relationship between theory, policy and practice for the explicit purpose of improving micro, meso and macro reconciliation processes? The thesis concludes with a call for the greater valorisation of a collaborative, integrated and multidirectional knowledge-generation process to ensure the enhancement of both peacebuilding theory development and peacebuilding policymaking and practice.
Date of AwardFeb 2020
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorJennifer Hamilton (Supervisor) & Cathy Gormley-Heenan (Supervisor)

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