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Northern Ireland


By comparison with many places, the Northern Ireland peace process is a stunning success story in terms of the reduction in conflict deaths. Both the peace process and comprehensive peace agreement were marked by high-profile efforts at inclusion of political and military elites, as well as broader social groups – notably women. In addition, the much more variable success in securing inclusion in the implementation of power-sharing also offers important learning for peace settlements elsewhere.


This case study involves four linked pieces of work. First, we study the impact of the formal end of violent conflict to women’s experiences of gender-based violence, in particular on intimate partner violence, as well as the relationship of violence against women to women’s capacity to mobilise and influence the formal peace settlement (also part of the Gender and Violence project). Second, we consider the role of international legal norms for gender equality in supporting local women seeking to influence ongoing political bargaining processes (which links to the Women Achieving Change project). Thirdly, the case study is utilised to reveal how political and military elites – in particular ethno-national leaders – engage political memory in order to communicate with and mobilise their patronage networks. Fourthly, the Northern Ireland case study supports local implementation and international dissemination of relevant learning from a Grassroots Transitional Justice Toolkit, which is designed to facilitate community-based discussions of post-conflict accountability and social justice issues.


Northern Ireland forms a non-fragile ‘developed’ setting in which to explore these dynamics with the ‘fragility’ variable removed, which will form a valuable comparison with case studies in fragile and conflict-affected states.


Kris Brown, Jessica Doyle, Monica McWilliams, Catherine O’Rourke (Transitional Justice Institute)

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Details :
  • Author : Harriet Cornell
  • Category : Case Studies, Conflict, Gender, Northern Ireland, Peace Processes
  • Date : July 16, 2015
  • Tags : Armed Actors Gender Northern Ireland