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)
Key Publications (search for more):
- Brown, K., & Ní Aoláin, F. (2016). Good Fences Make Good Neighbours: Assessing the Role of Consociational Politics in Transitional Justice (PSRP Working Paper). Edinburgh: Global Justice Academy, University of Edinburgh.
- Brown, K. (2017). Political Commemoration: The inclusion dynamics of ‘partisan commemoration’ (PSRP Research Briefing). Edinburgh: Global Justice Academy, University of Edinburgh.
- McWilliams, M. (2015). Women at the Peace Table: The Gender Dynamics of Peace Negotiations. In M. Flaherty (Ed.), Gender and Peacebuilding. Lanham: Lexington Press.
- O’Rourke, C. (2017). International Gender Equality Norms and the Local Peacemaking Political Settlement (PSRP Working Paper No. 6). Edinburgh: Global Justice Academy, University of Edinburgh.
- Rooney, E. (2017). Justice Learning in Transition, A Grassroots Toolkit (PSRP Working Paper). Edinburgh: Global Justice Academy, University of Edinburgh.
- Rooney, E., Transitional Justice Grassroots Toolkit. Transitional Justice Institute, University of Ulster (2016)
- Author : Harriet Cornell
- Category : Case Studies, Conflict, Gender, Northern Ireland, Peace Processes
- Date : July 16, 2015
- Tags : Armed Actors Gender Northern Ireland