The EU and Northern Ireland: Maintaining Peace after the Good Friday Agreement

Wilf Petar Frederick Novakovic Skinner

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

The Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland is held up as being one of the most successful, yet its implementation has been problematic. The spectre of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union is the latest among many existential threats to the Agreement. This study seeks to examine the relationship between the European Union and the Northern Irish Peace Process since the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. Identifying theoretical divergence in the literature, the study makes use of congruence analysis and attempts to proxy theories of constructivism in European integration with transitional justice theories. The peace in Northern Ireland has to be considered beyond the absence of violence and how the EU has contributed to healing the divide between two communities. Examining the role of the EU beyond the signing of a legal document, this study examines the tensions between top-down and bottom up approaches to peace implementation and pays close attention to the role of civil society in Northern Ireland, we find the peace process most effective when it is rooted locally but facilitated from a European perspective.

EducationsGlobal Studies, (Bachelor/Graduate Programme) Graduate
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2 Jan 2019
Number of pages65
SupervisorsAngela Bourne