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The Long Good Friday: Consociationalism and the Northern Ireland Peace Process 1973-1998


This article deals with the 1998 Good Friday Agreement-currently the key
and primary document for the internationalised peace process in Northern
Ireland-signed by representatives of the British and Irish governments, and
representatives of the Northern Irish communities. It tries to prove the
significance of this document for the peace process, as well as its
consociational character. Based on an analysis of the Agreement, it
concludes that it is almost entirely compatible with the principles of
consociational democracy set out by US political scientist Arend Lijphart.
The article further argues that the consociational model is suitable and
advisable for Northern Ireland, indicating the significance of
internationalisation for the resolution of the conflict. To better understand
the peace process, the article outlines the general character of the conflict:
the causes of its emergence and their influence on its development. It then
summarises the peace initiatives before 1998, the confluence of which later
became a significant basis for the Good Friday Agreement. Finally, the
article outlines the actual (post-agreement) situation in Northern Ireland,
up to the important IRA statement on the halting of the armed campaign
from July 2005, followed by complete decommissioning. Finally, the article
reviews to what extent the principles of the Good Friday Agreement are
being fulfilled.


Northern Ireland, peace process, Good Friday Agreement, consociationalism, ethnic conflict, conflict resolution

PDF Research Article (Czech)