4,624 research outputs found

    The politics of the transformation of policing

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    The politics of policing transformation in Northern Ireland, the nature and timing of the Agreements that created the the atmosphere for such transformation, and the difficulty in reaching them, are clear evidence that policing powers and structures are an integral part of the constitutional framework of contested societies and not a lower-order matter that can be more easily divided up as ‘spoils of peace’. Each step in the process of change, from the 1998 Agreement, to the debate on the International Commission’s Report (Independent Commission on Policing for Northern Ireland, A new beginning: policing in Northern Ireland. Report of the Independent Commission on Policing for Northern Ireland, often referred to as the Patten Report)., to the various inter-party talks and agreements, linked discussion on policing to other issues in the peace process, such as governmental power-sharing, North–South cooperative institutions, demilitarisation by the British Army, arms decommissioning by the IRA and other equality issues such as language rights. Both nationalists and unionists strongly linked police reform to the wider peace process, and progress on policing would have been impossible without agreement on an open-ended constitutional framework that required neither political community to abandon their longer-term political goals. Nationalists did not and would not have abandoned their political campaign for a united Ireland in return for policing reform. Unionists would not have accepted the transformation of policing without a balanced constitutional and political agreement and without the IRA ending its armed campaign. Without a transformation of Northern Ireland itself there would have been no transformation of policing. The transformation was explicitly linked to the consociational power-sharing model at the heart of the new political structures in Northern Ireland, and the interlinked institutions between the Northern Ireland executive and the government of the Republic of Ireland

    International and domestic pressures on Irish foreign policy: an analysis of the UN Security Council term 2001-2

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    Recent debate on Irish foreign policy has often been framed by the presumed influence of the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy and the dependence of the Irish economy on Foreign Direct Investment from the US. More broadly, small states are generally assumed to have little significant influence on world events. Empirical research on these issues is difficult in the Irish context given the often guarded nature of Irish foreign policy pronouncements. Ireland’s term on the UN Security Council in 2001 and 2002 offers an opportunity both to examine Irish foreign policy decision-making at the highest international level and to look at the capacity of a small state to have influence. The results of this study suggest that contrary to common perceptions, Irish diplomats on the Council did regularly disagree with the US on foreign-policy decisions and that the influence of EU membership was very limited—primarily because there was often no common European policy on the most controversial issues. Ireland can, however, be seen to have influenced a number of key decisions made by the Council during its most recent term as an elected member

    Governance and citizenship in contested states: the Northern Ireland peace agreement as internationalised governance

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    The Good Friday Agreement signed in Belfast in 1998, but still in a process of development, is one of a number of peace agreements emerging from apparently intractable conflicts, since the end of the cold war. This article focuses on a relatively unexamined aspect of the Agreement - the international relevance of its innovative provisions on equality of citizenship and internationalised governance. The Belfast Agreement both implicitly and explicitly deals with the problematic issue of citizenship in a state which is highly contested at the constitutional level. Its development of an equality agenda and dynamic cross-border institutions of governance in a situation where ultimate sovereignty and allegiance remains contested is a departure from current international norms. The peace process around the Agreement also reflects a significantly increased international involvement in the Northern Ireland conflict. External support and mediation was essential in brokering an Agreement and will inevitably be important in sustaining the new forms of citizenship which are promised in its provisions. Both in its processes and in the framework for citizenship and governance suggested by the Agreement, Northern Ireland can provide a useful example to the increasing number of nationalist conflicts in the post cold war world. ..

    Sovereignty in contested states: new models a challenge to Westphalian absolutism?

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    Citizenship in contested states: new models from the 1998 Northern Ireland agreement

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    After conflict - placing the Sinn Féin party in a comparative politics context

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    Sinn Féin, the party most associated with the in public discourse with the term ‘republican’ in Ireland, is a party undergoing a process of development. It has been suggested that its recent electoral success would result in Sinn Féin moving to the centre and abandoning the civic republican focus on equality, political participation/activism and a national political project with a strong internationalist context – with which it has identified. However while aspects of Sinn Féin policy remain fluid and can lack clarity the evidence surveyed for this paper suggests that the party is not moving to the political centre on issues of social and economic equality, but is retaining a strong leftist, pro-equality agenda. Post Good Friday Agreement Sinn Féin is in its rhetoric keeping the issue of Irish unity strongly to the fore, in its manifestos both North and South. In an era of globalisation it has placed itself with the anti-corporate globalisation groupings and against right-wing nationalist parties with an anti-immigration platform. Finally, in an era of media-politics it is retaining its traditional focus on high levels of activism and participation among party members

    Irish diplomacy on the UN Security Council 2001-2: foreign policy-making in the light of day

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    Recent debate on Irish foreign policy has often been framed by the presumed influence of the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy and the dependence of the Irish economy on Foreign Direct Investment from the US. More broadly, small states are generally assumed to have little significant influence on world events. Empirical research on these issues is difficult in the Irish context given the often guarded nature of Irish foreign policy pronouncements. Ireland’s term on the UN Security Council in 2001 and 2002 offers an opportunity both to examine Irish foreign policy decision-making at the highest international level and to look at the capacity of a small state to have influence. The results of this study suggest that contrary to common perceptions, Irish diplomats on the Council did regularly disagree with the US on foreign-policy decisions and that the influence of EU membership was very limited—primarily because there was often no common European policy on the most controversial issues. Ireland can, however, be seen to have influenced a number of key decisions made by the Council during its most recent term as an elected member

    Re-examining the Northern Ireland conflict

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    The Northern Ireland conflict has its roots in the failure of the British state-building project to consolidate the territorial gains of colonization in Ireland. A decade of intense political activity in the early 20th century, a failed armed rebellion in 1916 and a guerrilla war by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in 1918–21 led to the establishment of an independent Irish state. The British Government, after a bitter but ultimately failed attempt at counter-insurgency, withdrew its forces from most of Ireland, but the price to be paid was partition. The particular circumstances of the settler plantations from the 17th century onwards had led to well-organized opposition in the north-east to Irish independence, and these supporters of union with Britain were termed ‘unionists’. They had a sufficiently strong alliance with elements of the British political establishment to persuade the British Government to adopt a policy of partition, even after they had failed to defeat the wider challenge of Irish nationalism
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