"Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed": institutionalizing radical disagreement and dealing with the past in Northern Ireland

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This chapter begins to track the emergence of a peculiar ‘Northern Ireland model’ of dealing with violent pasts after political peace agreement. It draws on Oliver Ramsbotham’s idea of ‘radical disagreement’ and Chantal Mouffe’s conception of ‘agonistic pluralism’ as theoretical perspectives to reflect on how key conflict positions and key contradictions of the conflict have been institutionalised to discontinue violence. It goes on to discuss empirically how the order of this compromise is structuring efforts to deal with the past in what remains an ambiguous transition towards discordant constitutional futures. It demonstrates that in the absence of an overarching framework for dealing with the past in Northern Ireland, the model is coming into view as accumulated, piecemeal, pluralistic, complex and often contradictory efforts, emerging in the tensions between radical disagreement and attempts at reconciliation, between community initiatives and policy discourses, in what may be called a protracted peace process. The chapter argues that navigating this paradox of fixity and fluidity has crucially involved somewhat futile attempts at separating distinct lines of truth and justice in coming to terms with the past. However, the model does perhaps present some possibilities for agonistic pluralism generated at the societal level.
Keywords: Northern Ireland, Conflict, Peace Process, Dealing with the Past.
TitelResolving international conflict : dynamics of escalation and continuation
RedaktørerIsabel Bramsen, Poul Poder, Ole Wæver
Udgivelsesårmaj 2019
ISBN (trykt)978-1138104860
StatusUdgivet - maj 2019
SerietitelStudies in Peace and Conflict Resolution

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