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People Power? The Role of the Voluntary and Community Sector in the Northern Ireland Conflict

People Power? The Role of the Voluntary and Community Sector in the Northern Ireland Conflict

Feargal Cochrane and Seamus Dunn

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Many books have been written about the political conflict that has beset Northern Ireland. There is a natural tendency in politics to look at political leaders, governments, and high-ranking officials and their interactions. Less emphasis is placed on non-governmental organizations, community groups and members of civil society and the contribution they have made to political progress. People Power? seeks to redress that imbalance by looking at the contribution made by such civil society organizations to the peace process in Northern Ireland.

The authors critically examine the evolution, roles and impact of the non-governmental organization (NGO) sector and its work with particular emphasis on peace/conflict resolution organizations that operate within the region. It is important to recognize that political parties, politicians and paramilitaries are products of their environments and that 'the ordinary people' can have just as much responsibility/effect on conflict and its resolution, as the more formal and visible institutions which surround them. People Power? shines a light into that dark corner of Northern Ireland's recent political history asking such questions as; Who are these groups? What do they do? What is their attitude to the conflict? Who joins such organizations?

Where do they get their money from? And what impact have they had on the peace process? The book presents a fresh perspective on the dynamics behind the peace process in Northern Ireland and provide a bridge between the activities of the political elites who signed the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 and the communities out of which the political class have been forged. Feargal Cochrane lectures in Politics at the Richardson Institute, Department of Politics and International Relations, Lancaster University. Seamus Dunn was formerly Director of the Centre for the Study of Conflict at the University of Ulster.

He continues to lecture in the school of History, Philosophy and Politics at the University of Ulster.

Additional Information

Author Feargal Cochrane and Seamus Dunn
Publisher Cork University Press
Publication date 11 Apr 2002
Format Hardback
ISBN/EAN 9781859183021

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