This book is the first in-depth analysis of the interaction between the British and Irish governments and the role they have played in seeking to resolve the conflict in Northern Ireland since 1980.
Eamonn O’Kane examines Britain and Ireland’s objectives in relation to the Northern Ireland conflict, focusing on the influential factors that persuaded these two governments to co-operate at a closer level and those which made this co-operation difficult to achieve and at times sustain. Drawing on extensive primary research, including interviews with leading British and Irish politicians and civil servants, the book questions many of the most widely accepted arguments regarding the conflict. It sheds new light upon the objectives of the two states in Northern Ireland, the origins of the peace process, the reasons that the conflict appeared so intractable and the role of the international dimension. The book places events in context and offers a more convincing explanation for many of the advances and disappointments in Northern Ireland in recent years than is currently available.
This volume offers a reinterpretation of the intergovernmental approach to the Northern Ireland conflict and peace process and is an invaluable resource for students and researchers of British politics, Irish studies and conflict studies.
Acknowledgements 1. Introduction 2. The growing pains of an intergovernmental approach? 3. Institutionalising intergovernmentalism: The Anglo-Irish Agreement 4. The Anglo-Irish Agreement in operation 5. The move to inclusion 6. The fledgling peace process 7. The Good Friday Agreement and beyond. The end of the conflict? 8. Conclusion. Bibliography.