Civil Society, Peacebuilding and Economic Assistance in Northern Ireland : Local Knowledge, Wisdom and Practices book cover
1st Edition

Civil Society, Peacebuilding and Economic Assistance in Northern Ireland
Local Knowledge, Wisdom and Practices

  • Available for pre-order on June 16, 2023. Item will ship after July 7, 2023
ISBN 9781032480633
July 7, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
216 Pages

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USD $170.00

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Book Description

This book examines the role of local peacebuilders in Northern Ireland and some of the challenges they face.

The work explores the perspective and experiences of local peacebuilders in Northern Ireland and the border counties of the Republic of Ireland about their analysis and critique of liberal peacebuilding, their hopes, and concerns, and how they are aligned with external funders. It features interviews with a plethora of civil society organization workers, funding agency community development officers, and civil servants adjudicating the International Fund for Ireland and the European Union PEACE III fund, which highlight the participants’ local wisdom, practices, and values regarding creating sustainable livelihoods, peacebuilding insights, receiving recognition for their work, dissonance with internal and external actors, conflict transformation efforts, and engagement with partners and allies. The rich empirical qualitative exploratory case study, situated in post-peace accord Northern Ireland and the border counties of the Republic of Ireland, speaks to the respondents’ ideas about the creation, delivery, and efficacy of peacebuilding-funded initiatives as well as their hopes and dreams for the future. In exploring this central argument, the work offers an overarching structure in which to analyze the theory and praxis of conflict and peacebuilding in Northern Ireland. More generally, it offers an important contribution to our understanding of local peacebuilders, and how economic assistance impacts on a divided society.

This book will be of much interest to students of peacebuilding, conflict resolution, sociology, and British and Irish politics.

Table of Contents

1. Local Experts’ Wisdom, and Practices

2. Conflict and Peacebuilding in Northern Ireland

3. Your Work is Done, or Your Work is Not Done: Let the Past Wither on the Vine

4. We All Eat the Same Potatoes

5. Apathy is Frozen by Words (Paddy Bogside Doherty)

6. Yeast is to Bread What Economic Aid is to Peace: The Peace-By-Prosperity Model

7.  Better to Have a Peace Industry Than a War Industry: You Can’t Eat a Flag

8. We Have the Experience but Miss the Meaning and Learning

9. Economic Aid and Peacebuilding in Northern Ireland: Critical Peacebuilding Emancipated?

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Sean Byrne is Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Manitoba, Canada. He is author/editor of several books, including most recently, The Routledge Handbook of Peacebuilding and Ethnic Conflict (2022).


'An outstanding and novel contribution to the field of peace scholarship and practice. The work of Dr. Sean Byrne offers a nuanced, comprehensive, and insightful perspective on the historical complexities and challenges of peace in Northern Ireland. It methodically explicates the multilevel nature of peacebuilding by focusing on civil society’s exemplary ways of integrating third party assistance in peacebuilding that is representative, equitable and localized. His work also furnishes a compelling argument challenging third parties to intentionally tap into local civil society organizations as an imperative agency in attaining sustainable peace. At a time of regressive and polarizing trends, Sean Byrne’s work is a must read for policy leaders, academics, journalists, and citizens.' 

Professor Harry Anastasiou, International Peace and Conflict Studies, Portland State University, USA