The Politics of Northern Ireland: Beyond the Belfast Agreement, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Politics of Northern Ireland

Beyond the Belfast Agreement, 1st Edition

By Arthur Aughey


216 pages

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Paperback: 9780415327886
pub: 2005-02-10
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In this book, one of the leading authorities on contemporary Northern Ireland politics provides an original, sophisticated and innovative examination of the post-Belfast agreement political landscape. Written in a fluid, witty and accessible style, this book explores:

  • how the Belfast Agreement has changed the politics of Northern Ireland
  • whether the peace process is still valid
  • the problems caused by the language of politics in Northern Ireland
  • the conditions necessary to secure political stability
  • the inability of unionists and republicans to share the same political discourse
  • the insights that political theory can offer to Northern Irish politics
  • the future of key political parties and institutions.


'This is a provocative and well argued book … A useful addition to the literature on Irish politics.' - West European Politics, Vol. 29

'This persuasive and tightly argued book looks at the historical context in which decisions are taken and views formed.' - Contemporary Review

Table of Contents

1. Introduction Part 1: Conditions 2. Fate and Choice 2.1 Iron Cage and Self-Construction 2.2 Process and Action 2.3 Conclusion 3. Means and Ends 3.1 Nostalgia and Imagination 3.2 Conservatism and Radicalism 3.3 Ends and Means 4. Winning and Losing 4.1 Insight and Vision 4.2 Transition and Transformation 4.3 Conclusion Part 2: Modifications 5. New Ideas and Old Arguments 5.1 Inwardness and Outwardness 5.2 Democratic Transformation 5.3 Historic Compromise 6. The Belfast Agreement: Archaeology and Exposition 6.1 The Archaeology of the Agreement 6.2 Institutions of the Belfast Agreement 6.3 Conclusion 7. New Beginning and Modification of Circumstances 7.1 Agreement: Duck or Rabbit? 7.2 A New Beginning 7.3 Modification of Circumstances 7.4 Conclusion Part 3: Consequences 8. Anxiety and Expectation 8.1 Unionist Expectation 8.2 Anxiety of Process 8.3 Anxiety of Influence 8.4 Nationalist Expectation 8.5 Anxiety of Frustration 8.6 Anxiety of Impatience 8.7 Conclusion 9. Lies Noble and Ignoble 9.1 The Noble Lie 9.2 Constructive Ambiguity 9.3 Axioms and Maxims 9.4 Conclusion 10. For Better and For Worse 10.1 A Narrative of Progress 10.2 A Narrative of Regress 10.3 Verschlimmbesserung: For Better and for Worse 10.4 Conclusion

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Government / Comparative
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General