LOCAL CONFLICT IN NORTHERN IRELAND IN LIGHT OF BREXIT AND THE IRISH BORDER ISSUE
Dr. Bert Preiss, Department of Political Science, University of Vienna
Wednesday 27.11.2019, 19:00
Expat Center, Schmerlingplatz 3, 1010 Wien
In his presentation to the Irish Business Network (IBN), Dr. Preiss outlined and summarised the main findings from his recently published book (available here):
Conflict at the Interface: Local Community Divisions and Hegemonic Forces in Northern Ireland. Foreword by Neil Jarman. Vienna/Berlin: LIT Verlag, 2019 (forthcoming in October),
The Belfast Peace Agreement on Good Friday 1998 marked the official end to three decades of armed conflict between the Protestant/Unionist/Loyalist and Catholic/Republican/Nationalist communities in Northern Ireland. However, as shown, the efforts to local conflict transformation have born only limited fruit so far. In Belfast and other urban areas, sectarian tensions and violence still flare between deprived working-class interface communities, who remain divided by numerous ‘peace walls’. In light of Brexit, the Irish border issue and Northern Ireland’s power-sharing impasse the progress in local peacebuilding seems to have stalled. This might even jeopardize the overall peace process. Within this context, this book explores, largely empirically, the nature and causes of conflict at the interface. Moreover, an attempt is made to provide an outlook for peace in Northern Ireland and to highlight potential lessons for other conflict-ridden, divided societies
Dr. Bert Preiss is Senior Lecturer in Conflict Studies, International Politics, East European Studies and Research Methods at the Department of Political Science, University of Vienna and at the Centre for Southeast European Studies, University of Graz. Among his publications is the co-edited volume Democracy in Crisis: The Dynamics of Civil Protest and Civil Resistance (2013).