The Northern Ireland Agreement: Clear Consociational, and Risky

Donald L. Horowitz

in Northern Ireland and the Divided World

Published in print August 2001 | ISBN: 9780199244348
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599866 | DOI:
 The Northern Ireland Agreement: Clear Consociational, and Risky

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Horowitz's chapter is critical of the consociational aspects of Northern Ireland's Agreement. It views the ‘grand coalition’ executive at the heart of the Agreement as unwieldy because it includes the extremes, particularly Sinn Fein. The chapter describes the commitments contained in the Agreement as maximalists, and argues that these commitments will rebound, when they are not delivered, to the advantage of militants. Horowitz prefers, for Northern Ireland and elsewhere, what he calls an ‘incentives’ approach. The likeliest and most stable coalition resulting from this is one that includes moderates and excludes militants.

Keywords: Agreement; coalitions; consociation; grand coalition; incentives; maximalism; militants; moderates; Sinn Fein

Chapter.  8156 words. 

Subjects: UK Politics

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