Five Fallacies: Northern Ireland and the Liabilities of Liberalism

John McGarry and Brendan O'Leary

in The Northern Ireland Conflict

Published in print March 2004 | ISBN: 9780199266579
Published online August 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191601446 | DOI:
Five Fallacies: Northern Ireland and the Liabilities of Liberalism

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This chapter criticizes five popular arguments central to the thinking of liberal integrationists: (i) extremist political and religious elites are responsible for conflicts; (ii) conflicts have fundamental economic and material foundations; (iii) conflicts flow from archaic religious and non-religious political cultures; (iv) segregation is the key social and structural cause of conflict; and (v) individual discrimination is the primary motor of conflict. The authors insist instead on the ethno-national nature of the conflict and the need for appropriate political means to address this.

Keywords: liberalism; Northern Ireland; segregation; discrimination; materialism; elite manipulation; archaic cultures

Chapter.  10769 words. 

Subjects: UK Politics

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