In Violence and in Peace

Emily Morrison Griffin

in Religion and Human Security

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199827732
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199950553 | DOI:
In Violence and in Peace

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This chapter examines the conflict in Northern Ireland in light of existential security theory. It suggests that during the Troubles, Northern Ireland was caught in a self-reinforcing mechanism of continuously strengthened effects of religiosity, polarization, conflict, and existential threat. The rise of modernization in Northern Ireland as the United Kingdom joined the European Community/Union introduced an external change into that self-perpetuating mechanism, which contributed to the development of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) in 1998. The importance of recognizing the religious nature of the conflict has significant policy implications for the continued success of the agreement. While the signing of the GFA was an invaluable step toward resolution, further steps will need to address religiously motivated fears and the mutually exclusive identities of the communities involved. More broadly speaking, the conflict in Northern Ireland presents a useful case study for policy formation in other conflict areas where states are trying to negotiate social harmony and to understand the relationship between religion and the pursuit of human security.

Keywords: Northern Ireland; religion; human security; existential security theory; Good Friday Agreement

Chapter.  7418 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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