The conflict in Northern Ireland: A contextual and thematic analysis

Kirk Simpson

in Truth Recovery in Northern Ireland

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9780719078620
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781703045 | DOI:
The conflict in Northern Ireland: A contextual and thematic analysis

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This chapter provides a glimpse of the often muscular, politically motivated, and envenomed disagreement that dominates discourse on truth and reconciliation in Northern Ireland. It is immediately apparent that this cannot support feasible consensus on the past, which is arguably necessary to the sustaining of devolved government and continued peace, much less offer any form of psychological or emotional analgesic to victims of political violence. Fractured and competing versions of the past in Northern Ireland are also ineffective ways of resolving political and social discordance, and are merely reiterations of the conflict, albeit non-violent ones. Partisan histories must not be allowed to act as expedient substitutes for heuristic methods of dealing with the past.

Keywords: truth; reconciliation; Northern Ireland; political violence; partisan history

Chapter.  10890 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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