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:

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The Northern Irish conflict, as an illustrative example of a wider phenomenon in transitional contexts, highlights the refusal of many post-conflict societies to face up to the legacy of political violence and suffering. This chapter provides an explanation of why dealing with the past is such a complex but necessary historical odyssey and examines the importance of communicatively rational transitional justice in Northern Ireland. This chapter refreshes the book's main thesis, addressing what the core features of effectively and critically interpreting the past in Northern Ireland are, and suggesting that the ideas outlined in this book—communicative justice—are a potential answer to the crises. In particular, this conclusion refocuses on the important contribution that the unique Habermasian model of truth recovery can make to Northern Ireland's emergence from a long period of brutal conflict.

Keywords: Northern Irish conflict; post-conflict societies; political violence; rational transitional justice; communicative justice; Habermas model

Chapter.  9222 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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