Chapter

Stepping Stones to Reconciliation in Northern Ireland: Intergroup Contact, Forgiveness, and Trust

Miles Hewstone, Jared B. Kenworthy, Ed Cairns, Nicole Tausch, Joanne Hughes, Tania Tam, Alberto Voci, von Ulrich Hecker and Catherine Pinder

in The Social Psychology of Intergroup Reconciliation

Published in print March 2008 | ISBN: 9780195300314
Published online May 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780199868698 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195300314.003.0010
 								Stepping Stones to Reconciliation in Northern Ireland: Intergroup Contact, Forgiveness, and Trust

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This chapter highlights three stepping stones for success in interventions for violent intergroup conflicts: investigating when and how intergroup contact results in reduced prejudice and improved intergroup relations; promoting intergroup forgiveness to replace bitterness and vengeance; and building trust across the sectarian divide. It highlights some of the contributions of social psychology to building the postconflict society envisaged by the Belfast Agreement. The chapter begins by reviewing the historical and social background to the political violence in Northern Ireland. It considers the segregated nature of society in Northern Ireland, and highlights intergroup contact as a means to overcome the problems of segregation. It then considers the neglected topic of forgiveness, arguing that a distinct form of intergroup forgiveness is relevant in cases of intergroup conflict.

Keywords: intergroup relations; intergroup conflict; Northern Ireland; forgiveness; social psychology; Belfast Agreement

Chapter.  10894 words. 

Subjects: Social Psychology

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