Squaring the Circle: Attempting Peace in Northern Ireland   [open pdf - 4MB]

"Finding a political framework for self-government in Northern Ireland that will be supported by both nationalists and unionists is referred to as a modern day attempt to do the impossible-to 'square the circle.' During the latest phase of the Troubles, from 1968 to 1996, there have been many attempts to bring peace to Northern Ireland by creating a negotiated settlement, but none has worked. This thesis compares two of the most significant attempts, the first in 1973 and the second in 1993, to evaluate prospects for peace in the future. Although the goals of both attempts were the same (a devolved government, economic recovery, and the cessation of terrorist violence), a comparison shows important differences in the political atmosphere and style of the peace process, effected especially by the changing role of the Irish Republican Army's political wing, Sinn Fein, and the intervention of third party mediators."

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