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The Northern Ireland ConflictConsociational Engagements$
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John McGarry and Brendan O'Leary

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199266579

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2004

DOI: 10.1093/0199266573.001.0001

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Political Settlements in Northern Ireland and South Africa

Political Settlements in Northern Ireland and South Africa

(p.236) 8 Political Settlements in Northern Ireland and South Africa
The Northern Ireland Conflict

John McGarry (Contributor Webpage)

Brendan O'Leary (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The chapter offers a comparative evaluation of Northern Ireland's Agreement and the one reached in South Africa, and underlines the differences between them. It argues that the analogy between Northern Ireland and South Africa should be read in different ways than it is by nationalist and unionist integrationists, and by social transformationists. It explains that the Northern Ireland conflict has important exogenous dimensions that are missing in South Africa, This is illustrated by two central points: (i) while South Africans reached agreement because of endogenous factors, cooperation by the British and Irish governments was essential to the attainment of agreement in Northern Ireland; (ii) while South Africa's settlement required new political institutions internal to the country, a vital part of Northern Ireland's agreement involved the construction of trans-border political institutions linking Northern Ireland with the Republic of Ireland.

Keywords:   political analogy, social transformation, South Africa's Accord, Northern Ireland's Agreement

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