DescriptionThis is a bold and timely analysis of the conflict in Northern Ireland, offering a comprehensive, up-to-date and constructively critical evaluation of the massive outpouring of literature on the subject. John McGarry and Brendan O'Leary examine the most common explanations of the conflict - nationalist, unionist, Marxist, religious, cultural and economic - highlighting their shortcomings and placing Northern Ireland within a comparative context. Synthesizing their conclusions, the authors advance a realistic but imaginative prognosis for conflict-resolution in this most troubled region.
Introduction: Explanations and Images.
Part I: External Explanations:.
1. Nationalist Discourses.
2. Green Political Economy.
3. Unionist Discourses.
4. Revisionist Marxism.
Part II: Internal Explanations: .
5. Warring Gods: Theological Tales.
6. Fiery Values: Cultural Interpretations.
7. Mammon and Utility: Liberal Economic Reasonings.
Part III: Synthesis and Futures:.
8. No Place Apart: Comparative Political Analysis.
9. Pain-killers, Panaceas and Solvents.
Appendix A: The Joint Declaration for Peace (December 1993).
Appendix B: Analysis of the Text of the Joint Peace Declaration.
Glossary and Terminology.
"This is a trenchant analysis and critique of the arguments around the Northern Ireland conflict. McGarry and O'Leary slice their way through the tangle of argument, prejudice, history and propaganda which surround the issue, while avoiding the traps into which so many others have fallen. They present a merciless critique of reductionist interpretations of the Northern Ireland issue from all parts of the political spectrum, continually bringing us back to the facts on the ground. This will be essential reading for anyone wishing to understand this tangled question." Michael Keating, University of Western Ontario
"In Explaining Northern Ireland McGarry and O'Leary strip away the misconceptions, dogmas, and stereotypes that have stood in the way of so many efforts to understand and resolve the fate of Northern Ireland. They demonstrate, compellingly, that both Catholoic nationalism and Protestant loyalism are real and contradictory forces, that they have never had an accurate understanding of one another, and that only by accommodating what is minimally required by both communities can peace be achieved. The authors write with wit and wisdom, showing why the conflict has been so intractable, but also explaining why the prospects for a stable and relatively just peace are now good, even if they are not certain. This is a must-read book for anyone who has despaired of peace in Ireland or who believes it is right around the corner." Professor Ian S. Lustick, University of Pennsylvania
"Explaining Northern Ireland lives up to its title. It is the most effective and intelligent analysis we have of the crisis itself, of its attendant discourses, of its possible resolution. This book deals astringently with much of the propaganda, melodrama and lies that have surrounded the Northern Ireland problem. It should be recommended reading for all those genuinely interested in finding a solution that is rational, humane and enduring. It is also a model of the kind of analysis that such conflicts need if they are ever to be understood or resolved." Professor Seamus Deane, University of Notre Dame
"If read and heeded could well influence the decisions of those who come to the negotiating table. O'Leary is a man ahead of the pack, a man with a contribution made as Ireland stands at the crossroads of history ... He gives a new slant on the whole thing, claiming that the British and Irish states created the conditions that made it difficult for the people of the North to live together." Irish World
"The book provides a balanced account of nationalist and unionist discourse followed by an intelligent deconstruction of both. The critical examination of Irish nationalist theory stands favorable comparison with the cascade of tracts produced by unionist ideologues on the subject, not because McGarry and O'Leary are necessarily more favourable to Irish nationalism (though they are) but simply because their critique is well structured, intelligent, and reasoned, rather than reductionist, polemical and emotional ... There is much in the book which will continue to fuel arguments amoung undergraduates (and feuds amongst the rest of us) for the foreseeable future. That is recommendation enough for reading it." Feargal Cochrane, Queen's University Belfast, Irish Political Studies
* Authors are two of the most eminent and respected commentators in this field.
* Provides in-depth assessment of Joint Declaration of Peace of December 1993.